Diana J Smith, is an Oklahoma artist working in ceramics and mixed media.
Wizards.Each one the creation of a new species clothed in Celtic robes and topped with a proper wizarding hat. Some have companions, some are solitary. Curious, wise and possessing magical powers, these wizards exude a contagious sense of spirit that will be recognizable to any who have sought wisdom, have come to the aid of another or found themselves skeptical of an unknown. They personify us all.
Jacks. Jack Rabbits have exceptionally long legs and are noted for speed. My Jacks take a 180º turn on that. Poised in laid back, relaxed, human like poses, these guys appear to be in no hurry at all. Their smug, playful grins assure you they posses a secret. Whether you find out what it is or just enjoy their interaction with you, they will bring a smile to your face.
Spirit Masks. Diana’s masks conjure up images of primitive people performing ceremonial rites to insure a bountiful crop, successful hunt, or to honor their gods. The masks draw from animal forms in the same way primitive art does throughout North America, Oceania and Africa.
The same as fetishes are believed to contain the spirits of the animals they represent; these masks contain their own spirits. In today’s world, they may not be used in primitive rites, but instead may inspire searching for answers to one’s destiny, and in healing, not the body, but the spirit.
An Oklahoma native, Diana J. Smith received a BFA in painting from the University of Oklahoma. Diana established her graphic design firm, Designsmith, Inc. in 1984. She has won dozens of awards through the years including many local and regional ADDY Awards in the commercial area.
Diana has exhibited in numerous juried, group, and solo shows and has won awards for her paintings, ceramics, masks and mixed media figures. While Diana also enjoys pure abstraction, she is best known for her acrylic paintings of canines, enlivening her subjects with qualities of loyalty, humor, inquisitiveness, mystery and patience.
She began working in ceramics in 2014 as a break from painting, after completing her solo show for the Governor’s Gallery at the Oklahoma State Capital.
Ceramics are her current passion, from the mystical Wizards to the whimsical Jacks, to the elegant Spirit Masks. She handbuilds each from stoneware. Some have multipah underglazes, some have rice paper decals, either glazed and kiln fired or Raku fired.
Diana lives & works in Arcadia, OK with her husband, and always a dog or two.