« FACULTY / Arvie Smith

Associate Professor in Foundation, Painting & Drawing

MFA 1992 Maryland Institute College of Art (Painting)
BFA 1985 Pacific Northwest College of Art (Painting, Printmaking)

Arvie Smith has taught at PNCA in the painting department since 1993. As a professional artist for the past 25 years, Arvie Smith’s work transforms the history of oppressed and stereotyped segments of the American experience into lyrical two-dimensional masterworks. His paintings are commonly psychological images revealing deep sympathy for the dispossessed and marginalized members of society, in an unrelenting search for beauty, meaning, and equality. Smith’s work reflects powerful injustices and the will to resist and survive. His memories of growing up in the South add to his awareness of the legacy that slavery of African Americans has left with all Americans. His intention is to solidify the memory of atrocities and oppression so they will never be forgotten nor duplicated. Smith creates this work because he must. Smith studied at Il Bisonte and SACI in Florence in 1983, and with Grace Hartigan while at Maryland Institute College of Art. From 1998 to the present he has traveled extensively through Ghana, Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso, West Africa. Smith has recently embarked on a public arts project through RACC to work with incarcerated youth at Multnomah County’s Juvenile Justice Center to create five 8’x15’ murals to be installed in the detention facility.


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