Hartsville Library exhibits Smith’s work


The Hartsville Memorial Library welcomes back local artist Derek Smith for his second exhibit of his unique paintings, running August 16-September 15.  

“I am excited and looking forward to once again displaying my creations at the Hartsville library,” Smith said. “We had a lot of positive feedback after a very brief and impromptu exhibit in early summer. It will be a lot of fun to show off other pieces of my works in this second event. Branch manager “Martha Brown and her staff have been absolutely wonderful and supportive,” he said.

Smith’s paintings are otherworldly and brightly colorful. There are seahorse rodeos, ant farmers with tractors, zeppelins, Apaches and Mars Men, mermaid reunions, various abstracts and so much more.

Smith grew up in Bishopville, graduating from Georgia Southern University in 1980 with a journalism degree. He was an award winning newspaperman in Sumter, S.C., and Savannah, GA., before several years as a hospital media relations officer and home healthcare aide. He lived in Savannah for 17 years, also spending time in Arizona, Buffalo, N.Y., and Florida before returning to his hometown in 2021.

During that time, he wrote ten published books, most on nonfiction Civil War topics, although the latest, “Bloody Savannah – The City’s Most Violent Era as Seen by a Crime Reporter,” released in spring 2023, chronicles his tenure and remembrances of his journalism career. Details about Smith’s fall book discussions and signings at the library will be released soon.  

Picking up a paint brush for the first time in 2017, he has sold his art nationally, his first exhibit of about 40 acrylic pieces at the Bishopville Opera House over a four-month period from October 2022 to January 2023. This was followed by a similar, five-week show at the Hartsville Museum in April-May, and his first exhibit at the library.

“The most common reactions I hear about my creations are ‘fun’ and ‘happy.’ We all need a big dose of fun and happy right now, and I like to think I’ve made a positive impact on everyone who experiences these pieces.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Hartsville Memorial Library, 147 W. College Avenue, at 843-332-5115. Media and sales inquiries may be made to Smith at 716-908-6814, email at derek1156@aol.com or website, paintcopia.com.  

Author: Stephan Drew

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