Self-taught artwork will be the focus of an upcoming exhibit from a local artist’s collection.
Officials with the Wynne Home Arts Center will open an exhibit of works from the collection of Murray Smither at a reception on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Artwork displayed at the exhibit was created by self-taught or “outsider artists” that do not have a formal art backgrounds. The work on display was discovered by Smither and loaned from his own collection, including paintings and sculptures. Some of the items were created by local prisoners and a professor from Sam Houston State University.
“Murray went to SHSU and works as an art dealer and curator,” said John Smither, Murray’s cousin. “The exhibit is a survey of modern Texas artists featuring outsider art.”
Smither has served on the Wynne Home’s Art Committee and helps to curate and appraise art pieces. His mother, a nationally renowned art collector, loaned and donated many pieces to the home.
“The Smither family have been strong supporters of local art for decades,” said cultural director Linda Pease. “Murray has discovered art all over, even finding great art for sale on the side of the road and in other obscure places.”
Smither is credited with discovering Frank Jones, a prison artist who had work displayed nationwide, even providing him with supplies for his work.
“When we opened the home, the planning committee agreed that we would like to focus on self-taught art,” Pease added. “With the prison here, we knew there would be some interesting art created. Since then, we have tried to feature at least one showcase of self-taught art each year.”
The reception is free and open to the public and will include hors d’oeuvres and wine for attendees. The collection will be on display for several months, with no end date set at this time.
The Wynne Home is located at 1428 11th Street in Huntsville.