Full Circle Arts Featured Artist: Dan Smith

This article originally appeared on the Full Circle Arts website.

Full Circle Arts welcomes you to Dan Smith’s virtual exhibition, PLAY BALL 20/20. This unique combination of visual imagery and the written word is designed to create a dream-like, thought-provoking 12-inning play-by-play sequence reflecting the artist’s views of the world. Each reader/viewer is invited to interact with Smith’s interpretation of a 2-hour 19-minute baseball game, the 7th of a hard-fought 7-series competition, played and recorded on July 4, 2020 in Smith’s diary. His dirē (spelled like dire: extremely serious or urgent, however, with a long ē), featured at the top of page 1 refers to dates of years he has been working on the entire body of free association prose he calls Dansmyth. This numerical system is also a tribute to Holocaust victims who suffered in German extermination camps during World War II.

PLAY BALL 20/20 marks the conclusion of Smith’s 5th Extended Sites exhibit-based series, officially begun in 1990, the year he earned his MFA at the University of South Carolina. During the past 30 years, Smith has continued to examine the cyclical nature of life from a variety of viewpoints. Throughout this time, he obsessively immersed himself in site-specific exploration, investigating groups of people, their lands, history, and culture to gain knowledge about the facts, while also better understanding his own point of view. These Extended Sites have included:

1. Man/Land See, the integration of on-site experiences at 12 randomly selected locations in South Carolina and 12 more sites within the United States, resulting in 24 mixed media artworks and final exhibition in Columbia, SC, the state’s capital. 

2. InCarNation: The Hampton Roads 400, the result of physically, intellectually, and emotionally following the artist/explorer John Smith (1580-1631), the leader of the Virginia Colony (Sept. 1608-August 1609) concluding with a final exhibit in Hampton Roads Virginia  in conjunction with the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia.

3. Maninfested Destiny: From Boone to Boon, involving a series of journeys with American frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820), whose family moved to North Carolina in 1750, settling on the Yadkin River, near Mocksville, featuring the final exhibit at ASU’s Turchin Center.  

4. US: A Civil War, the result of attending and sometimes participating in 12 reenactments, from the beginning  to the conclusion of the tragic 4-year war between the United States and eleven Southern states, showcased in Columbia, SC, inside a converted warehouse General Sherman may have used during the Campaign of the Carolinas; as well as Newton and Sherrills Ford, NC. 

PLAY BALL 20/20, Smith’s 5th Extended Sites exhibition, focuses on his interest in American Indian culture.  The series’ title is Genomicide, referring to the savage extermination and broken treaties, from first contact with European invaders, through Post-Civil War, ongoing injustices and an emerging Native Americanism. As Smith’s Native American exploration grew, it blended with his family history and the love of baseball. His father played on a New York Yankees West Coast Farm Team before the artist was born. His father also told the Smith children they were descendants of Chief Joseph, the Leader of the Nez Perce Nation.  This series reflects aspects of personal history, extended and tightly woven into a mix of history and myth, as Dan Smith continues his search, blending ideas, information, and opinions on a variety of topics including anthropology, ecology, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, science, and sociology, as well as the visual arts and current events.

Originally, Smith planned to conclude his American Indian research in May 2020 with a site-specific performance and interaction in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, the birthplace of Mickey Mantle, entitled, OKOKOK: A Mantle of Lament.  A Full Circle Arts gallery exhibition was also to follow in July. Now, because of Coronavirus, Smith’s Oklahoma event is postponed, however, and this Full Circle Arts virtual exhibition is open! Visit at Full Circle Arts.