Colette Shumate Smith
Colette Shumate Smith was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Seattle. Her mother and Swedish relatives were artists. She decided early on to pursue a career in art, and apprenticed with her mother. Through The Bob Hope Heart Institute, Colette’s early sculptures traveled the world when she was 21. A student of Jacob Lawrence, Howard Kottler, Patty Warashina, George Tsutakawa and Glen Alps, Colette had many influences as she pursued her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Seattle at the University of Washington. In 1982 she went on to Boston University. While working on her Masters at the Program in Artistry at B.U., Colette was influenced by Chris Gustin, Richard Hirsh and Nancy Smith.
Colette taught middle school art for 10 years. In 1993 she became an artist-in-residence with the Massachusetts Cultural Council State Artist Roster. She created many large murals in central Massachusetts, the most complex of which is at Squannacook Elementary School in Townsend and North West School in Leominster, her current hometown.
At Boston University she met David L. Smith. After graduation, they married, raised two children, and continued creating their art together for 28 years. Colette’s work is very unique, as she knows how to paint yet continues to break all rules of painting with her Ceramic Raku Art. It does not fit into a current art movement, yet seems to comment on all art movements at once. Cubist, Impressionist, and printed painting collages are surreal and speak to the subconscious memory of a time yet to come. Her themes are commenting on the state of the world, yet her color choice is sweet and mysterious.