Neighbors and visitors of East Spring Lake feel drawn to and comforted by word-renowned Roswell artist Ford Smith’s Daily Art Escape, in which he displays a different piece of art each day in front of his home, for neighbors to enjoy, while walking, biking or driving by.
Six weeks ago, fine art galleries and museums closed their doors to the public, seemingly overnight. That’s when world-renowned Roswell artist Ford Smith observed an increasing number of families walking by his lakeside home. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders had the positive effect of drawing families outside for some fresh air and some space.
The artist had an idea that inspired his wife, Cristi Smith, to create an outdoor public art exhibit featuring a new piece of her husband’s original art, every day. She set an easel in their driveway, included serene ‘spa-like’ music, and wrote an introduction letter to their neighbors.
The exhibit, “Ford Smith’s Daily Art Escape” would be a real treat, because although residents of the East Spring Lake community had known about their neighbor, “the famous artist”, many had never seen his paintings in person.
The couple has really enjoyed the affect the public art exhibit has had on neighbors driving, biking, walking, skateboarding, or running past the home every day.
Cristi tells us, “Our neighbors are very protective about the art. If the wind picks up (as it has recently), someone always makes sure we know.”
Local new station, CBS, brought cameras out to the home for a story last week. The video does a great job highlighting the effect the art has had on the entire neighborhood. You can view the CBS coverage on the artist’s official Facebook page @fordsmithfineart.
When the couple takes walks in the 150+ home neighborhood, they’re called out to with gratitude. The following are some of the comments they’ve heard from their Roswell friends and neighbors:
“Thank you so much for what you’re doing for our neighborhood! It’s the highlight of our day!”
“This exhibit is a happy daily blessing! Thank you for sharing your talent.”
“We appreciate you guys doing this! We love your paintings and our kids are learning about art.”
“We are so lucky to live in East Spring Lake and have this art experience! Thank you!”
“The Daily Art Escape is the first thing we do every morning. It’s like a little Christmas morning every day!”
Cristi and Ford have been asked about security, as most of these paintings on exhibit are original Ford Smith paintings that are valued from $3500-$24,000, and the largest at 72”x84” is valued at $40,000, but they aren’t concerned.
Cristi says, “Having lived here for 24 years, we believe in the goodness of our neighbors, as well as the people who visit this fine art exhibit. There is a kind of reverence given to it and people are very protective.”
Learn more about Ford, view more original paintings, prints and more at www.fordsmithfineart.com.
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