Artist’s Life #2

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…

Artist’s Life #3

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…

Artist’s Life No. 1

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and late graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…

Confrontation

With its half-demolished wall, odd configuration of poles, hula-hoop-like ring, and distant vista of calm water and low mountains, Confrontation presents an incongruous and unsettling image. But something is familiar about the scene; a quality of Deja vu that summons memories of difficult personal encounters. We assume a connection between two young women, yet it is impossible to know the…

Desert Forms

Hughie Lee-Smith here conjured an unsettling scene: the stormy blues of the sky, the rocky terrain, and the unknowable relationship between the walking woman and the distant man. The artist often situated enigmatic people in bleak landscapes, and he aligned these morose visualizations with his experiences as an African American man: “Unconsciously it has a lot to do with a…

Desolation

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…

Futility

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…

Parting

Hughie Lee-Smith (American, Eustis, Florida 1915-1999 Albuquerque, New Mexico. Watercolor on paper. Drawings

The Beach

Hughie Lee-Smith’s art conveys the alienation and isolation experienced by many African Americans during the middle decades of the twentieth century, yet his work speaks in larger terms about our inability to reach out and connect with others on grounds larger than race. Although Lee-Smith was a direct contemporary of Jacob Lawerence, his art followed a different trajectory, adopting an…

The Kite Flyers

Hughie Lee-Smith was born in Eustis, Florida, lived in Atlanta until 1925, when he moved to Cleveland. He began attending art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art and later graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1938. While in Cleveland, he became active at Karamu House as an actor, dancer, set designer, and teacher. He worked in the…