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Seth Smith scores on all counts

When it comes to art, sometimes the quality of the work in an exhibition affects you. Sometimes it's the subject matter. Every once in a while it's absolutely both. And that's a double bonus. Kansas City Artist Seth Smith’s new exhibition titled “Later Blooms” delves into his upbringing around the Wichita area in the company of his beloved grandparents. He has wonderful memories of the time. Family dinners at iconic restaurants, movies seen at drive-in theaters, motel stays on family vacations, firecrackers on the 4th, and fun around grandma’s swimming pool. This is all subject matter for this latest show.

Smith is a painter who works with oil on panel. His paintings of restaurant and motel signs, houses in yards of trees, and swimming pools capture and manage the beautiful light of summertime sunsets, reflections on water, and streetlights. I can almost hear cicadas humming as I view the works.

What the work does is make one reminisce deeply about the happy times of the past. About places and beings that once were—the things that meant the world to us all. Smith absolutely captures it all in these paintings. As a matter of fact, while attending the opening, making my way around the space, I overheard many conversations involving family memories and places visited. Show goers were smiling and laughing while viewing the work. That is an artist’s dream—to draw the viewer in. Seth Smith scores on all counts.

Seth Smith, “Later Blooms” at Reuben Saunders Gallery through August 26th.

Curt Clonts is a Wichita-born artist who volunteers as KMUW's art reviewer. When Curt isn’t working in his College Hill studio he is usually spending time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He also spends the spring and summer months kayaking and camping.