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Kansas City artist Harold Smith is having a moment

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Artist Harold Smith takes a break after an afternoon of painting in his home studio in Kansas City, Kansas. His 2019 solo show at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art featured expressive paintings of Black men.
Julie Denesha
Artist Harold Smith takes a break after an afternoon of painting in his home studio in Kansas City, Kansas.

His art work has been featured on the Peacock series "Bel-Air," displayed at the Nelson-Atkins and painted on the streets of Kansas City.

Harold Smith is a Kansas City, Kansas, native who remains in his hometown even though his art has found its way around the world and into a number of collections.

Smith uses a wide variety of media including painting, collage and sound, to view the issues Black men face. His representations use "clashing palettes and aggressive strokes" to highlight the complexities of living as a Black male.

Now, a retired teacher, Harold reflects on the conversations he had with his students during his classroom days. His advice to those discouraged when trying to pursue a career in art was, "Stay the course. It may take you a minute, but just hang in there."

Harold Smith is an example of where that advice can get you. He just began a residency at Studios, Inc. that's good for three years and affords him space he's never had before.

Smith points out, "Sometimes the beauty is the journey, it really is true. Sometimes there's so many lessons to learn in the journey that even if it happens late, thank god it happened."

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