Among the most popular exhibits at the 2015 Gathering was the gourd art of Judy Smith, OPA. Within the past few years, Judy has become a much-admired contributor to the annual exhibits of the South East Missouri Gourd Society. Her artifacts involve a unique variety of designs and techniques: carving, painting, pyrography, beading, inlays of bone, ribbon, resin, and crushed glass.
Most of the items are woodburned (pyrographed), then colored with some type of dye. Then carving with a Dremel tool may be done, as with the owl, the hummingbird, eagle and egret. Painting is done with dyes, acrylics, with inlayed resin or crushed glass, as in the hummingbird, egret and eagle. The process evolves slowly, as the gourd "speaks" to you.
Competing in a fine art exhibit differs from gourd society competitions. Fine art considers the aesthetic appeal, while gourd competitions look at the skills involved and executed, the fine points utilized in the process. The elephant won a 1st place and Best of Show in the MHAM
exhibit, but in the Show-Me Gourd Society completion it only took one 1st place in its division. Use of natural materials is encouraged, so it involves God's "hand" ultimately, especially with the artist's inspiration as the "brush in His hand.”
“Being retired and able "to play with my crayons" is this kid's forever passion; my prayer is that it pleases God as much, especially when it is shared.” –Judy Smith OPA
Judy was a dedicated DIA member and a member of our current DIA Board. She was a gifted multimedia artist and specifically excelled in Gourd Art. In the Gourd Art communities and Guilds to which she belonged, Judy was considered a master Gourd Artist and was the recipient of multiple awards.
Judy was delighted to share her talent and led/taught Gourd Art Workshops at our annual Gatherings. The folks who participated in them returned home with their own beautiful and one of a kind piece of Gourd Art.
There is no doubt that there was a joyful reunion between Judy and Elaine DesRosiers--not only both gifted Dominican artists and DIA members but also long time very close personal friends. Elaine had been Judy's 5th grade teacher.