John Smith was born in Worcester in the Cape in 1944. He comes from a family of artists and studied with Dutch born artist Johan Oldert. John has been a professional painter since 1974 and works in oils, pastels and watercolours. He taught art privately for 30 years.
John has acted as a consultant and mentor to artists, galleries and a number of corporations on art matters. John has long been a campaigner for artists and art in KZN as well as South Africa. He loves writing and debating when he is not painting. This includes ‘Thoughts From My Studio.’
There are few KZN and national collections that do not include a John Smith painting. His work has been bought by collectors in South Africa and internationally. John has held eight solo exhibitions in South Africa and countless mixed exhibitions. Highlights have been ‘Art South Africa Today’ and the ‘Ruth Prowse Exhibition’ at the Cape Town Library in 2002.
John was a founder member of the Watercolour Society of South Africa and also founder member of the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), Network of Arts and Culture (NACSA), Arts Interactive and finally KwaZulu Natal Visual Arts. John has served on the committees of all of the above-mentioned organizations, as well as the KZN Society of Arts (KZNSA) Council, where he also headed the Membership Committee and served on the Exhibitions Committee. He was also on the VANSA National Executive Committee as well as on the VANSA KZN Committee for five years and the committee of the Highway Art Group, where he served a term as Chairperson in the mid 70s. He was also Chairperson of Arts Interactive for seven years and Chairperson of KZN Visual Arts for four years.
John lives and works in Durban North and has recently stepped down from Committee work and currently spends all his time in his studio painting, which is the place and activity he loves best.