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. John has taught art privately for 35 years.
John has acted as a consultant and mentor to artists, galleries and numerous 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. He has been writing the series ‘Thoughts from my Studio’ for 15 years. John also wrote and was on the editorial team of the magazine ‘The South African Artist’ for two years.
Paintings by John Smith are included in many private and corporate collections. His work has been bought by collectors in South Africa and internationally. John has held nine solo exhibitions in South Africa and countless mixed exhibitions. Highlights have been ’40 Years and Still Going Strong’ at the Artisan Gallery in Durban in 2013, Art South Africa Today’ in 1975, 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 and Transformation sub-committees, and also served on the Exhibitions Committee. He served on the VANSA National Executive Committee as well as on the VANSA KZN Committee for five years. He served on the committee of the Highway Art Group and served a term as Chairperson there in the mid 1970s. He was also Chairperson of Arts Interactive for seven years and Chairperson of KZN Visual Arts for four years.