Sherman Cultural District 2019 Winter Art Dash

Sherman Art Dash

Press Release | Sherman, Texas

The Sherman Cultural District warms up downtown with the first Winter Art Tour featuring more than 30 artists exhibiting at 14 locations in February. The peak of the month-long exhibit is the Art Dash, an artists’ reception where ticket holders go home with an original piece of art.

The Art Dash on February 16 begins at 3 p.m. at the Courthouse Market Building on the corner of Travis and Houston in downtown Sherman. The artists participating in the Winter Art Tour have created new original work for the Dash. At the signal, ticket holders hurry to claim their favorite piece for keeps. All are welcome, but only ticket holders participate in the Dash. Tickets can be purchased online at

“The Winter Art Tour and Dash are fun for our community, and they meet the goals of the Sherman Cultural District,” says Ginger Nye, director of the Center for Community & Regional Development at Austin College. “We aim for the District to be lively, walkable, creative and entertaining. This event meets all those expectations. We’re pretty sure the Dash will certainly be lively.”

Maps for the self-guided tour are available at the Sherman Main Street and Tourism office at 100 N. Travis, Suite D, and the Old Iron Post restaurant. Maps are also available at all the exhibit locations.

The exhibiting artists use a variety of mediums and techniques including oils, acrylic, mixed-media, photography, and woodcarving; and they range in experience from elementary school through international acclaim. Some of the exhibited works are available for purchase.

“We’re excited to increase the foot traffic through our existing downtown galleries and arts related businesses while also putting original artwork in the stores, boutiques and even the library,” Nye said. “We invite everyone to make a trip downtown if that’s not something you usually do, and encourage the downtown regulars to pause and appreciate all that we have.”

Sherman received official designation as a Texas Cultural District from the Texas Commission on the Arts in September 2018. The Sherman Cultural District is both a geographic district encompassing cultural sites, restaurants, museums and theaters, and a partnership comprising the many arts and cultural groups. The Cultural District Advisory Council is hosted by Austin College in cooperation with the City of Sherman. For more information about the Sherman Cultural District visit

Austin College Professor Opens Art Exhibition in Fort Worth

Signal Series Art Exhibit

Austin College professor of art Mark Smith has an exhibition of new paintings and drawings, The Signal Series, on display December 1 through January 12 at William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth. The show will feature 12 of Smith’s richly hued, abstract paintings and more than a dozen new drawings that directly address the artist’s fascination with the intricate physical and psychological networks of communication that saturate our culture. These abstract interpretations map out pathways that remain largely unseen despite their ubiquitous presence. Expressed in highly pigmented shapes and lines that emerge and recede both individually and in concert with one another, Smith says his nonrepresentational compositions reveal energy transference across space and time, delving deeply into the many complex layers of each.

Smith has long been interested in the systems and patterns around us, and as a result, continuously analyzes the spatial relationships in everything he sees. As such, The Signal Series saw its genesis in the artist’s investigations of communication-based structures that originated in the 18th and 19th centuries—the towers, light-emitting machines, and mathematical discoveries that defined early long-distance infrastructure. The ensuing pieces reference the underlying energy Smith perceives exists all around, for instance, the tangible and intangible transmission patterns within these larger, recognizable mechanisms.

Signal Series

Smith muses, “What if we could visualize the signals, the patterns, the bursts of energy, and the beautiful movement of waveforms that are made in time and space as we communicate with each other?” His latest series endeavors to encompass this idea in areas full of content deliberately applied and set organically in motion, radiating a quiet energy among the elements as they shift and float in an attempt to make connections. Each one needs another to fully complete itself, not unlike an electrical circuit (and not unlike humankind).

Smith’s paintings consist of high-density pigment on Russian birch panels. Visually and physically complex, they are more built than brushed, the result of a meticulous application process that includes layer upon layer of manipulated medium, often up to 10 strata that have been stacked, reduced, augmented, subtracted, separated, and fused. Heady yet delicate, the semi-translucent layers shift and pulsate to reveal additional information underneath and within the two-dimensional surface. Smith’s handling of his medium inspires conversations about excavation and discovery in visual and contemplative terms.

“I enjoy the pleasure of following through with the instincts behind the urge to make abstract paintings,” the artist writes. “I find it both comforting and affirming that the process itself always seems to evolve as a journey leading to insights about life and our inevitable connectedness as human beings.” In fact, Smith has created a certain synergy between intellect and intuition in this artwork, which allies cultural technological underpinnings with personal investigation and expression.

Overall, Smith’s networks of lines and shapes become quiet reflections on the fundamental yet extraordinary systems that galvanize infinitely disparate elements. They emit low reverberations throughout the picture plane, mimicking transmissions of energy, or signals, that power communications at every level of our existence. He writes, “If we could see these signals, which are everywhere, we would see a matrix that weaves our lives together. We are a glorious patchwork of connection and no doubt are part of a much bigger whole.”


Mark Smith has exhibited work extensively throughout North Texas and across the United States, including solo and group shows in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Austin, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Santa Fe, and New York City. His work has been featured in numerous publications, among them Art in AmericaNew American Paintings,
the Star-TelegramFort Worth Weekly, Dallas Morning NewsDallas Observer, and
the Times-Picayune. He has also been heard in segments on radio stations KERA, WRR, and WBAP.

Smith’s work appears in various corporate collections, including those of Belo, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citicorp, Neiman-Marcus, Nokia, Sony Music, the Tandy Corporation, and Texas Instruments. Additional collections include those of Austin College, Boston University, the City of Denton, the City of Los Angeles, KERA, Tulane University, and the University of North Texas, among others.

Smith currently serves as Craig Professor of the Arts at Austin College, where he has taught since 1986. He has held positions as visiting artist and lecturer at Boston University, the City University of New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Kimbell Art Museum, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Texas at Austin, to name a few.

Smith earned his MFA from Queens College of the City University of New York and his BFA from Kansas City Art Institute. William Campbell Contemporary Art has represented him since 1985.


Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.

Austin College Professor’s Art Featured in Dallas Exhibition

A Celebration of Color by Mark Smith

Austin College | Sherman Texas | December 3, 2017

Mark Smith, Austin College Craig Professor in the Arts, is one of 20 regional artists included in the exhibition “A Celebration of Color” to be presented by the City of Dallas Department of Cultural Affairs December 2, 2017,  through January 27, 2018, at the Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas. The exhibition opened with a December 2 reception from 7 to 9 p.m. and features live music. The exhibition, reception, and all other events related to the program are free and open to the public.

A Celebration of Color by Mark Smith

The Bath House Cultural Center is located on the eastern shore of White Rock Lake at 521 E. Lawther, Dallas, TX 75218. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m./10 p.m. on nights with theatre performances. For general information about cultural programs at the Bath House Cultural Center, call 214.670.8749 or visit the center’s

Smith, who has been a member of the Austin College faculty since 1986, is a painter and teaches courses in drawing, painting, and design. With more than four decades of experience working as a professional artist, his own work ranges from small paintings to large paintings and murals. As a creative researcher, he investigates the natural sciences, music, and art history as he begins new works. The challenge remains, he says, to strike a balance between structure and creative experimentation.

A press release about the exhibition, curated by visual artist Susan Lecky, says the Bath House Cultural Center is pleased to once again collaborate with Lecky “as she compiles and presents the inspiring works of twenty local and regional artists, whose work vibrantly illustrate the radiance, complexity, and expressiveness of color.  All the participating artists are presenting pieces that attempt to engage the viewer with not only the revealed subject matter of the art, but also with the inherent physical, optical, and psychological characteristics of color.”

Lecky said she chose the theme of color and the months of December and January to display her exhibition to bring forth an interesting contrast between the vivacity of the art and the bleakness of the environment. “After I thought about different concepts, I decided that it would be fun to have a show emphasizing color to take place in the dead of winter when it is dreary outside,” she said. ”To me, color is joy, and I get excited when I look at paints, colored pencils, bright flowers—colorful things. Thus the exhibition came about.”

The exhibition features paintings, sculpture, prints, electronic media, and kinetic art by artists Adela Andea, David Bates, Sue Benner, Julianne Biehl, Lisa M. Cardenas, Jerry Dodd, Jeanet (Jan) Dreskin-Haig, Brad Ellis, Billy Hassell, Susan Lecky, Jay Maggio, David McCullough, Bob Nunn, Michelle O’Michael, Danny Rose, Mark Stephen Smith, Cecilia Thurman, Michael Tichansky, Mary Vernon, and Laurie Weller.

The Bath House Cultural Center is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.  The center is dedicated to fostering the growth, development and quality of multi-cultural arts within the City of Dallas.  The center emphasizes innovating visual and performing arts as well as other multi-discipline events throughout the year. Funding for the Bath House Cultural Center is provided by the City of Dallas, with additional support from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.