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August 22, 2012     The Adams County Record
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August 22, 2012
 

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Page 10 Community Spotlight Wednesday, August 22, 2012 .ia Smith New Meadows Artist The Adams County Record By Deb Wilson Adams County hosts a population rich with artists and artisans. Atop a hill overlooking the Meadows Valley vista, Kansas artist Celia Smith spends her summers. A petite Spanish woman, Celia easily engages in comfor~ble conversation with her soft Spanish accent. She comes to absorb the scenery and to sketch. She displays her paintings at Roseberry, Idaho Falls and McCall while she is here. "If I had a secoiad life I would be a forester," she smiled. Nature, life and color permeate throughout her paintings. They are rich with drama. Her whimsical animals appear frequently. Her love of hiking expands her artistic being, and her fauna and flora are sketched on site. It took five months to Ferrant, with helping her gain the critical ability to portray the abstract essence of her subject matter beyond its simple visual appearance. Celia grew up in the countryside of Madrid, Spain, where her father, a hardworking, successful businessman, ran a hardware store. She spent summers in their beach house in the small fishing villageof Torremolinos, which means Tower of the Windmills. A shy child, the youngest of seven, Celia grew up paint, ing, writing and complete her newest work,reading, and "Esto Perpetua" a large also enjoyed narrative painting of the hiking, playing State of Idaho in which tenn~ and native flowers surround a skiing. Her colorful pictorial of Idaho's n u r t u r i n g, heroic feats, wildlife and i m a g i n a t i v e scenery. Many of her m o t h e r pictures, called narrative encouraged her artistic paintings, depict stories creativity. She and her and legends such as closest sister, Alicecia, "Jefferson's Dream;' about spent hours sketching the Lewis and Clark and painting the village expedition. Her seascapes children. Alicecia recall memories of her eventuallybecame an childhood summers on the accomplished weaver. Mediterranean seacoast. A Later in life, with acrylics variety of her works can be and ink, Celia became an seen on her website, www. exceptional painter. celiasmith.net. She graduated from As described in her own the University of Madrid wordsl her art presents majoring in art and art "symbolical interpretations history. Afterward she of life 'as it is', with the was offered a scholarship positive and the negative to attend college in forces at play, at odds, or Massachusetts, -with the in balance." She credits her stipulation that she learn art teacher in Spain, Angel English. Having a friend in Scotland, she moved there for several m6nths, working as a milking assistant for a large farm. "There were huge cows with long horns"-She recalled. "I had to bring them to and from'the fields in the dark with a lantern and sheep dog." She dug potatoes and chopped kale with a scythe. At last arriving at Mount Holyoke Womeffs College in Massachusetts, she spent several months lost in a difficult new language. Despite the northeast winter, she found the American indoor heat stifling compared to her housing in Europe. Her second college year in international housing helped her gain confidence and friendships. Later she obtained a master's degree in Library Science. She met her husband, Bob, in Boston. A church giving a Spanish dinner asked her to give a speech; she came dressed gaily as a Spanish gypsy. Bob, a poor student passing by, came into the church enticed by the sign advertising a free dinner. Intrigued by the attractive EuroPean, he asked her out. This year will be their 56th wedding anniversary. She returned to Spain, knowing how worried her mother would be that she might marry an American and leave her homeland forever. Fortunately, Bob got a job with an American company in Spain, and very formally he asked Celia's father for her hand. :They stayed three years until Bob's job ended and they returned to the U.S. where Bob began teaching in New Mexico. While he continued his studies, Celia taught Spanish to American Navy personnel. Bob completed his Ph.D. and is now a Professor Emeritus with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas. Celia painted nursery rhymes for her three young children, but her serious painting would have to wait for an emptier household. "I was a devoted mom," she recalled. She worked as a librarian when the children grew older. In 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her narrative painting of a Spanish poem about carts full of hay coming into town for the evening, won first prize. Since then she has won many awards in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and painted several commissioned pieces, including one for the United States Pavilion in EXPO '92, the 1992 World's Fair in Seville, Spain. Her narrative painting "Moby Dick" hangs at the New- Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. This Friday and Saturday her paintings will display with several artists' works at the Courtyard Show in McCall, and again Sept 9-11 in Kansas City. For a woman who grew up in a busting household full of noisy children, the shows provide a welcome engagement with attendees. "The contact with the people is very important to me, especially their encouragement and personal feedback," she humbly shared. "I like to know how people are affected by my art" Showing paintings requires a lot Of physical labor, carefully protecting and moving the pieces, and erecting stands at each site. "I want to thank my" husband, because without his help, I would have never been able to show my work;' she said. As they grow older the labor becomes more difficult, and she has cut back to 10 shows this year. Asked where she gains her inner strength and inspiration she replied simply, "I always resort to God. I ask myself what would Christ do in this situation, and it always keeps it mcomplicated for me" Bob and Celia have traveled considerably in Europe and South America. They began spending summers in this area in 1968, and had a 1928 McCall cabin originally owned by Rainwater Jones. They bought their MeadowCreek house in 2005, and still enjoy local trails such as Twin Lakes and Goose Creek Falls. "But I haven't been to Hawaii yet;' said Celia. She wants to explore the colors and fruits, and paint with the unique light of the tropical islands. Wherever she goes, she is bound to capture the beauty and the spirit of the area. "I have learned to follow my feelings, and to take opportunities as they come," she said in closing. Bear Facts The lack of dust is appreciated By Tina Warner -- 258-4471 Jan Young and Tina both enjoyed the ride. Warner took a trip,Dawn and Roger making the loop from Robbins have a new sign the main road up to theoutside, their cabin at four-corners roads and Cuprum. It says "Bear back to Bear. They found Crossing B and B, Full" It no huckleberries but saw is a beautiful wood carving some beautiful fall colors, that they made themselves, Jan had never been overand is very attractive. that road before, and they Recently the Road and Bridge crew worked on our road for several days. Then a crew came in and put a dust abatement of some kind. on the road. That was a few weeks ago, ar/d with the amount of traffic this fall the lack. of dust is certainly appreciated. Doug and. Emily Smith spent several days recently from Lewiston. Joe and at their camp. Sue Warner, their son and Sunday guests of Tina wife, Sam and sarah, from Warner were a grandson Bear and Ben Warner and family, Jeremy and from Payette joined the Kate Mink and sons, Dray" group. There was ample and Drew, from Mountain food and a lot of visiting Home. Pam Davis and her' until everyone left in the daughter, Erica, joined afternoon. the party, driving down Lowell Tie0e and Nan Rankin are home after a two weeks visit to family and taking care of business in Seattle. A recent guest of Dan and Sauni McGahey was Gall Routon of Weiser. The ladies picked huckleberries while Gail was here.