Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, creativity was part of everyday life. I have vivid memories of asking my father to draw Mickey Mouse, or another Disney character--or anything else at all. He was a natural artist albeit a colorblind one. I like to think that I inherited my artistic talent from him. Throughout childhood I was always drawing pictures, coloring, or making paper dolls. In elementary school, my favorite assignments were the ones that included creating illustrations. High school art introduced me to a wide array of processes: silk screen, linoleum printmaking, soap carving and copper enameling in addition to the usual drawing and painting. In college I took classes in etching and ceramics but it was woodblock printing that captured my attention and the media to which I have devoted my talents.I am fortunate to have been able to combine my printmaking skills with an interest in costumes and textiles. A graduate degree in European costume history combined with museum experience in non-western clothing provided me a worldwide view of the history of dress. Recent travel to Japan has influenced my most recent prints.
When Smith was accepted by the Royal College of Art in London to participate in the Post Experience Programme, which offered him the opportunity to draw from cadavers at the University of London’s School of Medicine, he worked on variations of images, including interpretative anatomical sketches of body parts. These drawings are captured in his powerful series “Silent Orators”. Additional work on this series includes the lithographs produced in Berlin, Germany, working at the Professional Association of Berlin Artists (BBK) printmaking facilities, as well as etchings from acrylic hard grounds, and the non-toxic etching process using photopolymer film. Smith developed his “Berlin Air Lift” studies drawn in situ at Berlin’s Templehof airport, and later re-interpreted, and printed them as linear images with the photopolymer film process at Berlin’s Druckstelle Printmaking Studios. Continuing his work at BBK, Smith further developed a selection of drawings done in India and produced as lithographs.Other thematic works i.e., Smith’s etching editions of “Warrior Suit of Armor”, “The London Bagpiper” and “Italian Youth”, as well as conté crayon drawings and digital prints, represent interpretations of images captured in selected art museums abroad and in the U.S. Currently, Smith produces drawings and prints in his printmaking studio in San Diego, California, and works periodically in professional printmaking facilities in Berlin, Germany.Smith’s prints have received juried awards, including a purchase prize by the Pasadena Art Museum for its permanent collection. His heavily embossed etching triptych titled ‘Ranger I,II, III’ was on loan from the Los Angeles County Art Museum Rental Gallery to the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena California. Smith’s work has been shown in numerous private and public solo and group juried exhibitions. His works are currently being prepared for national and international exhibitions, and for public and private galleries and collections.
Sylvia Solochek Walters received her undergraduate degrees in art and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her woodcuts have been shown in numerous national/international exhibitions and have won many awards – including Honors in 2014 for Tradition in Printmaking from the Southern Graphics Council International at their annual conference in San Francisco. Her prints are held in the collections of the Milwaukee, St. Louis, Oakland and Chazen Art Museums, the Milwaukee and Judah Magnes Museums of Jewish Art, the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums Achenbach Graphic Arts Foundation Collection, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library and the Museum of Texas Tech University among others. She is currently represented by the Kala Art Institute Gallery in Berkeley and the Annex Galleries, Santa Rosa, California.Walters began teaching in 1963 and subsequently taught relief printmaking, drawing, painting, and related courses at large and small, public and private colleges, art schools and universities in different parts of the country. Eventually, she and her husband, Jim Walters, and their two cats settled in St. Louis, where they both taught at the University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL) and where she founded the art department. She became the department's first (and third) Chair as well as its gallery director for 10 years. In 1984, she was invited to become a faculty member and the permanent Chair of the art department at San Francisco State University. With the exception of two years during which time she served as Acting Dean of the College of Creative Arts at SFSU, she remained in that position for twenty years until her working retirement in 2004 after which she taught relief printmaking for five years. Awarded Professor Emerita status in 2009, she currently serves on the Board of the Kala Art Institute. In 2013 she was Assistant Editor (along with editor Maryly Snow) for California Society of Printmakers: One Hundred Years 1913-2013, an award-winning publication produced to celebrate the centennial of the CSP. The book was re-edited and reissued as an e-book in 2015.