Hometown Heritage decks halls with Smith canvasses


Preparations are nearly done in advance of next week’s exhibition opening for the paintings of Gary Ernest Smith, including the hanging of one prominent painting Wednesday morning on the fireplace of the Hotel Pattee.

Jared Bloom
Jared Bloom

Hometown Heritage Coordinator Jared Bloom has been busy for a month or more, collecting the many Smith paintings from the walls of various city buildings and concentrating them in the exhibition spaces. Smith’s paintings are owned by the Fullhart Carnegie Trust and are a legacy of the Roberta Green Ahmanson era.

The opening reception for the exhibition will be Aug. 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hotel Pattee. The event will introduce the exhibits and offer guided tours of the works. A second round of introductory tours is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1 at the same time and place.

The exhibition will run through the end of the year and coincide with several of Perry’s signature art events of fall, the Art Harvest Tour in late September and Art on the Prairie in early November.

The Smith will include a dizzying variety of activities, such as the Art Tour Odd Thursdays series, with each tour led by a different host. The first Odd Thursday, Sept. 1, will offer tours every half-hour.

The second Odd Thursday, Sept. 15, will be led by Hometown Heritage Board President and Perry businessman Bill Clark. Perry artist and entrepreneur Betsy Peterson will lead the third tour and ISU Curator of Collections and Education Adrienne Gennett the fourth.

Iowa State University’s Brunnier Art Museum is sponsoring the four-month exhibition along with Hometown Heritage.

The artist himself will visit Perry Sept. 22 for a lecture and reception. A second lecture is scheduled for Sept. 23 in Ames at the Brunnier.

Other exhibition-related activities include art classes for local home-schooled and public-schooled students that will help them explore the stories and techniques of Smith’s artwork.

The full schedule is available here and on the Hometown Heritage website.

smith schedule

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