Joel Smith

The Red Queen (?), 1967, Joel Smith, serigraph, edition 36/50, 15" x 20", 1985.03.03. Simon Fraser Centennial Suite Donation. Gift of Jessie Binning.

Joel Smith, 1929-

Born: Draper, Utah, USA, September 10, 1929

Nationality: American, Canadian


Joel Smith was born in Draper, Utah, on September 10, 1929. He lived in Provo most of his young life, with trips to Logandale, Nevada, where he spent several years with his grandparents.


His name in high school was Joe L. Smith. As an artist, he adopted the name "Joel Smith" by combining his name and middle initial.


He graduated from Brigham Young High School in 1947, and then earned a B.S. Degree from BYU with an Art Major.


He worked at a number of jobs through the years: picking tomatoes, cantaloupes, strawberries, apples, cherries, and pears. He also worked for a number of years at BYU as a janitor. He worked in a cannery, at Bryce Canyon National Park as a dish washer, as a lumberjack in West Yellowstone, Montana, and as a window display artist in Provo and Ogden.


After marriage, Joel worked for many years as an insurance investigator in Los Angeles and Oakland in California.


In 1957 he received a Master’s Degree in Painting from the University of California at Berkeley, and also attended the Los Angeles County Art Institute for a summer.


Since 1957, Joel has been employed as a professor in seven different universities, including Ohio State, University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University in Canada, University of Idaho, University of California - Berkeley, and the University of Texas.


Joel Smith has taught oil painting, design, drawing, figure drawing, watercolor, and general art history survey courses.


In 1994 Joel retired from Western Illinois University and has been engaged solely as an artist since that time. He works in oil and watercolors. His subjects include both landscapes and abstract art.


His work is exhibited in international museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Museum in London, the contemporary Museum in Tokyo and many others. He has an active exhibition schedule with entries in a number of national juried watercolor exhibits, and international invitational exhibits. He has received a number of awards and enjoys doing one-man shows.


Source: Brigham Young High School