More Than Meets The Eye by Colette Odya Smith

Past Exhibition

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Past Exhibition dates: February 2021 – March 21, 2021

Artist: Colette Odya Smith

Colette Odya Smith is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, now living in Wauwatosa. Upon earning her degree in Fine Art, Humanities, and Education from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota she taught art and raised two children, discovering and falling in love with pastels at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She has been painting professionally for over 25 years, being active in various art organizations including Wisconsin Visual Artists, Wisconsin Pastel Artists, and the League of Milwaukee Artists.

The selections for this show reflect Colette’s abiding interest in finding and amplifying the beauty and mystery that exists quietly all around us. She is drawn to humble, intimate scenes rather than grand sweeping landscapes. Rocks, water, and foliage are her subject matter, though her interest is in presenting realities that are both obvious and hidden. This dual interest has developed into the creation of images that are intentionally both representational and abstract.

In most of these paintings, she has purposely obscured the customary references of horizon and atmospheric perspective. In this way easy identification of the scene is downplayed. Context and scale become malleable. Adding to this ambiguity, she often mixes reflected imagery with solid forms, begging the question of what is ‘real’ and what is illusory.

By using pastels and watercolor, she is using the same elements of dust and water that she is drawn to paint.

Colette’s work has received many awards and been recognized internationally through her designations as a Master Pastellist – le Societe des Pastellistes de France, Eminent Pastelist and Masters Circle Member – International Association of Pastel Societies, Master Pastelist – Pastel Society of America, and Distinguished Pastelist –  Pastel Society of New Mexico. Colette also teaches, judges, offers critiques, and writes. She is represented by Woodwalk Gallery in Door County, Wisconsin.

Learn more about Colette Odya Smith at

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