Willie Wayne Smith

Willie Wayne Smith

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Painting Artist-in-Residence, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art
Artist: Willie Wayne Smith
Title: Making a Mountain
Acrylic and airbrushed acrylic on canvas
10" x 8"

Willie Wayne Smith is Artist-in-Residence and Co-Head of the Painting Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has a diverse painting practice in which he utilizes a range of processes that stem from abstraction, photo-realism, assemblage, pop art, and surrealism. Working primarily with acrylics and an airbrush, he creates stream of consciousness works that reinterpret personal experience within a complex array of art languages. His work has also been included in two-person and group exhibitions in cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore. He earned his MFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010 and his BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006. In 2015 he was a nominee for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in New York. He grew up between Lakeland, Florida and Limbe, Haiti where his parents were a medical missionary and a Peace Corps agriculturalist.



Cranbrook Academy of Art is the nation’s top-ranked school devoted exclusively to graduate education in art, architecture, craft, and design. Each year, more than 100 self-motivated students come together to form an artistic community in which each individual develops with the mentorship of renowned Artists-in-Residence. Cranbrook’s simple but radical educational approach was created more than 85 years ago, and its top-ranked programs have consistently produced some of the world’s leading artists, architects, and designers.