Bring Effie's Art Home to Arkansas

I'm Steven Carlson, a great-grand nephew of artist Effie Anderson Smith (1869-1955), an Arkansas-born pioneer settler of Arizona and the earliest woman impressionist painter in the Arizona Territory, beginning in 1895.  Known in her lifetime as Mrs. A.Y. Smith, she was lauded in the Arizona press of that period as "The Dean of Arizona Women Artists."

There were many exhibits of Effie Anderson Smith's art in Arizona, California, Texas and in major Eastern US Cities during her lifetime and up to today - but no exhibits of her art have ever occurred in her original home state of Arkansas.  In this, Effie's 150th birthday anniversary year, let's BRING EFFIE's ART HOME TO ARKANSAS - for the FIRST EVER exhibits of her paintings IN THE PLACE WHERE HER STORY AS AN ARTIST BEGAN! 

And so, I am seeking SPONSORS- anyone who loves art and history - who would like to help me reach the goal of raising $ 2,500 - to TRANSPORT and ship a representative sampling of PAINTINGS by EFFIE to exhibit sites in Nashville, Hope and Arkadelphia, for these 3 exhibits which will occur in Arkansas in 2020 & 2021.  Each of these towns were key places in the artist's early life.  Exhibit dates and details below. 

Your sponsorship IN ANY AMOUNT ($ 25, $ 50, $ 75, $ 100, $ 250 or more !!) will enable me to transport several of Effie's finest desert impressionist paintings from California & Arizona, giving Arkansans their first opportunity ever to become acquainted with Effie's art and inspiring life story. 

You may read a brief article about Effie's life on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas  website or at the Effie Anderson Smith website .

PLEASE BECOME A SPONSOR of this effort to BRING EFFIE's ART HOME to where it all began - in ARKANSAS.

The cost of transporting & shipping this exhibit of paintings, exhibit photos, storyboards, timelines, and a select display of the artists personal papers and effects from the EA Smith Archive in California & Arizona to the Arkansas exhibit sites is $ 2,500.  As mentioned, the majority of the exhibit comes from the 2019 Tucson Desert Art Museum Retrospective Exhibit, and we are grateful so much of that exhibit can travel to Arkansas, but only for a very limited time! 

Your sponsorship IN ANY AMOUNT ($ 25, $ 50, $ 75, $100, $ 250 or more !!) toward our goal of $ 2,500 will enable me to transport Effie's finest desert impressionist paintings from California & Arizona, giving Arkansans their first opportunity ever to become acquainted with Effie's art and inspiring life story. 

3 Exhibits in Arkansas...

1) We'll exhibit several of Effie's paintings at the Elberta Art Center in Nashville, Arkansas. The exhibit will include a Video Presentation on the inspiring life story and art of the young Miss Effie Anderson in the town where she was born in 1869.

2) An additional show of EA Smith's paintings is being planned for the 1874 Courthouse at Historic Washington State Park 

3) And, the Arkadelphia Arts Center will host an exhibit and Video Presentation as we highlight Effie's connection with Clark Co. and Arkadelphia through her 1890 marriage to the eldest son of a prominent Arkadelphia family, which was a brief and tragic marriage.  The first of many great sorrows to befall her.  The summer of 1891 in Arkadelphia was a time of healing in her young life as a widowed school teacher of 22, and it would remain an unspoken chapter of her life for more than a century.

This special selection of paintings traveling to Arkansas for this 150th birthday exhibit tour are drawn from the EA Smith Archive collection, including several loaned by Arizonans whose pioneer ancestors knew the artist, or from collectors who bought Effie's art because they recognize her historically important legacy as 'The Dean of Arizona Women Artists'. 

Exhibit hours, dates and the times of our talks - now being planned for later this Summer - will be announced in June 2020.

PLEASE HELP US BRING EFFIE's ART HOME TO ARKANSAS !!!

45180388_1583565883165738_r.jpegView from the Head of Bright Angel Trail (1928) - by Effie Anderson Smith

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The EA SMITH ARCHIVE does NOT get any public or grant funding.  It is completely a self-funded effort to raise the profile and revive the reputation of this largely forgotten artist - a fate which Effie shares with so many other historic and worthy women artists of earlier times.  When I inherited Effie's personal effects and papers, and two of her paintings, and realized there was an important untold story here of an artist who overcame many losses and pursued her dreams in the face of many cultural and gender barriers with significant success, I resolved then to make sure this story would not be lost to oblivion, as so many other such stories have.  

EFFIE ANDERSON SMITH (1869-1955) was born in rural southwest Arkansas during the difficult years of Reconstruction after the Civil War.  As a young widow in her early 20s, she would travel West to re-invent herself, to become a pioneer settler of the Arizona Territory where the raw natural beauty of the desert southwest inspired her to create hundreds of paintings over a 55 year period as an active artist, bringing her fame for a time as a nationally known desert impressionist landscape painter. 

Although largely forgotten for significant periods of time by the art world as a whole, many exhibits of Effie Anderson Smith's art have been mounted in Arizona and the West, from her first exhibits in Tucson, El Paso, Phoenix, and Los Angeles in the 1920s and 30s, and in Washington DC (Corcoran Gallery), Philadelphia and New York in 1931,  through to our efforts recently to revive her legacy during Effie's 150th birthday Retrospective exhibit in 2019 at the Tucson Desert Art Museum . 

And yet...

NO EXHIBITS OF EFFIE's ART ARE KNOWN TO HAVE EVER TAKEN PLACE IN HER ORIGINAL HOME STATE OF ARKANSAS !!!

MOST ARKANSAS PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING OF THIS LOCALLY BORN ARTIST AND HER INSPIRING LIFE STORY - AND MOST HAVE NEVER SEEN HER ART.

HELP US BRING EFFIE's ART - AND HER STORY - HOME TO ARKANSAS in 2020.  

Your sponsorship IN ANY AMOUNT ($ 25, $ 50, $ 75, $ 100, $ 250 or more !!) toward our goal of $ 2,500 will enable me to transport several of Effie's finest desert impressionist paintings from California & Arizona, giving Arkansans their first opportunity ever to become acquainted with Effie's art and inspiring life story. 

We hope to reach the goal of $ 2,500.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT of our last campaign to "Save Effie's Paintings" in 2016 when we restored two severely damaged paintings by Effie - and now, for your sponsorship of our forthcoming Arkansas exhibit tour of Effie's art as we celebrate her 150th birthday.

Steven Carlson
EA Smith Archive
Irvine, California

P.S. - Please also consider forwarding this appeal to any of your friends who share your interest in Effie's desert impressionist art! 

As we are re-scheduling the original Spring exhibit dates until later this Summer (due to public health concerns for all who may attend) we have also extended this GoFundMe appeal for Exhibit Sponsors to June 15th.

45180388_1583567377269026_r.jpegYuccas Blooming above Sulphur Springs Valley, Arizona (1938) - E. A. Smith

[Painting Photos by Daniel Cheek, Tucson Desert Art Museum]

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Organizer

Steven Carlson 
Organizer
Irvine, CA
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