Gary Ernest Smith: Mormon Artist
Gary Ernest Smith is a painter and sculptor. He was born in 1942 in rural Eastern Oregon. He studied at Eastern Oregon State College before transferring to Brigham Young University where he earned bachelor’s and Master of Fine Arts degrees. For two years he served as an illustrator for the United States Army. He was on the art faculty at BYU until 1972, where he served as gallery director for three terms. BYU's College of Fine Arts and Communications recognized him with the 2001 Honored Alumnus award.
Many of his paintings depict rural America from the turn of the century to the present and early Utah and Oregon 20th-century life. Springville Art Museum said of his work, “The subjects of Gary Smith's art lie in three major areas—overt and latent religious subjects, landscapes, and evocations of the rural west, each born from poignant personal experiences in his life.”
He has painted for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member. He was part of the group of artists who were handpicked by Frank Magleby to paint the murals in the reconstructed Nauvoo Temple. He also assisted in the mural work for the Provo City Center Temple and his murals appear in the Apia Samoa Temple and the Brigham City Utah Temple. His work is also seen in Latter-day Saint meetinghouses and in the Church magazines.
Smith and his wife, professional musician Judy Asay Smith, are the parents of four children and live in Highland, Utah.