Mary T. Smith

(1904-1995) Hazlehurst, MS

Around 1975 Mary Tillman Smith began cutting up and painting on sheets of roofing tin which her son had intended to use for a shed. Portraits of neighbors, Jesus, assorted animals and plant forms appear in her work, sometimes accompanied by text. Paintings and assemblages formed a large outdoor environment on her property, located on busy Hwy. 51 on the south end of Hazlehurst. But it is incorrect to assume that all of the early work was done on metal; many early works were executed on found wood. She began using plywood panels (often new pre-cut pieces that collectors would bring her) more often as demand for her work increased; at the same time, age-related health issues made working with metal more difficult. She stopped painting around 1991.


untitled(THREE BUSTS)

ca. 1984

13.5" x 18.5"

enamel and whitewash on found steel panel


untitled(Self-portrait w/christ)

ca. 1984

16" x 24"

enamel on masonite



ca. 1987

22" x 26.5"

enamel on steel panel


Summertime: Hot When IT's Hot Like This

ca. 1985

17" x 24"

enamel and whitewash on tin