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About Renee

Renee Smith-4771.jpg

A native Gullah descendent born in the house I grew up in on the isolated island of St. Helena, SC. I am a self-taught, outsider, folk artist who picked up a paint brush for the first time late in life, following the loss of very close family members every six months for two years.


The last to leave me was my beloved mother. We laid her to rest on a very cold Christmas Eve morning. I experienced a magnitude of grief and loss which were alien to me until that period in my life. However, since then I have come to understand something special about life. At our inception and birth into this world, there is a gift placed inside all of us, but sometimes it is only the hard things in our lives and the people who cross our paths that help us to discover our gifts.


My husband Michael lead me on my path of discovery when he bore witness to my grief. He surprised me one day with canvas of all sizes, paint brushes, apron, easel, and most importantly colorful paints of every hue imaginable!  When I applied the first color, cerulean blue, to a brush and struck my first canvas with a wide heavy swath against a stark white background, I felt the artist inside me open new eyes, take its first breath of color and come to life!


I painted my way out of the deep dark place of pain, and into a new life of color where my journey brings joy not only to me but to others who also enjoy my work. So “cum en go wid me” (come and go with me) I am Renee.

Woman's History Month "Artist Talk" March 19, 2023 at 6:30pm

Historic Penn Center Inc. St. Helena Island, SC 29920

May 22-June 13, 2022 “On The Edge”

Gallery 226 at the Vendue Art Hotel, Charleston, SC, Group Exhibit, National Association of Women Artist.

July 6th, 2022- “How We Git Gullah”

Art League of Hilton Head, Hilton Head, SC, solo exhibit

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