Header image: Theoplis Smith III/Phresh Laundry, painting the “found her purpose” piece
Now through April 14, 2019, local artist Theoplis Smith III of Phresh Laundry will be exhibiting his painting, his mood- and music-induced portraiture, at the Allen County Public Library’s first floor gallery, 900 Library Plaza (the one downtown). On March 10, Smith hosted an open house, with music by DJ Polaris, as the artist live-painted and encouraged attendees to mingle and exchange business cards, for the entrepreneurial inclined.
Every piece tells a story, Smith said, pointing to his (young) life’s work. For the open house, he painted the story, using two paint brushes at once when it compelled him, of a little girl. It happened on the fly.
“The piece describes how a little girl finds her purpose, her passion; the bird represents what it’s like being free and flying. That’s how purpose is…you have to be the one to grab hold of it and be okay with it,” Smith said. And when purpose is held? “It’s not that you’ve arrived, but you’ve found a key part of who you’re going to be. So when you find your purpose, it [becomes] what else can I do, what else can I get into?”
The painting, as crazy as this might read, was a work in progress. “It’s going to be intense, I’m not going to finish it all tonight. But it’s going to be a piece that I described…I finally got it. I finally grabbed the concept, I finally found my niche.”