Palm Springs Art Museum’s Artist in Residence
on display now – Sept 26, 2010

PSAM’s Statement:
“Artist Phillip K. Smith, III was selected to be the 2010 Artist-In-Residence at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Throughout the month of July, he will be building an 8′ tall x 30′ long wall relief and light installation called Aperture. This piece continues Smith’s investigation into surface, line, color, space, geometry and mark-making. Aperture will be on view in Zone 101 in the Hoover Gallery until September 26, 2010.

Smith’s work is inspired by the purity of geometry and the organic forms, colors, and patterns of nature. His work seeks to mesh these two worlds through 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional investigations using both his computer and his hands as integral tools in his process. As an artist that grew up in the Coachella Valley, he finds continued inspiration in the light, color and space of the desert.”

Kimberly Nichols of The Desert Sun had an opportunity to interview him about the project...

QUESTION: What excites you about this project?

SMITH: The opportunity to create a significant piece over a period of time is both exciting and an honor. I remember coming to the museum when I was in elementary school and high school, and now I am creating an artwork in that same museum. It’s strangely comfortable to be there.

I know the museum well through my involvement with the Architecture and Design Council. I redesigned the Hoover Gallery a couple of years ago into the Zone 101 space that it is today. At the same time, this is a fresh experience.

What inspired you to create this project?

I wanted to create a wall piece that would integrate my current and past ideas at a scale that could be interactive with the viewer. At the same time, I wanted to push myself into the realm of color through integrated LED lighting. The purity and truth of geometry combined with the organic realities of nature and the hand have been constant inspiration for me.

What are you hoping “Aperture” will give viewers?

A sense of sublime beauty. I often say that I desire for my work to be like the clouds. Everyone can appreciate the clouds, they are universally seen as a beautiful element of our world and daily experience. And, at the same time, each person’s experience of the clouds varies in seeing different shapes, colors, lines and movement all from different physical and emotional perspectives.

What else are you working on at the moment?

I’m shortlisted for a major public art project and urban plaza design in downtown Phoenix as part of a new courthouse project. I’m also working on a custom podium for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, finishing up contractor estimates for my design for the new homeless shelter for the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, I have started working on drawings for a new Sonorran Jaguar Enclosure at The Living Desert, and I’m finishing up a 26-foot-high public art sculpture that is headed for City Hall in Oklahoma City next year.

*all words by Kimberly Nichols

–, link to full article HERE

Check out some projects of Smith’s that are here in the Coachella Valley.
Some maybe be more familiar to you than others…
I gave the city, you give the cross street:
location: Indio Teen Center

location: Royale Projects in Indian Wells
location: Royale Projects in Indian Wells
location: Palm Desert

Check out some other cool stuff I found on his website:
This must be in his studios in Indio.

Oh, almost forgot to share the best/creepiest part with you!
you will be able to watch him work from a live webcam! Kinda rad.
Man, if one of those were on me, you’d be mega bored. Not so much when a visual artist is involved….

for more info
for more information on the artist:

on the museum: