Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Artist, TBI Survivor, Public Speaker BJ Smith


According to artist Bryan “B.J.” Smith, art represents life, restoration, and a way to connect with others.

Smith, a resident of Opelousas, Louisiana, enjoys the movement and emotion of putting paint on canvas and describes it as a “pouring of consciousness” where colors dance & speak to him. “It’s all about making the colors vibrate; the canvas is like a dance floor!”.

Smith’s artistic experiments in acrylic fluid art and non-representational creations. His art has been described as appearing topographical or geological, with some elements resembling biological cell structures.

Smith: Artist, Brain Injury Survivor (TBI), Public Speaker, and Advocate for Art as Medicine

Smith’s mission is to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities into the art world at all levels through recognition and celebration of their contributions.

In 2005 at fifteen, Smith sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an all-terrain vehicle crash. He had a stroke and lost sixty percent of his vision. His near-death experience has restructured and enlivened his thinking and way of living.

Smith’s artistry emerged after recovering from his TBI. His vision includes collaboration with other artists and establishments to bring art as a healing modality to the TBI and disability community.

Learn more about Smith:

The Healing Power of Art: BJ’s Story

Kids & All-Terrain Vehicles: Dangerous Mix

After brain injury, local man uses art to inspire others

Some of Smith’s Artwork

Creative Partnerships include:

2017, 2018, 2022 – American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Conference

Public speaking – Brain Injury Awareness & The Power of Art – Exhibition/Silent Auction

06/2017 to 03/2018 – Java Square Coffee Shop – Art Exhibit – Opelousas, LA

2017 – Brew & Scoop Coffee Shop- Art Exhibit – Opelousas, LA

07/14/2017 – Cajun Art Tours – Cajun Picasso – Lafayette, LA

08/2017 – 10/17 –  Chase Towers Art Exhibit – Lafayette, LA

09/17/17 – La La Fest – Lafayette, LA

10/11/17 –  Abacus:  Vision Art Showcase  – “Night of Lights” Glow in the Dark Art Demonstration – Lafayette, LA

04/14/18 – Acadiana Center for the Arts – Two-hour evening exhibit

05/16/18 – Artmosphere – Evening Exhibit – Lafayette, LA

05/2018 – Present –  Unmasking Brain Injury – Statewide Travelling Art Exhibit, In collaboration with Brain Injury Assoc. Of Louisiana – Baton Rouge, LA

07/13/18 – 10/11/18 – Lafayette Public Library – “Super Powers” Exhibit

09/21/18 – Ted Bertrand Studio – Art Demonstration – Sunset, LA

10/13/18-  Sunset Art Jam – Art Vendor – Sunset, LA

10/13/18 – Frank’s Po-Boys – ART giveaway for two-year Celebration of Mornin’ Joe with  Gautreaux – Eric Gautreaux – Opelousas, LA

05/2019 – 08/2020 – Memorial Hermann Hospital – Houston, Texas, Restoration in Motion – Art Installation at Rick Smith Gallery in celebration of the Power of Art in healing trauma

2019 – Partners in Healthcare Conference – Lafayette, LA. Co-presenter with World Renowned Hyperbarics Practitioner Dr. Paul Harch of New Orleans. Presentation on the Healing Power of Hyperbarics and Art as medicine for traumatic brain injury

2019, 2021 & 2022  LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Occupational Therapy – Professor Mark Blanchard

Presentation on Brain Injury Awareness & The Healing Power of Art/One Day Exhibit

2019 – Grand Opening of Southwest Louisiana AHEC Corporate Office – Lake Charles, LA. Invitation by CEO, Brian Burton –  Brain Injury Presentation – Art Donation

2020 – NuNu’s Art Collective – Arnaudville, LA. –  Member & Art Contributor. Received instruction on Creative Placemaking from founder George Marks.

2020 – Boxed Art Project, St. Landry Economic Development & Tourism –Director,  Melanie LeBoeuf. One of ten artists chosen to showcase Art on ordinary metal traffic boxes in celebration of the Opelousas Tricentennial, local culture, and to enliven public spaces.

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