by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
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:
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.