With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The John Crawford Gallery at the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin is hosting an art exhibit featuring the artwork of two local artists, Larry Jackson and Dave Smith. The exhibit is a lovely curated show that is available for viewing through the end of December.

The artwork of Jackson is a collection of photographs and photos that have been manipulated. The results are striking. Jackson is a gifted artist whose skills were recognized at an early age. Despite his artistic talents, Jackson pursued other interests. Luckily for us, Jackson returned to art at the age of 71. Jackson said, “I did not know if I still had the gift.” He did. He entered several pieces into a show, and they were selected as top entries in a show in Southern California.

While on a trip to Southeast Asia, Jackson discovered electronic drawing. He is inspired by the views surrounding his home in Little Harbor in Ruskin. “Lately I have been inspired by the beautiful sceneries and sunsets. I would sit out every night and watch the sun go down and get up in the morning and notice the sun reflecting on the clouds,” Jackson said.

The beauty of the area has resurrected Jackson’s passion for photography. “I love getting an idea and assembling the parts in Photoshop and being able to create almost anything that inspires me. I like to tell a story while at the same time keeping the subject matter as simple as possible while creating interest and emotion to the viewer,” added Jackson.

Smith is a self-taught artist who concentrates in watercolors. According to his artist statement, Smith said, “When I was living in the Southwest many years ago, I took a workshop with a wonderful watercolor artist, and I have been working with watercolor ever since.”

Smith has loved art since childhood. While serving in the Marines, he kept a log book and while stationed in Okinawa in 1976, he re-discovered the joy of drawing. Since then, he was drawn and produced many lithographs. His last commission was for General Schwartzkof during Desert Storm. Smith produced a series of 15 combat art prints depicting the forces in use during the conflict.
Smith currently concentrates on the reflections of water, boats and wildlife.

The SouthShore Regional Library is located at 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.