Frank Smith, 87, died peacefully at his home in Rock Cave following a brief illness. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and lived most of his adult life in the Washington D.C./Baltimore, Maryland area, where he enjoyed a 30-year career as an associate professor at Howard University’s College of Fine Arts (now the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts). After retiring from the university, he and his wife, who is also an artist, relocated to Rock Cave in 2008.
Mr. Smith dedicated his life to art. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois and a Master of Fine Arts degree in the discipline of experimental studio from Howard University. His paintings and multimedia works have been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and in numerous countries, including Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mali, Gabon, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. His works are included in two collections at the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Smith enjoyed the company of friends and family. For many years, he was known to keep an open door at his home, where friends could arrive unannounced and enjoy food, drink, and a good time with his family. He conscientiously stayed in touch with those who were far away through his well-thought letters. With friends, often fellow artists, he enjoyed listening to jazz music—both live and recorded, spirited conversations, spending time at his studio, and fishing. He cherished large gatherings with extended family, as well as quiet times on a more intimate scale with his wife, brother, children, and grandchildren.
His life and legacy will be cherished by a host of family, friends, and even former students who continued to call him decades after graduation. Surviving are his wife Arneta Lee of Rock Cave; brother Warren Smith (Debby) of New York, NY; daughters Kim Campbell (Frank) of Chicago, IL, Lisa Penelton of Chicago, IL, and Toby Smith of Los Angeles, CA; son Christopher Lampkin (Beth) of Seattle, WA; stepson Laco Johnson of Newport News, VA; and grandchildren Franklin and Julian Campbell of Chicago, Lark Smith Drawhorn of Los Angeles, and Bryce and Alex Graves of Seattle. He is preceded in death by his parents, Dorothea Amelia Derrick Smith and Warren Ingle Smith.
A celebration of his life, to be held in Washington, D.C., is planned for a later date. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.polingstclair.com. Poling-St. Clair Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.