Jan 19, 2021

Artist Profile: TJ Smith

Meet TJ Smith. TJ is a graphic designer, printer, and muralist. His style is often influenced by the natural world, particularly the desert. We asked TJ a couple questions about his art and how he fits in to the Downtown Grand Junction art community.

Q: Why is public art important for the community?

A: Public art for a community is important because it’s a conversation starter. Something to congregate around and talk opinions on.

Q: Why is public art important to you?

A: I gravitate to public art in the way a bee floats to a flower. There is a certain beauty to art outside of a gallery that evokes inspection.

Q: How did you get involved in murals? Anything about that medium you particularly enjoy?

A: I became involved in murals by being active in my community. As an artist talking amongst other artists/community drivers, I was a part of the conversations leading to mural opportunities. I’ve always wanted to paint murals and was stoked at my chance. 

Q: You work in a lot of different mediums. Is there one in particular you feel really connected to?  

A: My trained background is in graphic design and with that comes printing. I think my most connected medium is any practice that pays homage to traditional printmaking.

Q: What’s your next big project?

A: In the near future I will be painting an interactive mural with the visual of a sun hex, communicating that we are all under one sun and we must set aside differences to foster a better tomorrow.

Q: What’s most exciting to you about the art community in Grand Junction?

A: The art community in Junction is diverse and growing. There are different ages, mediums, styles, all adding to a melting pot of experience, fresh perspectives and varying visuals. It’s exciting to live on the ground level of something great to come. A creative community evolving in a positive way.

Q: How can people stay in touch / follow you?

A: I have a few different avenues to keep in touch.
www.tjsmith.art  –  instagram @whatuptj  – This path is focused on art and design.
• www.straywild.com  –  instagram @straywilder  – This path aligns art, design, activism and nature.

Q: Where can people see your work?

A: Currently I have art in the alley connecting the parking garage to Main. I was a part of the community mural “Grown in the Desert.” Look for the golden sun and floating leaves to find my paintings.