The Great Sprigo

Atlanta based artist Ben Smith is perhaps best known for creating enormous woodblock prints of shamans, wizards, and ceremonial figures. These monumental figures in ornate robes or suits of armor, with a presence impossible to ignore, summon the viewer to enter into an imaginary procession of mythological creatures -- part human, part animal, and part mechanical -- as they weave their way to mysterious rites. At once fearsome and whimsical, these winged and hooved creatures, dressed in masks and elaborate headdresses, conjure spirits from atop wheeled contrivances.

The prints, which sometimes reach dimensions of up to 15 feet, feature bold, black designs on white backgrounds, with occasional splashes of bright color. Small passages of intricate details punctuate long, flowing lines that appear and disappear in undulating spirals.

Boardwalk Oracle In recent years Ben has turned his attention to drawing and teaching, and he excels in both endeavors. His fellow artists, when recommending his classes to students, often refer to Ben as the finest draftsman in Atlanta. His drawings, noted for their exquisite line and composition, combine the imagination of his earlier work with precise observation honed over thirty years of teaching and demonstrating figure drawing.

Ben currently maintains a full teaching schedule at the Chastain Arts Center and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is working on new woodblock prints as time permits.

Ben is represented by the following galleries:

  • Mason Murer Gallery -- Atlanta, GA
  • Ann Jacob Gallery -- Highlands, North Carolina
  • Framboyan Gallery -- New Orleans, Louisiana