In life, most people are lucky to have one relevant gift to share with the world. Whether you’re an artist, an engineer, a teacher, a medical professional, or whatever your specialty, you are blessed to have those skills, and the world is better off from experiencing them. But some people are lucky enough to have more than one gift. This is the case with Christie Smith, a former LPGA golf professional turned artist.
In her earlier years, Smith was drawn to sports, golf in particular. She attended Methodist College for Golf, and from there, enjoyed a 25-year career as an LPGA Golf Professional who was a part of three National Championships. One could say Smith accomplished more than most people with her golf career. However, golf is not the only talent Smith possesses. She is also a masterful artist who has managed to propel her business despite the unstable economy caused by the pandemic.
Recently, Smith moved her gallery to the lively art community of Laguna Beach. Unleashed Gallery made its debut back in July when it seemed the COVID-19 restrictions were a thing of the past, and life would soon be back to normal. Since Unleashed Gallery’s opening, the world has had a menacing resurgence of the nasty virus. But this detail has not deterred Smith. In fact, she has made the best of an unfavorable situation.
During the pandemic, Smith has found a way to adapt her business and remain busy. She has created virtual gallery viewings and added commissioned pieces. The virtual gallery viewings are a way for people to see her craft and keep her artwork moving out of the gallery and into people’s homes and businesses. The commissioned pieces are a way for people to get something personal and specific. Smith intended for these two pivots to keep her business afloat during these rough times; however, they have far exceeded their original purpose by making artwork by Christie Smith in demand.
Smith’s specialty is using resin and metal flakes to recreate photographs and other images into unique artwork. Smith’s style includes vibrant colors and textures that mimic the joyful and playful way she views the world. Smith says her artwork is intended to foster a human connection and inspire inner expression. It’s this tendency to connect with others that makes Smith a stand-out artist.
Some of the work you can see on display in her virtual gallery viewings is her newest collection, Satisfaction. Satisfaction collaborates with California photographer David Stratford who is best known for the 10,000+ pictures he took at rock and roll concerts in the 1970s. Smith takes these photos and turns their images into vibrant artwork. Smith says she can recreate these images in specific sizes and colors to accommodate the buyer’s needs. Smith and Stratford say the Satisfaction collection is just the beginning of their collaboration with more stunning work on the way.
Smith has always believed art has a way of bringing joy, and the right piece of artwork can serve as a symbol of hope. For these reasons, Smith donated 15 pieces of her unique collection to an emergency room nurse and asked her to give them to frontline workers who could use a little joy in their lives after experiencing so much trauma and sadness during the pandemic. Smith also recently donated $1000 to a non-profit in Half Moon Bay, the home of her first gallery, before moving to Laguna Beach. For Smith, it’s about helping people get through the tough times. And she believes nothing lifts the spirit quite as high as creativity and artwork.
When you are fortunate enough to have more than one gift to share like Christie Smith, you feel compelled to do your part. In the current situation with so much upheaval, sadness, and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, there has never been a better time to have an escape. Smith believes that her artwork and especially the commissioned pieces she has done recently are real therapy for some who desperately need a source of joy in their lives. And Smith is honored to provide that service.
Check out Christie Smith’s unique work on her website and Instagram page.