The Bells of July - Painting of Albritton Bell Tower
depiction by W. Chris Smith '92 of the Albritton Bell Tower at the 4th of July on the Texas A&M University
campus, College Station, Texas.
The Albritton Bell Tower
on the A&M campus is one of the University's most-individualistic and recognizable landmarks. Visible and audible miles from the center of campus where it resides, the
Bell Tower has shaped the atmosphere of the campus since it was introduced in the 1980s. This image is one of W. Chris Smith's earliest photo-realistic efforts, created while he was a freshman.
Early in his career, Smith perceived that he needed absolute mastery of photorealism (also known as hyper-realism) in order to have the skills necessary for the full breadth of fine art projects he
had in mind for the future. To this end, he set out to identify and render compelling scenes around him as practice to hone his skills at realistic painting. As a student at A&M, one of the first scenes
which caught his attention was the recently-erected Albritton Bell Tower during the fireworks of July 4th, in 1987. Although he changed the angles of the building's orientation to make the depiction
more dramatic, the image retained its integrity, and it has since frequently been mistaken for an actual mechanically-created photograph.
After completion of the painting, Smith showed it
around to various A&M offices, in hopes of gaining professional contacts and freelancing job offers. Friends of Ford Albritton (donor of the tower's building funds and its namesake) rapidly became
aware of the painting's existence and purchased it as a gift to him.
Smith was later amused to find that shortly after showing this picture around campus, the TAMU Alumni Center released a promotional photograph which they had artificially photo-manipulated to show the Williams Alumni Center Building with fireworks exploding overhead. Immitation is the finest flattery!
Signed, Limited Edition print reproduction
original acrylic painting by Chris "Silver" Smith
painting in the collection of Ford Albritton)
Chris Smith grew up in College Station, Texas,
and after high school attended Texas A&M
University, graduating with a bachelor's degree
in Environmental Design from the College of
Architecture in 1992. As a student, Smith
was awarded A&M's highest competition
art honors at Artfest, A&M's annual student
art competition, in 1991, garnering not only
Best of Show and 1st Place in Painting, but
also a 2nd in Drawing and a 3rd in Mixed Media.
graduation, Smith was hired on by the University
as professional support staff, and he served
as Manager of Administration & Services
at the Cartographics Service Unit (Cartographics)
until October of 1996, when he moved on to
new opportunities in Dallas. During his employ
at TAMU, Smith supplied professors and authors
with numerous maps, scientific illustrations,
and other commercial artworks which have been
reproduced in books and professional journals
notably, during his employ at A&M, he
also conceptualized, authored and marketed
the TAMU Clip Art Disk, containing
the official University trademarks and traditional
illustrations which have since been reproduced
many thousands of times over on products,
newsletters, and elsewhere. Smith also authored
the Texas A&M University Map With Points
of Interest, published by the TAMU Press,
as well as the smaller A&M maps given
out by various A&M offices. Smith was
the designer of the shield logo used by the
12th Man Foundation.
has been employed by Verizon (formerly GTE)
since moving from College Station. He has
served as Manager of Interactive Media Publications,
handling design and support of the many parts
of the SuperPages.com
website for the past year. Active in his church
and other local associations, he also continues
to develop his artistic skills, occasionally
exhibiting in various shows or exclusively
Visit the website of W. Chris Smith for more information about the artist.
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Price of print includes Texas State Sales
Tax and Shipping & Handling. Prints are
shipped in high-quality, sturdy mailing tubes.
The Bells of July - Limited Edition Signed Numbered Print - $75.00 ea.
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