Well-known Lancaster artist Bob Smith passed away Tuesday evening from complications of a recent illness.
Born on March 5, 1940, in Jersey City NJ, he was the son of the late Robert and Anita Smith.
From 1957-1959, Bob served in the U.S.Army in Anchorage Alaska. He attended film school in NYC during the 1960’s.
Family members include sister Janet, brothers David and Phil, and several nieces and nephews.
While Bob was an artist his whole life, he became an ‘overnight success’ at the age of 65 when he had his first sell-out show at Lancaster’s Central Market Art Company. He is known for his large monochromatic canvases that depict market scenes in Lancaster and France. In June of 2005, he was featured on the cover of Lancaster County Magazine. Fascinated by the idea of repetition and identity, Bob created a body of work called Twenty-Eight which was shown at Gallery dePaul in 2010. Utilizing the same size canvas, the same style clothing, he created an group of 28 life-size subjects…captured in his bold signature style.
A familiar face in downtown Lancaster, and a fixture at Central Market, Bob made friends easily and and always had a smile and a joke. He was a kind and generous friend.
A Life Celebration for Bob will be announced at a later date.
I only knew Bob in the last few years. He won an immediate spot in my heart for his warmth and the inspiration I received whenever we would meet – usually outside Market. He always asked about my daughter Elisabeth and her son Quehanna. The alley behind market will always be home to Bob’s smile and spirit for me. I can’t give him the embrace and farewell he so deserved but perhaps as I write you now I am also communicating my love and admiration to Bob all the same.
I met Bob Smith about 100 feet from Central Market in the late 1970’s. He was sitting on the square in front of Fulton Bank holding a lovely painting. I stopped to talk with him, and he told me that the painting was a rendition of Camille Corot’s “Ville d’Avry”. I truly admired the painting, and he kindly offered to sell it to me. That painting went with me from Lancaster to Paris where it resided for 18 years, and in London for 2 years, and back here in New York for the past 18 years. I look at it every day, and wondered what became of this gifted man. Sorry to learn of his passing, but I have no doubts he left this world with people like myself who were thankful to have known him.