Local Artist to Visit Canterbury

From staff reports
February 23, 2022

Local artist Theoplis (who sometimes goes by Phresh Laundry, comparing his prolific art practice to hanging up laundry to dry) Smith III will be visiting Canterbury High School (Tuesday, March 1) and Middle School (Wednesday, March 2). Smith will display his artwork and talk about his life experience.

"Bringing artists into the classroom is a great way to introduce students to working professionals from the community and beyond, allowing students to make valuable connections," said Canterbury Director of Fine Arts, Ranae Butler. "Visiting artists create enthusiasm around the arts, which are an integral part of the education of the whole child."

Smith will speak at Chapel on both days and otherwise will be painting in a common area of the school. Upon completion of his paintings while at Canterbury, Smith will donate his paintings to the school. All Canterbury classes and parents are invited to see Smith work and chat with him.

High School Visual Arts teacher Trevor Campbell said bringing in outside artists is a huge benefit to Canterbury students.

"Seeing and hearing how someone is making it in the creative world is a huge boost of confidence," Campbell said. "Oftentimes, I can't teach every way a person can make a living as an artist! Having Theoplis paint for us exposes students to new paths, new inspirations, and new forms of creating art. When he visited campus to go over logistics, he was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm found at Canterbury, to the point where he is using our students as models for his paintings!"

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About Theoplis Smith III

"Theoplis Smith III, who is also known as "Phresh Laundry," is a  primarily self-taught artist whose work comes from an innate need and  desire to create. Smith's practice is incredibly unique both for its  skill and its unlikely beginnings. As  a young child in his hometown of St. Louis, MO he found himself drawn  toward the arts, and has slowly but surely pieced together an original  form of painting with certain connections to popular culture forms of  representation like comic books, and the quick  sketches of caricature, paired with the long history of traditional  portraiture. Smith’s art brings broad appeal, while staying fresh and  keeping a varied approach to the formal aspects of his work. Smith’s art has worked with the likes of BET, Indianapolis 500, Porsche, Vera Bradley, Jordan Peele, Warner Brothers. This September of 2021 Smith’s art will be among exhibits of the Academy Motions Pictures Museum with Oscar winning Director Spike Lee."