Michael Smither

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About Michael Smither

Born in New Plymouth in 1939, Michael Smither CNZM has produced a vast and varied body of work. He enrolled with the Elam School of Fine Arts Auckland in 1959 where he was taught by Anna Lois White, Robert Ellis and John Weeks. Returning to his birthplace he spent the majority of the 1960s working in the Taranaki region. He was highly active in the 1970s and 80s regularly exhibiting nationally.

Smither then abandoned painting for a number of years to concentrate on musical theory and composition, exploring a system of harmonic relationships. He went on to apply harmonics to other visual observations, as he worked in graphics, theatre, prints, artists' books, and murals. As a composer and pianist, Smither developed a unique understanding of the correlation that existed between the world of colour and the world of sound. He was the recipient of the 1970 Frances Hodgkins Fellowship from the University of Otago and is the patron of community art gallery Real Tart in New Plymouth. In 2004 Michael Smither Painter, Trish Gribben, Ron Sang was published. A year later a retrospective titled The Wonder Years was held at Auckland Art Gallery, accompanied by Ron Brownson's publication The Wonder Years.