David Perry Smith is relaxed as he goes about his daily activities in his new fine art gallery, David Perry Smith Gallery. His demeanor matches that of his gallery. The neighborhood is small but quiet, as is the building that houses the gallery. The building, originally a residence, still, has the feel of a home. Smith likes to think that the paintings in his gallery are indeed at home. "When a customer walks into this gallery, I want them to be able to see how the paintings would look in their home," he said. "So I designed the gallery to retain the feel of a home. When they come in, I want them to feel relaxed and at home so they will enjoy themselves".
Smith just recently moved into the Cooper-Young neighborhood, located a 703 New York Street. He formerly shared Perry Nicole Fine Art Gallery with Nicole Haney. He says he loves the free-spirited feel of the new location. The gallery focuses on local artists only, for now. "By local, I mean Memphis artists," he says. His showrooms boast works by such artists as Andy Reed, John Sadowski, and Mary Cour Burrows. "I may branch out into areas immediately outside of Memphis some day. But right now, I don't have the need," he said. "The local talent is so rich and varied and the residents of Memphis connect with the so well emotionally that I don't have the need to look elsewhere."
Smith plans to have monthly receptions that feature this local talent. The next show occurs Friday, June 4th, at the gallery. "It's a great time to meet and talk with the artists about their work and make a spiritual, or least emotional, connection with them." Smith says he gets new artists who are sometimes nervous about displaying their work to the public. He said he always tells them "do not be afraid of failure". He shrugged, "It's the only way you grow as an artist." He offered one more piece of advice for budding artists, "find one style and stick with it". Smith said he has seen so many artists dilute their talent and waste their potential. "It is better to learn one style, learn it deeply, and do it well," he exclaimed. "Then the artist has a better chance at succeeding at his craft."
Smith, an Ohio native and 20-year resident of Memphis, is passionate about customer service as well. He works six days a week but will honor any request day or night. "One time, I had a customer who wanted a painting delivered late at night on the weekend." He smiled. "I told him no problem and delivered the painting." Smith says he loves Memphis and the community has been very supportive of him and his efforts. "It's been a real blessing living and working in Memphis. I look forward to serving my customers and helping artists for many more years to come."
For more information, visit www.davidperrysmithgallery.com.