By: Harold G. Bailey
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Art lovers in Queens and beyond, now have a place they can view and secure top level paintings on canvas, following the recent opening of Geo’s Art Expressions and Photography in the heart of St. Albans once home to celebrities like the late James Brown.
The gallery is operated by Jamaican artist Audley (Geo) Smith, who migrated from his homeland more than a decade ago, and is “the culmination of the struggles I endured adjusting to the fast pace American life style.” Like many other migrants, he battled early frustrations and contemplations of ” returning to my beloved homeland.”
A lot of the frustration was due to his ” inability to immediately do the one thing I know best – using the paint brush and canvas.” He would soon ease the frustration somewhat, as he began to use the confines of his home to paint. Smith said that his passion for the arts ” was formed from an early age,” – he has been painting since age 6. ” I really love the visual effects of life, as it provides a sort of inner satisfaction and fascination most other things don’t,” he reasoned.
Smith who is a graduate of the Edna Manley School for the visual arts – the only college of its kind in his native Jamaica – has won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals in numerous competitions over the years.
Visits to Great Britain and France also allowed him to approach and broaden his outlook about the art form, from a different perspective. “The Georgian era architecture and art form had a telling and inspiring effect;” he said. He is a member and past president of the Alliance of Queens artists and member of the southeast Queens Camera Club. A large collection of his works are scenes that depicts life, events and scenic places of his native Jamaica. The work of other artists as well as items such as custom frames are also available at the gallery.