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BIOGRAPHY

Philip Smallwood.jpeg

Art was not part of Philip Smallwood’s plan, but he is not here by mistake.
 

Smallwood is a New Jersey-based watercolor artist renowned for the ultra-realistic nature of his paintings. Working exclusively on handmade watercolor paper, he brings a unique texture and depth to his creations. Inspired by light and influenced by his
former profession as an artisan of fine furniture and architectural millwork, interior/exterior details are prominently featured in many of his captivating pieces, adding a unique dimension to his artistic vision.

 

Primarily known for his acclaimed works referred to as “Lifescapes” - portraying subjects within their natural environment, but with an emotive visual narrative - Smallwood powerfully connects the viewer and the subject, not with the casual glance of a stranger, but with the intimacy of a friend.


Growing up in Roxbury, Massachusetts Smallwood learned the art and discipline of creating high-quality, handcrafted furniture, studying the craftsmanship of his father. In the early days of his artistic journey, he found inspiration in the southern genre. With
many of his family members having migrated from Boston to the Carolinas and Florida, he naturally gravitated towards subjects that emerged from this rich cultural heritage.


Through his art, he explores the stories and traditions that have shaped these regions, capturing their essence with authenticity and reverence.


For more than 25 years Smallwood has been blending imagination, reality, and social consciousness to transform ordinary scenes into enduring narratives that embrace real people living real, honest, imperfect, and totally unrehearsed lives. Often referred to as
the black Norman Rockwell, Smallwood acknowledges the strong influences in his work, paying homage to his late brother, Fredrick Smallwood Jr., and renowned artists such as Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent.


While producing about 10 -12 major works per year, Smallwood has many commissioned works in the private collections of prominent art enthusiasts, including corporate executives, celebrities and notable names in sports and entertainment. Smallwood has garnered widespread recognition and acclaim, earning
over 200 juried awards throughout his career, exhibitions in esteemed artistic venues, honors from the nation's most prestigious watercolor societies, and numerous features in art publications around the world.

Art enthusiasts can explore coffee table art book titled "Change the Narrative," featuring over 60 of America's top African American Artists, including Philip Smallwood himself. 

 

Smallwood’s career is testament to his undying passion to create beauty with his hands and to deeply impact his community, with historic milestones for both him and African American artists in general.

honors and awards

2023

Bergen County commission for the arts &  bergen county executive, james tedesco

Artist of Impact Award

fairleigh dickinson university, school of the arts

2022-2023 Artist in Residence & Scholarship Funder

2021

The Butler institute of American art

Dialogues with Reality: Paintings by P. Smallwood on exhibit December 26 - February 27, 2022

 

ARTIST MAGAZINE

Featured Artist in June Issue

2020

AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR

Featured Artist in Fall Issue

AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR

Featured Artist in May Issue

201 MAGAZINE - BERGEN COUNTY, NJ

Featured Artist in February Issue

2019

ARTS DE LA PRATIQUE MAGAZINE - PARIS, FRANCE

Featured Artist in June Issue

14C ART FAIR - Jersey City, NJ

"Artist of the Day" Award

2016

 THE NATIONAL ARTS CLUB - GRAMERCY PARK SOUTH, NY

Accessible Art Fair

the museum of art - deland, fl

"Personages" a Solo Exhibit

2012 - 2015

 A SERIES OF PRIVATE COMMISSIONED WORKS

CEO's in Corporate Organizations, Celebrities, Music, Entertainment, and sports.

2012

HARLEM FINE ARTS SHOW (HFAS) "MARTHA'S VINEYARD"

August 9-12, 2012, Oak Bluffs, MA

watercolor artist magazine

Featured Artist in August Issue

the springfield art museum - watercolor now 2012

Exhibition show dates April - July - Springfield, Missouri

the watercolor honors society

Featured award winner in April

ARTS ISSUE - PEOPLE IN THE ARTS

Featured Artist in April Issue

NEW MILFORD AUXILIARY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Commissioned work of late Chief Andy Boele

 

cypress gallery - 3rd thursdays

Presenting 7-10pm each third Thursday of the month from April to September,

featuring "Art, Conversation & More" in New Milford, NJ

2011

WATERCOLOR HONORS SOCIETY (WHS) 

Inducted into the Honors Society in Watercolor USA in June. WHS is dedicated to focusing national attention on watercolor painting through exhibition, educational opportunities, and the recognition of artists working in watermedia. 

THE FABRIC OF MY LIFE

Over 100 small portraits of friends and family that influenced Philip's career are included in this project of recent works. 

FOCUS NJ - ART CENTER OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

First place award for Watercolor - July

WATERCOLOR USA - 50TH EXHIBITION

In May, Philip was awarded the Robert Vickrey Memorial Award for "Redemption" at the Springfield Art Museum

in Springfield, Missouri.

the new smyrna beach art festival

Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) - New Smyrna, FL​

UNCF - THE ART OF GIVING BACK

A vision created by Philip Smallwood as an art exhibition to raise funds to benefit the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). The inaugural event held in September at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. The works of contemporary emerging, mid-career and established artists were featured for this inaugural event. 

 

Honors and Awards
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