Thursday, May 24, 2012

Christopher Smith

Born October 1953 in San Francisco, Christopher Smith moved to British Columbia in 1970. Because of the circumstances that brought Chris to Canada, he assumed the name of D. Michael McRae. He began working in stained glass in 1975, employed as an apprentice to Thomas B. Shields at the Glass Head Studio in Nelson B.C. This studio was primarily concerned with religious stained glass restoration and residential stained glass design and fabrication.

Also in 1975, Chris (aka D. Michael) spent a semester at the Alberta College of Art, studying glass blowing under the direction of Norman Faulkner. He moved to Nanaimo in 1976, and studied art history at Malaspina College. He exhibited at the 1983, '85 and '88 B.C. Festival of the Arts showcase gallery 'Images and Objects'. He also was an invited participant in 'Glass Act' 1 and 2 at the Fort Langley Centenial Museum.

He opened the original Glaskrafter Art Glass Studio in Nanaimo in 1977. The Studio relocated to Lantzville in 1986. That same year the Canadian Government granted Christopher Landed Immigrant status. In 1991 he moved his studio to its present location behind his home on the edge of Nanoose Bay. Christopher became a Canadian Citizen in 2002.

He has taught glass art at Malaspina College, North Island College, the Nelson School District, and holds private classes and workshops at his studio. For ten years he worked with selected Grade 12 students at Nanaimo District Secondary, helping them design and build stained glass windows for their new library and scattering stained glass windows and fused glass panels throughout the school.

Exhibited widely in the past, Chris rarely exhibits work now as the commissioned work keeps him pretty busy. He does show new work in his own gallery and periodically will have work out at ‘the Old School House’ Gallery in Qualicum Beach and the Nanaimo Art Gallery, downtown Nanaimo.