Profile Photo

Frederick Smith

  • 531 Browning St, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA

About The Artist

Artist Statement

I identify with the modernist tradition of non-objective artists – especially constructivist, minimalist and color-field painters. Avoiding referential images, I use color, form, light and texture to create tension between the painted surface, implied spatial illusion, and the objectness of the painting.

My work is also informed by my relationship with the energies animating the natural world: light, elements, minerals, organic matter and topological modeling. I seek an aesthetic harmony that transcends the conscious mind and resonates with the soul.

“A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.”
– Mark Rothko


Fred Smith has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life. He was born and raised in Kern County, CA, with a three-year stay in New Mexico as a child. Fred received a BA in Art from San Francisco State College. After graduation, he took a break to travel and study in Europe and immerse himself in the New York City art scene for a year. Then, feeling a new level of artistic maturity, he returned to complete an MFA in Painting from San Francisco State University. Fred has taught color, painting, ceramics and sculpture the College of Notre Dame in Belmont and the DeYoung Museum Art School in San Francisco. Regardless of his teaching or other work responsibilities, Fred has always continued to prioritize his art. Twenty-five years ago, he was able to build his dream studio at his Mill Valley home. He won the James D. Phelan Award in Painting with a show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, was awarded a Marin Arts Council grant, a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency in Taos, NM, and has shown widely in the San Francisco Bay Area. His website can be found at

Studio Information

Special Location Or Visiting Instructions

Enter gate at 533 Browning St & walk up path to studio building.

Contact Information

Artist Full Name
Contact Email Address


Exhibitions & Press

Group Exhibitions
  • Left Coast Annual, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA, 2022

  • Abstract Artists Collective Inaugural, Stables Gallery, Taos, NM, 2022

  • Site:Brooklyn Gallery – Shape in All Its Forms, curated by Hunter Drohojowska-Thilp, Brooklyn, NY, 2021

  • Solo show – Mill Valley Arts Commission, Mill Valley, CA, 2019

  • California Weird Wonderful Wild Group Show – Jen Tough Gallery, Vallejo, CA, 2018

  • Two-man show with Howard Hersh – Fourth Wall Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2017

  • Solo show (15 paintings in six-month installation) – Stanford Art Spaces, Palo Alto, CA 2016-2017

  • Seven-year survey show – ArtBrokers Gallery, San Rafael, CA, 2015

  • Solo show – Mill Valley Arts Commission, Mill Valley, CA, 2014

  • Solo show – Farmstand Studio Art Space, Bolinas, CA, 2013

  • O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Art of the Spirit Juried Exhibition, 2012

  • Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Fall National Juried Exhibition, 2012

  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery Annual Show, 2000-2010

  • Solo show – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, 2006

  • Marin Arts Council Members Show, Marin Civic Center Gallery, 2004

  • Marin Arts Council Artist Grantee Exhibit, Falkirk Cultural Center, 2002

  • Falkirk Cultural Center, Annual Juried Exhibition, 2001

  • Gallery Route One, January Juried Show, 2001

  • Marin Arts Council Open Studio Exhibit, Corte Madera, CA, 2001


  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

  • San Francisco State University Gallery, San Francisco, CA

  • Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA

  • Unicorn Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Open late April to Mid May, 2024
May 4-5 & 11-12, 2024

See You In Our Studios!