ABINGDON, Va. — For the Halloween season, Eric Drummond Smith has put his pen to paper with a scary blend of words and pictures.
“There’s a couple that’s certainly Halloween-y,” Smith said with a smile while showing off his art on a Tuesday afternoon in Abingdon, Virginia.
“All my stuff is a little Halloween.”
Smith held up a devil drawing then another, depicting a black cat. Both are on display this month in Abingdon at the Wolf Hills Brewing Co.
“The show is called ‘Theogany,’” said Smith, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. “It’s named after Hesiod’s Theogony, an explanation of where all of the titans and gods and monsters came from.”
Like his previous shows at Wolf Hills, this one gets personal.
“For me, it’s like a giant self-portrait,” Smith said.
Smith wraps words around his drawings, free-writing to create his art.
“My art is expressionist,” he said.
Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Smith attended Graham High School in Bluefield, Virginia, graduating in 1994 in Tazewell County.
Smith graduated Emory & Henry College in 1998, completing a triple major in political science, art and geography at Emory, Virginia.
Moving to Charlottesville, he completed a graduate degree in East Asian Studies with a specialty in Chinese studies at the University of Virginia. Then he earned a doctorate in political science at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Now 43, Smith lives in Abingdon and commutes to the UVA campus at Wise, teaching five courses this semester.
“Eric is everything I think Abingdon should be,” said the show’s curator, Sabrina Land. “So open and willing to tie current moods in culture to his art in a way young people can embrace ... It is genius.”
Smith’s show for October features 50 art pieces, including his depiction of the “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and “Mayor McCheese” of McDonald’s advertising fame.
“And my goal is to get them to be also sold as prints,” Smith said.
“I love to show here. A lot of people see it,” Smith added. “I tend to sell pretty well here. And it’s nice to have a nice, long show where a lot of people go.”