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Slate Contemporary Gallery, Chaves Smith; Enough – Exhibition

November 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - December 28, 2022 @ 5:00 pm


SLATE contemporary is thrilled to present Enough, Oakland based painter Chaves Smith’s first exhibition with the gallery.

This current body of work explores the human challenge to navigate a sense of self worth. Through his own creative expression, Chaves Smith attempts to see through the veil of self, and find a place where he feels enough in his mind, body and spirit. Like prayer or meditation, he uses the act of painting to seek and create an internal space. The paintings employ an intricate language of figures and symbols developed over the course of the artist’s life, distilling iconography from his Native American ancestors, combined with visual storytelling from recent lived experiences. While the shapes and forms found in Chaves’ work undoubtedly do create symbolism which often leads to a narrative or theme, this is not the goal of the project. For this artist, the images are a result of finding an inner truth and translating its message. As for the viewer, one is invited to step into another’s world, one that is strange, magical, and yet familiar. 

Gallery Hours: Thursday–Saturday, 12–5pm, and other weekdays by appointment.

About the Artist

Chaves Smith was formally trained in fine art photography and photojournalism at New Mexico State University. However, he is entirely self-taught as a painter. He painted in isolation for years, refining technique and vocabulary, until encouraged by a professional artist to share the work in a solo exhibition in Las Cruces, NM. After exhibiting there for several years, Chaves turned to traveling the American west, painting and researching for his expanding body of work before settling in Oakland, where he later showed with Vessel Gallery. Chaves is currently living and working in Oakland with a studio at Faultline Artspace.


November 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm
December 28, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
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Slate Contemporary Gallery
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Slate Contemporary Gallery
473 25th Street
Oakland, 94612 United States
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