Art for Art’s Sake and More – Kiowa County Signal

By Jennifer Stultz

Creativity seems to thrive under the hand of Kiowa County artist Jayci Smitherman. Not only do her changing and colorful windows adorn the front of the Haviland Broadband offices on Main Street in Haviland, where she serves as a marketing manager and customer service representative, but she and her husband, Dwight Smitherman, have completely gutted and creatively remodeled their Kiowa County home. Now she uses her artistic talents to make and sell resin plaques suitable for a variety of uses. The proceeds go to a special art trip that she plans to take with her daughter this winter.

“The possibilities for what I can do are endless,” Jayce said. “I love recreating what I see and adding my own creativity to it.

Dwight is very similar. So we did everything together.”

At Haviland Broadband, positive messages shimmer from the front glass windows, with scenes that change with the seasons. Right now, a Blues Clues character smiles happily at children as they start a new school season and asks the question, “What’s Blue looking forward to?” School supplies circle the centerpiece.

“I get a print or a design I like and put a black and white sketch in the window,” Smitherman said. “Then I take craft paint and trace it from the outside. It’s just fun to share positive messages with the community in this way.”

In their home, the Smithermans discovered that making their own countertops and desk tops was fun, easy, and creative when they used an apoxy pouring method to apply resin to wood surfaces.

“I have these ideas and Dwight executes them,” Smitherman said.

Applying layers of resin to sheets of MDF of various sizes, and then adding various colors of mica powder, Smitherman found the secret of the final creative effort intriguing.

“Sometimes I have a rough idea of ​​what I want to make, but actually we don’t have control over the finished product and it’s always interesting to see how it develops. No two are the same,” she said.

When Smitherman’s daughter Jaucilyn, also an artist, sparked an interest in Caravaggio paintings, and when good friend Misty Beck of Pratt Community College invited mother, daughter and Jayci’s mother on a trip to New York, the art took on a deep purpose – to make something and sell to raise money. While in New York City, mother, daughter and grandmother plan to visit the Smithsonian Metropolitan Museum of Art to see four special Caravaggio paintings in person.

To make this possible, Smitherman now sells specialty resin sheets that can be used as a decorative base for a variety of needs, including sausage platters or extra detailed gift tags. Prices vary depending on the size and detail or result of the apoxy cast.

“We start with the 4 x 8 board and we can cut it to a variety of sizes,” Smitherman said. “I have made table tops, wall decorations and much more. We can use up to eight different colors to create something special.”

Night skies, sunsets and mythical mists are just some of the resin projects that have been created so far. Examples of Smitherman resin plaques can be seen on her Facebook page, Jayci Smitherman, while her whimsical window murals can be seen at Haviland Broadband, also on Facebook. Art in her house that is part of the remodel, well that’s still art for art’s sake and private.

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