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June is Membership Month at the Niagara Artists Centre, which means it’s the perfect time to launch our new Member of the Moment feature. We asked NAC members about art in Niagara and the number one reason to join the NAC.  In this interview, Cody Smith tells us about moving back home, his love of Niagara landscapes, and that “The NAC is the gateway to the art community that lives here.” You can sign up for your very own NAC membership online or stop by NAC at 354 St. Paul Street in St. Catharines during gallery hours to get your membership in person. Sign up in June, and your name will be entered in a draw for a Special STRUTT Wearable Art Weekend package that includes a pair of Curator’s Row tickets (front row seats) to the Saturday night runway show.

Cody Smith is a Visual Artist based out of Toronto Ontario. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University in 2010 and has been working as an artist ever since. Cody’s work is a realization “in paint” of the beauty we overlook daily through thought provoking perspectives achieved with colour, form, light, and imagination. His practice is an enlightened response to what we often unconsciously encounter – those mundane moments of human existence. Cody portrays the beauty of nature in the modern world we live in. You can read more about Cody and his work at

Cody’s latest series of paintings, titled Voids, will be in the Dennis Tourbin Members Gallery from June 14 to 28. Head to NAC for the opening reception on Saturday, June 14 from 8-10 p.m.

When did you become a NAC member and why?
I became a NAC member last fall. It was then that I moved back home to Niagara and in with my parents for the third time. I felt that this time I should get involved in the artistic community we have here in Niagara and see what it had to offer (instead of sulking.)

Are you an artist, an art appreciator or both?
I am BOTH! Without a doubt…. I find great pleasure in making art but I love to look at it. I love seeing people’s takes on the world.

What’s the best thing about being an artist in Niagara?
Centers like the NAC offer an incredible space to showcase your work without the big submission process hassle. Many other cities do not offer this opportunity where you can literally walk in, talk to Steve and Natasha about what you had in mind for a show, then get an email a few weeks later with an available date. But the best thing about being an artist in Niagara is the landscape that we live in.  

Name a Niagara artist whose work knocks your socks off.
I was reading up on the photographer Edward Burtynsky the other day, and was amazed to find out he was born in St.Catharines! I am sure he must live elsewhere now but we can still call him a Niagara artist can’t we?

Tell us about a memorable NAC experience.
Everything so far has been memorable.

What’s the number one reason to become a NAC member?
There is so much going on here in Niagara. The NAC is the gateway to the art community that lives here.

Check back for more Member of the Moment interviews throughout June.