Artist Cedric Lamar Smith was born on May 17, 1970 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he moved with his mother, Geraldine Smith, to Thomaston Georgia. Smith attended Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia.
After school, he began working as a barber. Smith did not consider art as a career until one of his clients, who was a self-taught artist, invited Smith to his art studio. Smith was inspired by his client’s work. As a self-taught artist, Smith creates a personal genre of work. He draws on a wide range of influences and sources, both traditional and contemporary, including landscape art, pop art, brand advertising, and photography. Much of Smith’s current work is devoted to redressing the absence of African Americans in advertising and on the labels of popular brands.
In 1998, Smith held his first solo exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found in the New York Historical Society museum and public collections, the Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta, Georgia), the Francis Walker Museum (Thomaston, Georgia), the Tubman Museum (Macon, Georgia), King & Spalding LLP (Atlanta, Georgia & London, United Kingdom), the Washington, D.C. Arts Commission, and Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas).
Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2007.