It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of a true visionary, Michael A. Smith, Co-Founder of Arts of Our Time. Michael’s passion for making, promoting, and teaching photography remained sincere and strong throughout his more than 50-year career as a leading figure in fine-art photography. As a result, Michael was known internationally as a brilliant photographer and as an extraordinary teacher, theorist, critic, and publisher. No matter which hat he wore at any given time, Michael never tired of giving his time, knowledge, and passion to the visual arts.
Moreover, Michael always dreamed big. His greatest dream (indeed, his ultimate dream) was to continue giving back to the world of photography—a world that had given him so much success, sense of purpose, and simple joy. In particular, Michael wanted to give back by fostering scholarship, organizing exhibitions, and advocating appreciation, not only in photography but also to allied areas of the visual arts.
Before his passing and, most movingly, since then, many people around the world who knew Michael, his work, and his mission have asked what they can do to make the dream come true. If you feel motivated to contribute to that essential effort, please make a donation to Arts of Our Time, the not-for-profit organization that Michael founded in 2003. By contributing, you will enable Paula Chamlee, his wife, partner in the arts, and AOT co-founder, to honor Michael’s memory, ensure his legacy, and keep his dream alive for the benefit of future generations of visual artists as well as for the many people who care deeply about the arts.
A memorial service is being planned at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown to celebrate his life and work. The date is yet to be determined, but will take place sometime after the holidays.