About the Artist

Jan Smolik was born in Holdrege, Nebraska. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her Master’s degree in art from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her early career was in Lincoln, Nebraska’s capitol city, where she created renderings for interior designers and worked at space planning for an office equipment company. Architectural design would have been her niche but she was married to a man who wanted to return to Western Nebraska. ¬†She followed him back to Harlan County where her option for the art industry was to become the public school art teacher. She traded the diversity of a larger population and the design world for the love of her family and the love she developed for the kids in her art classes. Summers, she took classes at the Taos (New Mexico) Art Institute and like so many other painters fell in love with the light and color in that enchanted land. She exhibited at L. Shaw Gallery and Tru Cafe in Kearney, her own Towne Studio in Alma and at fairs and festivals in Kansas and Nebraska while the lion’s share of her time was given to showing her Alma Public School students’ work. At the end of her teaching career, she has resumed her role as a plein air painter and, presently, resides in Laguna Beach, CA

Professional Affiliations

Nebraska Art Teachers Association, National Education Association, Nebraska State Education Association, Kearney Artists Guild, Association of Nebraska Art Clubs, Harlan County Arts Council, Great Plains Art Guild, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association