The Life, Love and Works of Elaine Smith

Opening Reception September 21, 4-7 pm. The public is invited to celebrate Elaine’s life and work with her family and friends at our opening reception.

Receptions are also scheduled for 4-6 pm on October 13 and 7:30 – 9:30 pm October 25. Guitarist Amy Schlinder from the band ViRAGO will perform along with special guest Chip Hodges on the fiddle for an interesting and eclectic musical backdrop to Life, Love and Works of Elaine Smith.

Many works of this noted and beloved New Jersey artist will be for sale with proceeds benefiting the Elaine Smith Memorial Art Scholarship Foundation. Show runs through November 3, 2019.

The Freehold Art Gallery is honored to host The Life, Love and Works of Elaine Smith. The show will include a colorful display of local  artist Elaine Smith’s creations in watercolor, pastel, colored pencil, charcoal with pen and ink. The show honors and celebrates Elaine’s remarkable  life, tremendous energy, amazing spirit and lifelong passion  of creating art while inspiring others to do the same. All proceeds in her memory go to her non-profit charity; The Elaine Smith Memorial Art Scholarship Foundation.

I’ll always believe in magic, miracles and fairy tales. – Elaine Smith, Artist

Artist Elaine Smith always dreamed of and knew the importance of having an art gallery to build community in her hometown of Freehold that she loved. Local resident and friend Judi Guy shared the news with Elaine when the gallery opened. Elaine was excited to be a part of it. She had hoped and planned  to have an art show there. Elaine passed in February 2016, before that could happen. At that point with the help of family and friends her daughter created the 501(c)(3) Elaine Smith Memorial Art Foundation in honor of Elaine and to carry on her work of of helping others. She produced an amazing body of colorful work in her lifetime. Elaine would  be honored and delighted to know that her art work is  on display at the Freehold Art Gallery. She’d be especially thrilled that it is being enjoyed by the people who she knew and loved with the proceeds directly benefiting college bound artists through her charity, The Elaine Smith Memorial Art Scholarship Foundation.

Induction into the Freehold High School Hall of Fame, 2019

Elaine Smith, February 16, 1937-February 26, 2016, Bio

Elaine was born in Freehold, New Jersey in the large, white house that once served as the town’s hospital, (located next to Freehold Savings Bank on Main Street). She was proud to be a part of the community there and resided in Freehold  most of her life until 1988, when she moved to Freehold Township. She married Ronald Tashjian in 1957 and together they raised  four children Ronnie, Mary, Chris and Tommy, all graduates from FHS.

Elaine was blessed by being born with the natural ability to draw and always had a passion for creating art. She believed that the creative world was everyone’s heritage and was well known for her Come Draw With Elaine Art class. Elaine spent most of her life making art and teaching her students.  She contributed to her community and her hometown of Freehold as she was devoted to teaching all children and adults how to bring art into their lives. She especially loved and was loved by her students who called her, “Miss Elaine.”

Elaine believed in the power of education and the doors that would open, for those who pursue it. She made a difference by guiding and assisting scores of her students to compose exceptional portfolios for college. Many of them have received scholarships with entrance into some of the most prestigious Art schools and Universities in our country, including Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, NY. She has inspired many of those students to become art teachers and pursue successful careers as professional visual artists.

Elaine spent most of her career dedicated to teaching her students in the community at Around the Corner Art Center in Freehold.  She believed that she had received so much from teaching these students that she wanted to find some way to give back to them and their families. She created and sponsored  Miss Elaine’s Annual Student Art Exhibit & Juried Art Show that happened every January, with the support of the local library on Main Street. Children, teens and adults would submit their artwork to be hung on display for four weeks at the Freehold Public Library. Their artwork was divided into categories by age and medium to be viewed by a panel of outside judges. The exhibit concluded with an Awards Ceremony and reception in honor of all of Elaine’s students. Every participant received an award.

Elaine believed in helping others less fortunate and practiced the idea of generosity throughout her life. If a student truly couldn’t afford to pay for art lessons, Elaine would permit them to study for free and generously give them some of her art supplies.  Elaine served the Freehold community by volunteering to judge the Annual Halloween window painting in the downtown business district. In 2002 she donated art lessons and paintings to the Monmouth-Ocean Foundation For Educational Enhancement whose mission is to supplement the educational needs of local children.  In 2006 Merrill Tilker, owner of Around the Corner Art Center donated his studio,  for Elaine to donate her time to teach  art classes  to 15 special needs children. These children  got to see their artwork auctioned off at a fundraiser for the Special Strides program to benefit children with disabilities and emotional needs. She was a philanthropist in addition to her roles as artist and teacher. Elaine donated annually to PBS channel 13  and contributed to the Count Basie Theater renovations by installing a new chair in memory of her son Ronnie.

Elaine taught art for over twenty-five years using right brain and guided imagery techniques.  Her teaching experience included Around the Corner Art Center, Brookdale Community College, Monmouth County Park System and Freehold Township Adult Education. She was proficient in a variety of mediums including pastels, watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, pencil and oil. She was also employed by the  Freehold Borough Board of Education as a secretary/bookkeeper to the business administrator.

Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ          Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY                            NYU, NY,NY


Pastel Society of America-Associate Juried Member

Freehold Art Society-Board Member
Shrewsbury Guild of Creative Art

Art Society of Monmouth County

Art Shows
Avery Fischer Hall, Lincoln Center Collaborative Art Show
Pastel Society of America
Freehold Art Society
Brookdale Alumni Show

American Artists Professional League

Shrewsbury Art Guild
Guild of Creative Art

“Miss Elaine was a wonderful art teacher, mentor and person. Her presence will be missed by all. She taught me not only about art, but the importance of passion and creativity in other aspects of life. Miss Elaine pushed me to explore new mediums and broaden my horizons. She showed us her love of art and her passion for its place in the world, which was very inspiring.”

 Steven Lindenbaum-Art Teacher, The Deron School II, Montclair, NJ
Steven Lindenbaum studied art with Elaine at Around the Corner are center from age 13 to age 18. He considers Elain to be a “major“ influence in  his life. He teaches art to individuals with disabilities at the Deron School II, Montclair, NJ.
 In 2016  the 501(c) (3)  Elaine Smith Memorial Art Scholarship Foundation was created in honor of Elaine to carry on her  work  helping others.

I love to create. I love life…heal the world and  everything in it. I’ll always believe in magic, miracles and Fairy Tales.”  Elaine-Smith-Artist

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