John Wayne Smith’s show is at the Vail Public Library |

John Wayne Smith’s show is at the Vail Public Library

This is "Cyathya," a work by local artist John Wayne Smith whose show is hanging at the Vail Public Library through the end of the month.
John Wayne Smith | Special to the Dailyy |

If You Go ...

What: Artist John Wayne Smith’s Draggonfly Medicine Art show.

Where: Vail Public Library community room.

When: Through Jan. 31.

More information: Visit

Stories are everywhere and so is art because stories are where art begins, and that is the essence of John Wayne Smith’s Draggonfly [sic] Medicine Art.

Draggonfly Medicine Art is the manifestation of a dream, Smith said.

“It is derived from a lifetime, inspired in the dreamtime, and manifests in the between-time,” Smith said.

His work is on display at the Vail Public Library through the end of January.

Smith lives and draws in Minturn with his Malamute and constant companion, Bode Miller. He is a fifth generation native of Central City.

His work spans many disciplines, including drawing, sculpting, high fire ceramics, installation art, architectural and interior design, furniture and fixture design, photography, computer graphic art using Microsoft Excel as a platform for multi format integration, manipulation and creation of multilayered works, among others.

“Life is art and parts are everywhere,” Smith said.

In the past year, he’s completed nearly 100 drawings, sticks or wood panels; he draws every day, he said.

How it came to him

Smith said it all came to him when he was in a fevered/altered conscious state, practicing “intended” or lucid dreaming, using a medicine stick as a guide and focal point for energetic projection and healing.

The dragonfly is significant in the Indian tradition. A little research taught him it related to animal medicine, Smith said.

Understanding of the Draggonfly Medicine came with the dream, drawing and iconography, Smith said.

“The crux of the art of the medicine is in the connection between the illusion and the awakening to the ‘what is’ state,” Smith said. “This crux is represented by the duality of the dragonfly’s wings and function. The dragonfly will bring more illusions or remove them. The choice is ours.”

Smith said that as the drawings evolved, specific artistic and perceptual influences became apparent.

“The works of M. C. Escher, for one, captivated my young and fertile imagination, as well as the art of the ancient cultures,” Smith said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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