Tony Smith

Tony Smith


Tony Smith

I am a photographer/filmmaker, and photography instructor. I have a keen interest in shooting short documentary film projects, featuring iconic African American Artists. One of my favorite films on the Black Arts Movement in Chicago, is “Black is Beautiful.” This documentary film/solo exhibition
features reflections on the cultural, racial, political and historical significance of creating the Wall of Respect.

This public art mural painted on 43rd and Langley Blvd in 1967, was inspired by Bill Walker, and Jeff Donaldson. It was painted, photographed and written about by poets and activists of OBAC. This film explored how the Black Arts
Movements heroes, and she-roes who were featured on the Wall of Respect contributed to Black Pride in Chicago, and ultimately inspired the muralists movement here and around the country. It is my goal, that this film will provide further evidence to support the significance of the visual and literary
artists contributions, and their impact on murals, and the birth of Black Arts Movement in America.

I have a coffee table book titled “Black is Beautiful” which features some of Chicago’s most vibrant African American cultural leaders. This project is in conjunction with my solo exhibition “Black is Beautiful” held at the South Side Community Center in 2018, and my current permanent installation “Artists, Activists & Scholars at Mariano’s in 2020, Bronzeville, both of these projects were curated by Dorian Sylvain.

I have had two solo photography exhibits at the SSCAC. Over the past two decades, I have participated in over 20 group exhibitions throughout the Chicagoland Area. I have collaborated with the Theaster Gates, Amanda Williams, Dawoud Bey, Masequa Myers, Haki Madhubuti, Oscar Brown Jr., Robert Sengstacke, Faheem Majeed, Rebecca Zorach, Juarez Hawkins, Dorian Sylvain, and Arlene Turner Crawford to name a few.






For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Marina Vulinovic at or 773-324-5520 ext. 1006.