Big, Ugly, Hullabaloo: The Work of Eric Drummond Smith

December 29, 2022 - April 30, 2023

Exhibit Details

Big Ugly Hullabaloo: The Work of Eric Drummond Smith

December 29, 2022 – April 30, 2023

The United Company Contemporary Regional Gallery


Colorful creatures, surreal stories, and embellished expressions are all phrases that describe Abingdon artist Eric Drummond Smith’s upcoming exhibition Big Ugly Hullabaloo.


At first glance, Smith’s work might appear zany and indifferent, but when you delve deeper into his influences you’re met with a beautiful blend of political science, art history, and Appalachian culture all wrapped up in the profound marks of a pop-surrealist neo-expressionist.


Surrealism is an art historical movement that derived from the events of World War I. Surrealists were known for depicting dreamscapes and illogical scenes that allowed them to express their unconscious mind. Comparatively, the Neo-Expressionists depicted their subjects in an unfiltered, highly textured manner that utilized intuitive brush strokes and intense colors. It’s no surprise then that Eric Drummond Smith uses such intense colors and brushstrokes to capture the dream-like scenarios that reference Appalachian pop-culture.


Smith intentionally creates colorful visual cues that entice the viewer to look closer, think critically, and laugh while doing so. He utilizes vibrancy and humor in such a way that invites the viewer to linger in front of his work. Smith explains, “I close my eyes, listen to music, breath deeply, maybe sip some cold water, some hot tea, or a dark beer, and then pick up a thing (brush/pen/pastel) and make a mark, trying to scratch out the thing that is there, somewhere in the mess of my head. The whole thing is rather like improvisational jazz. I’m playing with bits and pieces, scraps and snips, some my own, some from cave walls and museums, graffiti and old newspaper strips. I’m rearranging them, adapting them, looking for themes, looking for joyful dissonances and unexpected melodies. I forget about the world, a little. I talk to myself, and the paint, mumbling and cussing and singing off-tune. I stain my hands and clothes in ink and paint, glorious battle-scars. I only notice later, in the mirror, chuckling.”



Tours at Two

Please join WKMA for our FREE Tours at Two on April 30, 2023 at 2pm where folks can attend an artist talk given by Eric Drummond Smith himself; light refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Anna Buchanan at (276) 628-5005 x106 or email


Public Reception

A public reception celebrating Big Ugly Hullabaloo: The Work of Eric Drummond Smith will be held in the gallery on Thursday, January 26 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.


Big Ugly Hullabaloo: The Work of Eric Drummond Smith is sponsored by The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. 

This exhibition is part of the McGlothlin Exhibition Series at William King Museum of Art. 


Exhibit Sponsors