CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. Cubert Smith will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston, on Thursday, June 30. The program, which is the second of the 2016 The Block Speakers Series, begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Smith is an artist who grew up in St. Albans and taught in Kanawha County schools and at West Virginia State University. During Charleston Mayor Kemp Melton’s administration, he served as director of Charleston-Korolev Sister City Program, a cultural exchange initiative with Korolev, Russia.
His public sculptures can be found around the Kanawha Valley, including at the South Charleston Mound, Charleston’s Haddad Riverfront Park, Yeager Airport and West Virginia State University. He also created the bronze plaques on the doors of St. Paul Baptist Church in St. Albans.
One of his sculptures was selected to represent the United States in the 2nd Black World Arts Festival held in Nigeria. In 1984, Gov. John D. Rockefeller IV selected him as West Virginia’s nominee to attend the American Academy in Rome. Gov. Rockefeller also recognized Smith as an Outstanding West Virginian, and Secretary of State A. James Manchin named him an Ambassador for the Arts for the State of West Virginia.
Smith is a graduate of Garnet High School. He received a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University and holds a master’s degree from Marshall University and from the University of Guanajuato in Mexico. He received his doctoral degree from Union Graduate College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Smith lives in Charleston with his wife and daughter and is serving his third term on the Charleston City Council.
“The Block” was once considered the heart of Charleston’s black community. It comprised a 25-acre area bounded by Washington Street East, Capitol Street, Smith Street and Sentz Court.
For additional information about the Archives and History lecture series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
Patrons may park behind the Culture Center after 5:30 p.m. on June 30 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. The new bus turnaround is open, and handicapped spots are available there. Visitors parking there should enter at the front of the building.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.