Supporter Spotlight: Deidra Smith

art from the heart

Through the end of June, 75% of your purchase of select prints and paintings from the Art from the Heart collection will be donated to Vegan Outreach. Let’s meet the person behind this art and this generous donation, Deidra Smith.

Tell us about yourself and your art, Deidra.

I grew up in Indiana. My art began as childhood portraits of Pagesus, and Flicka from the book “My Friend Flicka,” because my favorite books were about animals. When I graduated college, I studied with an artist named Riley Bertram, in Brown County, which is known for art. He offered to show my work in his gallery.

After college I decided I wanted to be close to Rocky Mountain wildlife. But first, I toured Kenya with The Humane Society of the United States. After that immersion in wildlife, I quickly moved to Colorado and spent many weekends in Rocky Mountain National Park. I never wanted to live anywhere else. The birds and squirrels I feed, and the cats and dog who needed a home, share mine in Loveland, east of the Park. Nearby lakes mean we’re also blessed with large birds from egrets to pelicans. We even had a moose staying by the lake one summer.

How did you come to be vegan?

I stopped eating meat because my parents took me to get a turkey for Thanksgiving, and I realized people were beheading live animals. I probably learned about dairy and egg production from John Robbins’ books Diet for a New America and May All Be Fed: a Diet for a New World. I saw John speak in Boulder, CO, and got the Denver PBS station to air his video. There was a lot of discrimination against vegetarians back then, and Robbins’ presentation was one of the best times of my life. He included a meal and talked about global ramifications of using animals’ bodies in food production.

Tell us about your fundraiser for Vegan Outreach.

From global warming to torture to pollution to disease, there’s no better way to improve and save life on Earth than by helping people become vegan. I’m trying to use my art to help do that.

Choosing to be vegan has the power to reach far beyond your life and time. By deciding to be vegan, you stand up for sustainability over extinction, you speak out for kindness over cruelty, and you choose hope over despair. Supporting Vegan Outreach is the ultimate declaration of hope that a just, safe and peaceful world is possible for all.

I’ve painted a portrait of Little Tyke, the real-life lion who woke up the world by refusing to eat meat. I hope you will support Vegan Outreach and enjoy these rare paintings and prints of Little Tyke and her friend Becky the lamb, along with the story of their friendship. You can also choose from a gallery of animal portraits and prints showing that love dwells in every heart. For this special fundraiser, you may also request a painting of your own companion animal or a subject not yet in the gallery.

Check out Deidra’s Art From The Heart here. Thank you, Deidra!