Smart Gumede, printmaker and sculptor in wood, was born and died at Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal. He also attended school in the Ndwedwe district, excelling at craftwork. He went to Amanzimtoti Training College to train as a teacher. While there, he received a bursary to train as an art teacher at the Ndaleni Teacher Training College.
Taught at Ntuzuma Teachers Training College
He took up the bursary in 1977. After qualifying from Ndaleni he taught at Ntuzuma Training College before resuming studies at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in Grahamstown where he gained his BA (FA) (Hons) degree in 1988. He was a founding member of the Zasha Art Group in Durban. He won the Maize Bread Competition in 1977 as well as the Fort Hare Award for Imaginative Work in 1985.
Printmaker and Sculptor of Wood
Smart Gumede was a printmaker and sculptor of wood. He admired the work of Michael Zondi and said that Surrealism influenced his own development. Gumede held his first one-man exhibition at the African Art Centre in Durban in December 1962, comprising 10 sculptures and seven paintings.
In December 1987, an exhibition of sculpture and etchings by Gumede was arranged at the African Art Centre. Sales from the exhibition enabled him to return to the University of Fort Hare to do an honours degree in sculpture.
Etchings – Tatham and Durban Art Gallery
His etchings particularly attracted the attention of art galleries and a number were bought. The Tatham Gallery bought six; True Friendship, The Cul-de-sac, The Night Rider, Take Care of the Young, The Honey Seekers and Walker in the Night. Gumede participated in group exhibitions throughout South Africa and held solo exhibitions in Durban. He is represented in the Campbell Collections of the University of Natal and those of the Durban Art Gallery and Tatham Art Gallery.
Source: SA History.org