Will Smith

Will Smith

Will Smith, an innovative California artist who studied oceanography and fine arts at American River College in Sacramento,  has been creating wonderful kaleidoscopes for over twenty years. 

Smith, a United States Navy veteran, says, "I enjoy challenging myself artistically and technically and see myself as a 'self-taught artistic engineer'. I feel grateful to be given the opportunities to use my artistic skills in design and fabrication of diverse projects that are now displayed throughout the world, allowing me to be the successful artist I am today".

Will had a fascinating career in acrylic fabrication prior to making his water inspired kaleidoscopes.  It began with his involvement with the wave machines that were popular in late 70s and early 80s.  Next, serving as founder and president of the Amazing Plastics Corporation, he went on to create the following during his 10 plus years in the acrylic fabrication business:

·        showcases for Buddy Holly memorabilia for a private collector

·        public exhibit displays for the Hollywood Centennial exhibit showcasing Humphrey Bogart's 'Casablanca' Trench Coat; Judy Garland's 'Wizard of Oz' Dress and the Oscar for 'Gone With The Wind'

·        two full-scale submarine periscopes with motorized kaleidoscopes within the view-ports. These interactive art pieces are currently on display at the Mukashi-kan Gallery in Tokyo, Japan and the Sendai Kaleidoscope Museum in Sendai City, Japan.

·        the lottery tumbler machines for the California State Lottery.

·        scale models of the booster rockets used in the NASA space shuttle missions.

In 1990, Will left the acrylic design/fabrication industry to become a kaleidoscope artist.  Building off his background expertise in acrylics and his love for the ocean and waves, he created the popular KaleidoWave scope series.  Smith says, “I’ve always been drawn to the beauty and power of water”.

 

Later Will created large kaleidoscope water sculptures that incorporate the movement of water to move objects which the kaleidoscopes are focused on to create their unique mandala patterns. 

 

Currently the self-taught acrylic fabrication artist works building scopes in a 1,500 square foot shop utilizing many of the same tools that a wood shop uses except his main medium is acrylics.  He still creates both handheld and larger sculptures and fountain kaleidoscopes for his business Will Smith Kaleidoscopes.

 

His newest project involves creating large-scale kaleidoscopes and hosting fun interactive kaleidoscope exhibits.  Working with his wife Cheryl, they created 'Kaleido-Tainment', a company which manufactures commercial kaleidoscopes for public use.  Use ranges from childrens museums to entertainment exhibits.  The art quality kaleidoscopes are built extremely strong for intense public use while producing incredibly beautiful mandalas.


The Smiths have a sizeable kaleidoscope collection of their own including both modern and old toy kaleidoscopes.  Smith says, “Our scope collection has grown by trading with other scope artists”.

Will enjoys SCUBA diving and anything around the water and his future plans are to create more kaleidoscopes for the public to enjoy thru his commercial large-scale kaleidoscope business Kaleido-Tainment.  

 

View his scopes:

View the Will Smith Contact Page.

View the Will Smith Kaleidoscopes website.

View the Will Smith Kaleido-Tainment website.

 

Below are two videos by Will about Kaleido-Tainment.  They will provide you with a good understanding of the concept for Kaleido-Tainment.