Artist Ari Smejkal
Owner, Hammer Designs
Painter and sculptor, Ari Smejkal, has been creating for over 30 years. Known around the world for his exquisite furniture designs and his uniquely skilled craftsmanship, Smejkal has always shown a passion for true artistry in all its forms. Having found an opportunity to feature his knowledge, skill, and workmanship on HGTV’s Windy City Rehab, the show also became a venue for sharing his works of art. Given the show’s success and critical acclaim along with multiple features in local and national publications, Smejkal now has his art in public and private collections across the nation.
Inspired by endless experimentation with technique and materials, each work is ever-evolving. The influence of contemporaries, like artists René Romero Schuler, and Kazoo Shiraga, can also be felt in his work. Each piece is unique and created with the use of mixed materials, combining recycled paints, lacquer, acrylic and whatever else is on hand. In fact, WD-40 (a spray machinery lubricant) is a product that is used frequently. Each piece also features a frame that is typically made from reclaimed wood and found salvage material.
Smejkal can boast numerous accomplishments over the course of his career. This proud father of six has a work ethic like no other. Creating out of his studios in Chicago, IL, and at his family farm in Germantown, WI, Smejkal seldom takes a day off. Art consultants, interior designers, and private collectors continue to increase the demand for Smejkal's work, along with his presence on HGTV’s Windy City Rehab, which is now filming its second and third seasons. Several of Smejkal’s large-format paintings are also featured on HGTV’s Rock The Block.