MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
To be an artist requires passion, creativity and inspiration. Although an artist’s techniques and skills may vary, it is their ability to capture thoughts and emotions that keep drive them to create their next piece of work.
Sharon Smith, a military spouse of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, and mother of five boys, offers her artistic talents to the installations on which she and her family reside.
“I think having a big family is my inspiration,” Smith explained as she talked about where her ideas and opportunities come from. “The things my kids say are crazy, and I bounce ideas off them all the time.”
Smith and her family have moved a total of six times, all of her previous five bases bear her artistic imprint.
Smith left her mark on Team Misawa early in her family's tour; she painted her first mural here at the 35th Medical Group’s pediatrics clinic in July 2017. This mural portrays a bit of her personality through its colors and hidden sushi drawings, the number of which reflect her age.
Smith’s influence did not stop at the pediatrics clinic. She also painted a mural for the 13th Fighter Squadron, detailing the unit’s history and acting as a guiding light for young pilots to draw strength from as they face today's challenges.
“It gives the squadron a little glimpse of where they’ve come from,” said Maj. Smith as he described the importance of the 13th FS’s mural. “It’s a daily reminder of why they are here and offers them inspiration for where they want to go.”
“A lot of what she does for the base is her way of giving back,” Maj. Smith added. “She will pick up and complete a new project at each base to give back to her community, specifically for the Air Force. Art is her passion, and she has the ability to beautify a place on base, which really helps morale.”
Her latest project is a mural that is located in the Edgren High School bathrooms. The theme of this mural is one of positive affirmation for young students.
“The principal and I formed a committee with the students as we picked out male and female influential figures,” explained Smith as she described the importance of the community being a part of her latest project. “We wanted to get the kids involved! I painted portraits of LeBron James, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling and Anne Frank, based on their ideas.”
As a proud military mother and wife, she wanted to give back to those who gave her so much.
“I am really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and am proud to be part of a military family.”