A former French resident and student at the Sorbonne University in Paris, a triathlete and a journalist in France, Smiechowski's family lived under German occupation in Vichy France from 1940-1944.
The artist to be honored is 77-year-old Jean-Pierre Rousseau.
During his long career, Rousseau’s stylistic paintings have been described as original, unique, virile, romantic, sensual, luminous and impressionist. Rousseau’s paintings tell their stories through dynamic brush strokes and a freedom of movement. Some have a vertigo-inducing weightlessness due to the white spaces surrounded by light and movement. Others combine collages of poetic or philosophical texts with portraits bathed in tones evocative of Renaissance paintings.
Smiechowski will be traveling to France soon to personally present an award and plaque to Rousseau, at a small planned ceremony at the American cemetery in Normandy.
Rousseau's plaque reads:
“Heartfelt gratitude towards Jean-Pierre Rousseau and his generous donation of more than 100 of his exquisite paintings to benefit wounded and disabled military veterans. From a very grateful U.S. Military and dedicated volunteers of Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station and Navy Nurses of Southern California. For his magnanimous contributions, we bestow upon this artist the title of Honored Supporter for the Rehabilitation of Wounded U.S. Military Veterans and embodiment of the friendship between France and the United States.”
“I was asked to bring a plaque for the PB Town Council to the French artist,” said Smiechowski, noting Rousseau's paintings were exhibited in La Jolla art galleries for many years. “Rousseau has donated much of his artwork to the cause of wounded warriors in Southern California.”
A Bay Ho resident, Smiechowski recently announced his candidacy for the upcoming 2nd District City Council seat presently held by Lori Zapf. City Council District 2 includes the communities of Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Midway/North Bay, Bay Ho, Bay Park and Morena.