Dee Smart moved from Adelaide to Melbourne as a teenager to study ballet at the Victorian College of Arts. Further studies in acting in Sydney led to a successful career in film, television and stage. Following the birth of her first child, Smart began pursuing visual arts where a passion for life drawing led directly to a painting career that has gained significant momentum in recent years.
In 2017 and 2018, Smart was selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize—her first two attempts. Both works achieved notoriety for their pop sensibility and dynamic palette. Her 2018 Archibald portrait was ultimately collected by one of the most prominent private collections of female artists in Australia. She has also been a finalist in the Paddington Art Prize and, recently, the 2019 Portia Geach Memorial Award— Australia’s most important art prize for portraiture by women artists. These, along with success in other significant prizes this year, underline her rising star. Recently, the prestigious Bennett Collection in the United States included Smart’s work in their collection, making her one of only three Australian artist to be acknowledged.