Kirkland (Thomas) Smith was born in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the daughter of a lawyer and an artist. She and James met when she was in high school, and married in 1991 after graduating from the University of South Carolina. She received her B.A. in Studio Arts and is an accomplished artist whose work with found materials reflects her respect for the environment and how we use it.
Kirkland currently serves on the boards of the Columbia Development Corporation and the Columbia Design League. She was the president of Vista Studios for six years and is continuing in that role as they transition to Stormwater Artists and move to a new riverfront space.
When her fourth child and first daughter was born, Kirkland began thinking about how she would be a role model. Balancing work and family is a challenge for women and Kirkland’s love for her family, along with thoughtful planning, has allowed her to pursue art as a wife and mother. She shares James’ dedication to service and supports him in everything he does. In 2007, when he was deployed to Afghanistan, Kirkland took their children to France where they attended a local school and she studied classical drawing and painting at Studio Escalier under the direction of Timothy Stotz and Michelle Tully.
She and James share a deep commitment to family and community, and Kirkland is ready for him to lead the state of South Carolina as Governor. “Whether working in the State House, his law office, or in the Army, our children and I know that at the heart of James is his very strong sense of honor, duty, and respect. He lives what he believes.”