Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer brings art show to Solana Beach

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith will host an exhibit of his artwork in Solana Beach from Feb. 27 to March 1.

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith will make the third stop of his 2020 art tour at EC Gallery in Solana Beach from Feb. 29 to March 1, with the free exhibit opening Feb. 27.

Smith, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and six-time Grammy Award winner, said his recent foray into art has allowed him to convey the emotion and artistry behind his drumming.

His original works begin in a dark studio with lighted drum sticks. The trails of colors left behind by the sticks as he plays the drums are captured through photographs with different shutter speeds and processed to create a still image on a canvas. In the postproduction phase, Smith uses paints and other tools to accentuate the layers and patterns.

The artwork is part of a “rhytym-on-canvas” medium developed by downtown Los Angeles-based art company SceneFour, whose founders have worked with musicians across multiple genres and instruments to bring the concept to life.

“They showed me some of the stuff they’d done with other musicians and I said, ‘This looks cool,’” said Smith, who first started working with SceneFour when the company reached out to him in 2015.

Smith's work illuminates his drumming.

Some of the those musicians include former Guns N’ Roses drummers Matt Sorum and Steve Adler, guitarist Joe Satriani, and jazz and rock drummer Cindy Blackman Santana.

“I’m really trying to take a very audio and visual medium in drumming and lay it out on a flat canvas,” Smith said. “That’s the challenge.”

For first-time viewers, instead of just considering the colorful and abstract visuals, Smith wants to “see if you can hear it.”

“That’s the ultimate [goal of the medium],” he added.

The first two stops of the tour were in Austin, Texas, and Naples, Florida. Smith said his artwork has drawn the attention of longtime fans of his music, and others who have taken an interest in the burgeoning music and art collaboration.

“Anybody that’s into my art, I’m flattered,” he said.

Smith is scheduled to appear at the gallery on Feb. 29 from 5-8 p.m. and March 1 from noon to 3 p.m., with some of his recent works available at prices starting from $495. A minimum purchase is required to spend individual time with him.

EC Gallery is located at 212 S. Cedros Ave. The exhibition is free and open to the public; RSVP by calling 800-599-7111 or emailing For more information, visit