If you’ve spent any time at Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar downtown, you’ve likely seen Audrey Smith’s work. A former server, she’s the hand behind the handsome artwork, including many pigs, on the walls of the main dining room. When Smith picks up a can of house paint—a material she calls forgiving and manageable—she taps the inner personality of her characters. “I have an overactive imagination,” she says. “I see stories in just about everything.” The pigs were no different, and her favorite of the six she painted is the Piétrain, a spotted breed with stand-up ears. (Next time you’re at Le Grand, check it out: top right, closest to the window.)

You can see Smith’s work elsewhere in Denver, too: in the series of murals and the lambs adorning the panels in the bistro’s lounge-like red room; the foie gras goose at La Merise in Cherry Creek; and you can bet Smith’s artwork will grace the walls of Punch Bowl Social—Le Grand owner Robert Thompson’s next project—when it opens on Broadway later this summer.

The 35-year-old Tennessee native channels her energy through many mediums: large-scale murals, oil and canvas, photo collage, chalk, and even the occasional bartending stint at Le Grand. Keep up on her creative adventures via Twitter—Smith took her handle (@Pietrain7) from her favorite pig.

For more of Smith’s work, go to audreysmithstudios.com or look for her children’s book, Clementine (Tate Publishing, 2010).

This article was originally published in 5280 July 2012.
Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.