top of page
for your support (1080 x 1350 px) (1)_edited.jpg


Cultural Center for the Arts:

the Darrell Schmitt story

From Atchison Beginnings to Worldwide Fame

Born in Atchison in 1949, Darrell Schmitt's journey from a local high school graduate to a global interior designer is a story of passion, dedication, and transformative impact. His academic pursuits took him from Atchison High School to Kansas State University and eventually to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in Interior Design in 1972. With a talent that could not be confined to one city, Darrell's career blossomed from the vibrant streets of New Orleans to the bustling energy of Los Angeles. There, he established Darrell Schmitt Design Associates, a firm synonymous with excellence, innovation, and international acclaim.

Darrell's contributions to the field of interior design were recognized globally. His work graced the pages of prestigious books and magazines, earning him numerous design awards and a respected place within the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Personally and professionally, Darrell was an inspiration to others. He was admired and well-respected. Darrell had a gift for making any room, home or space inviting, peaceful and comfortable. He was a gracious host and could cook the most delicious food. He was a talented artist who was passionate about the arts, theater, design and about protecting the environment. He was an educator and a mentor. Darrell was a perfectionist, a consummate gentleman and a wonderful man.  Darrell's passing in September 2019 left a void in the hearts of many, but his legacy endures through his kindness, encouragement, and unwavering support for artistic endeavors.

Darrell's deep connection to Atchison never waned despite his global footprint. His enduring love for his hometown culminated in a remarkable contribution that would forever change the cultural landscape of Atchison. The Cultural Center for the Arts was born through his generous support, transforming a vacant building in disrepair into a vibrant hub for art, education, and community gatherings in downtown Atchison. Officially launched by the Atchison Art Association in 2022, the Cultural Center has become a beacon of creativity and collaboration, hosting diverse art events, classes, and exhibits. 

This Cultural Center honors Darrell's legacy and amplifies his vision of fostering a community enriched by art and culture. It serves as a testament to his belief in the power of art to inspire, educate, and bring people together. The Cultural Center for the Arts is a tribute to a man who lived with purpose, passion, and a profound desire to contribute to the betterment of society.

On behalf of the Atchison community, the Atchison Art Association deeply thanks Darrell Schmitt for his monumental gift. His legacy to assure that the arts remain a priority will continue to inspire and impact our community and beyond, encouraging future generations to pursue their dreams with the same fervor and generosity that Darrell exemplified throughout his remarkable life.

the Cultural Center

bottom of page