Sarah Phyllis Smith

WHERE THE GREAT LAKES LEAP TO THE SEA
June 10th, 2017

From 7:00 to 10:00

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Originally from Middletown, New York, Sarah Smith received a MFA from the University of Iowa in 2013 and a BFA from Murray State University. Her recent solo and two-person exhibitions include, I Can’t Love Nobody Else But You at Penn State Altoona’s Sheetz Gallery and An Island is Unreliable at the Janice Mason Art Museum. Her work has been included in various group exhibitions including Art Helix in Brooklyn, Roman Susan Gallery in Chicago, and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Her short film “Everything is Here” was recently screened at Torch Cinema Outdoors at TROOST in Brooklyn, NY. Sarah currently lives in
Tennessee where she teaches at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.


Artist Statement

As tourists we travel to specific places looking to fulfill experiential needs that are unique to that location. I’m interested in the images made at these places and how as objects they are later gathered and collected. Personal photographs can be read both with and without accompanying details because of the viewer’s ability to see and associate an image with their own experience. These proofs allow us to claim an experience as our own and lay ownership over these moments. Niagara Falls is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world with visitors coming to witness the thick mist donned in blue ponchos. It is also viewed as a destination for lovers, being deemed the honeymoon capital of the world. The work from “Where the Great Lakes Leap to the Sea” is an account of my individual, and occasionally private, experience yet one shared by many other Niagara visitors. The project began with an interest in vernacular travel images and how they can hold both specific and anonymous information within them. What came of it were quintessential landscape images mixed with heart shaped tubs and souvenir pressed pennies, all images and objects I knew to associate with this place before ever arriving. The work is a record of looking for romance, and despite the clichés, still finding it.

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