As her summer post-graduate residency comes to a close, Danielle Smith talks with moderator Jessica Kalista, curator and founder of Olly Olly, about her experiences during her time at the Torpedo Factory. Hear her speak about how Alexandria inspired her work and process.
6:30 Reception, 7:30 Talk
Smith focused her work on her personal experiences as an African-American woman. Her figurative paintings tell stories surrounding pivotal life moments leading to identity fragmentation from childhood to adulthood. Her current focus on young black girls examines their pressures to absorb or reject Eurocentric aesthetic ideals as they form and reconstruct their adult identities. During her three-month residency, she experimented with watercolor and oil to investigate how these two opposing media interact.
Danielle Smith is a Washington, D.C.-based painter and writer, originally from Monterey, California. She received her BFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and graduated from the MFA Studio Art Program at the George Washington University in May 2016. Dani has traveled to China and Australia to participate in artist residencies and her work has been featured in the Franklin Furnace artists’ book series.
Jessica Kallista is an artist and curator in Northern Virginia. She received her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from George Mason University in 2002. In November 2014 she founded Olly Olly, an alternative art space, in Fairfax, Virginia. She also serves as Business Representative on the Fairfax City Commission on the Arts. Possessed with a frenetic energy to constantly create both literary and visual art she combines the two in collages that employ elements of chance, repetition, and appropriation. Through her work as an artist and curator Jessica seeks to disrupt the isolation of those living in suburbia by creating situations of surprise, play and experimentation while instigating dialogue about gender, sexuality, feminism, embodiment, decolonization, commodity fetishism, creativity, and interconnectivity. Jessica’s work has been shown at a variety of venues including Target Gallery, GRACE, The Fridge, Tempus Projects, NoMüNoMü, and the Margaret W. and Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery.