Danielle Smith’s work is fueled by 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. She probes feeling a sense of belonging, yet being displaced in terms of race, gender, and class. She layers her canvasses with paintings, drawings, and text to reflect the many layers of her content. 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.
Danielle’s exploration of this theme extends down to her choice of medium. While she is in the Post-Graduate Studio (Studio 12), she plans to experiment with watercolor and oil to investigate how these two opposing media interact, yet remain separate on the same surface. “I plan to use the space as a transition from my MFA studio, which serves as a visual sociology lab. I would also love to use the residency as an opportunity for community engagement, especially with children. This is a chance to let exploration, growth, and play continue after I complete my degree, which is so valuable for as I transition into becoming a professional artist.”
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 is expected to graduate 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.
Hear Danielle speak about her work and her time at the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Friday, September 30.
Danielle is hosting a series of writing and painting workshops for girls, ages 8 – 16. They are free, but RSVPs are requested to ensure space.