Melissa Smith creates bright and bold mixed media art that is firmly rooted in abstraction, inspired by the natural landscape, anchored by a love of color, and guided by an intuitive creative process. Smith’s abstract works on paper, canvas, and panel are made primarily using acrylic paint supplemented by other materials such as gouache, oil pastels, crayons, colored pencils, graphite, fabric, paper, and more. Her work often incorporates collage techniques, as well as additive/subtractive methods of layering materials, to create tactile, visually-interesting surfaces with a personal artistic vocabulary. Smith creates art as a means of expressing and making sense of the world. Each piece is an outward reflection of an internal dialogue, or inner space, in an exploratory practice of meaning-making through composition, color, form, and texture. She believes in the integrative power of abstraction in the arts to elicit responses, summon feelings, and convey thoughts which may otherwise be difficult to articulate. Committed to this belief, she hopes to create works that cultivate personal and communal discoveries—be they aesthetic, emotional, or spiritual; works that lead to new and invigorating journeys, for herself and for others.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Melissa Smith was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing in 2005. After practicing art in the years post-graduation, Smith went on to receive her MA in Teaching in 2011 at Roosevelt University, where she specialized in Secondary Education with certifications in Visual Art and History. She spent four years working as a high school educator in Chicago, as well as a community arts educator in and around the city, before transitioning into museum education, where, most notably, she served as the Senior Manager of Learning and Engagement at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. In November of 2019, coinciding with a move to Nashville, TN, Smith resumed her artistic practice after a few years’ hiatus. While in Tennessee, she participated in numerous regional art fairs, markets, and exhibitions. Earlier this month, Smith returned to her beloved home state of Illinois to continue to build upon the momentum of her arts practice. She currently works out of her home studio in Berwyn, IL. Smith’s artwork can be found in numerous public and private collections across the United States, as well as collections in Canada, France, Germany, and Dominican Republic. Prints of her work can be found at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts Gallery Shop in Michigan City, IN and her art stickers can be found at the Intuit Store at Intuit Art Center in Chicago, IL.
© Melissa Smith