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Shinique Smith: Arcadian Clusters

Shinique Smith: Arcadian Clusters is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Artist Studio Series, a program that invites artists to interact with the community through site-specific installations and educational encounters that offers insight into artists’ creative processes. Generous support is provided by MSU Federal Credit Union.

February 7, 2014–June 1, 2014

About the Exhibition

Baltimore-native Shinique Smith works widely across painting, drawing, collage, and installation art. Smith creates environments that evoke movement and energy, while occupying the space with a range of emotional colors. Her works evoke embodied artifacts with consciences of  street smarts. Graffiti, secondhand finds, and neo-tribalism interact with Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Japanese calligraphy to create playful alternations between overt messages and subtext, evoking the textile weaves of Smith’s oft-used materials themselves. Smith says, “I think my work is very American, and the way we consume and cast off is unique to us.” In an exhaustive effort to process and restore culture, Smith creates menageries that blend high- and lowbrow expressions of the artistic process. In this project, Smith creates a site-specific installation in the museum’s Education Wing in collaboration with youth from Reach Studio Art Center in Lansing.

Shinique Smith (b. 1971, Baltimore MD) is an artist living and working in Hudson, New York. Smith is inspired by the vast vocabulary of things we consume and discard. Examining the ways in which such objects can resonate on a personal and social scale, Smith pursues the graceful and spiritual qualities in the written word and the everyday. In works made from the class of objects we call “belongings,” she combines “the intractable geometry and hard thinking that defines urban with the softening, emotionally steeped influence of the worn-down, nostalgic or forgotten,” while at the same time questioning the relationships that contemporary societies have with the inanimate and the intimate. Through these efforts, a new spirit emerges.

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