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Sophia Louise Smith - Artist
Sophia was born in the Sierra Nevadas where she was surrounded by the beauty and wildness that nature provides. Her childhood was filled with backpacking and flyfishing trips to Yosemite and alpine lakes near Tahoe or spending summers on her grandparent's ranch. During those times she was always sketching or painting her surroundings, trying to capture this natural beauty that mystified her.
She went to college to study economics and environmental studies, but the whole time she always had one foot in artwork, painting in her free time and maintaining steady commissions. Her senior year she dedicated her capstone project towards a solo gallery show at Montstream Gallery in Burlington, VT. Her exhibit explored the contemporary contrast of women in the western landscape to the historically dominate masculine portraiture in classical western art. By doing so she painted the courage of women in the west with a romantic motif to illuminate the dichotomy existing between these two narratives. When she graduated, she moved to New York and began pursuing her artwork full time while residing on an amish built boat with her partner and their dog Jenny Willow (which also happens to be the name of the boat).
Her fascination with western art and the deep cultural and compositional contrasts that western landscapes and horses provide play a role in her work, but her contemporary pieces are not tied down by the western motif, only broadened by the history. Growing up, she spent a lot of time with her grandparents who reside in the foothills of California where there were more horses and cows than humans. Her grandfather, Mallard Huntley, is also a collector of Western Art, Keith Christie being one of his neighbors. As a result, traditional western art has always played a part in her visual aesthetic when it comes to finding inspiration.
Since then, her work has evolved, to a contemporary composition balancing between mixed media and larger oil pieces. Most pieces start with a tan toned platform (a play on vintage artwork) of which colors, charcoal, and graphite mix together to create shapes and forms, usually inspired by the equestrian form. Currently residing in Springs, NY, she is surrounded by picturesque horse farms as well as an abstract art scene. Living just a mile away from the Pollock Krasnor House, she taps into the local inspiration that grows deep in the bays and shine with the outstanding light across the never ending sea to sky. Where once she was surrounded by mountains, her new setting challenges her to grow deeper, concentrating on colors and composition with the abstract form, rather than a romantic setting.
Solo gallery exhibition at Montstream Studio in Burlington, VT. Part of an oil painting apprenticeship I did with Katharine. https://www.kmmstudio.com
*See photo on the left.
"Lady Dusk" painting accepted into 2022 FEMINA exhibition and publication hosted by Gallerium, Biafarin, and the Book of Arts.
Gallery show at Poppy heart gallery in Montauk, NY. June 2021
Gallery show at Matriak, August 2021
Solo Show at the Lucore Art Gallery, Montauk, NY 2022
Montauk Arts on the Green June 2023
I look forward to working with more Galleries moving forward, please reach out if you are interested.
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