The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature is pleased to announce a new yearlong, site-specific installation featuring Santa Barbara-based artist Kerrie Smith. Portals & Pathways, designed for the Michele Kuelbs Tower Gallery, is on view April 2022 through February 2023.
Smith’s multisensory installation features flowing banners printed with Smith’s vivid abstract paintings inspired by daily walks along Santa Barbara’s More Mesa. Interspersed are sheer banners featuring personal poetry hand-stamped with wooden blocks carved by Smith. Circular “portals” hang from floor to ceiling adorned with Smith’s photography of local flora and fauna, as well her paintings and impressions of the trails that surround More Mesa. Ambient sounds of crashing waves, animal life, and encounters recorded by Smith also invite visitors to take in the experience of walking along the trails as nature and human life collide and overlap.
Smith will continue to update the gallery with the changing seasons, transforming the space throughout 2022-2023 as part of the Wildling Museum’s inaugural artist-in-residence program for the Michele Kuelbs Tower Gallery.
Special thanks to Sonos for their support of this exhibition.
The public is invited to join the Wildling for an Artist Talk with Kerrie Smith on Sunday, May 22, 2022 from 4 – 6 p.m. followed by a chance to explore the installation and ask questions. To RSVP for this event, please email [email protected]. Seating is limited.
Kerrie Smith Artist Statement
“The More Mesa Open Space in Santa Barbara, California is an ever-changing landscape that has inspired my creative process for the past two decades. My daily walks have gradually covered the more than 340 acres of beautiful trails and pristine beaches with gentle reviving breezes. This stunning and slightly secret place is the home of Portals & Pathways.
My ‘banners’ rise out of the light and shadows that I witness through the seasons at various times of the day and early evenings. I recreate the ephemeral as organic nature-driven forms that reflect this shape-shifting landscape. These shapes, bounded by curves, mirror the constantly unfolding transitions of light and color. For me, they reveal optimism, expansiveness, creation, and the life force. I build my compositions with multiple layers and an array of techniques and tools as I seek a balance between the once tamed landscape and its original feral state.
As the subtle seasons change, so will this installation, making the invisible visible and showing the beauty of this gentle wilderness.
My ‘mobiles,’ coupled with my paintings and photography, allow me to share so many diverse moments in time. I call these works ‘Portals and Pathways,’ something that is beyond an imagined landscape. The imagery is at once healing and beautiful, and slightly fantastic.
At the same time, it is a real investigation of a Mesa of More-Phosis. It is an experience that is hopefully inspiring to you, the viewer, and further inspires you to take your own personal journeys and joyous walks into More Mesa.”
About Kerrie Smith
English Artist Kerrie Smith lives and works in Santa Barbara, CA. Smith attended Central Saint Martins School of Art, London, England, she received her B.A. with Honors in 3-Dimensional & Theater Design. After a successful career as a theater-set designer in Europe and the U.S., Smith returned to painting and photography full-time. She has exhibited her work nationally in galleries and museums, including: BG Gallery, Bergamot Station (Santa Monica, CA); Neutra Museum Gallery (Silverlake, CA); Core Contemporary (Las Vegas, NV); Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Desert, CA); San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (San Luis Obispo, CA); Sullivan Goss Gallery (Santa Barbara, CA); Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art (Montecito, CA); A.I.R Gallery, (Brooklyn, NY), among many others.
As an artist, art educator, and President of the Art Council Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, she also founded the non-profit organization Art Walk for Kids/Adults with outreach programs for artists with disabilities throughout Santa Barbara County. She has created art curriculums used by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission for at-risk and developmentally disabled youth and adults and Hope School Art Programs, and also curates and juries for community art exhibitions, local schools, and art groups. Her programs have received Congressional Awards from both Congresswoman Lois Capps and Assembly Woman Hannah Beth Jackson.
To learn more about Kerrie Smith and her work, visit: www.kerriesmithstudio.com.