Middle Park High School art teacher hosts exhibit of her work at Fraser Valley Library
January 15, 2009
When Tara Smith thinks about life, three words come to mind ” human, divine and slime.
Through help from the divine, she believes, humans can rise out of the slime.
“Human, Divine, Slime: An Exploration of Artwork by Tara Smith” will showcase several pieces of her work. The Middle Park High School art teacher incorporates newspaper and acrylic paint, watercolor, ink, black and white photography, sketches, and “found-object sculpture.”
The more she learns about life, the more questions she has, she said. “Human beings are creatures of energy and active thinking. As we move and contemplate our way through our physical existence, millions of our own thoughts accompany us on our journey.”
Her creative adventure began in her grandmother’s studio and as Smith moves along her journey, she creates. Reds, blues, bold strokes and bits of newsprint, the work is thought-provoking and revealing.
Smith said each creation in the show is a “specific reaction to, and portrayal of, the main unresolved series of questions” in her life. Work on display is a sampling of her graphite drawings and acrylic with mixed media paintings. All the pieces she framed out of PVC pipe in support of the theme.
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This will be Smith’s first-ever exhibit of her work.
She’s excited and a little nervous about the show.
She welcomes the challenges of an audience and said the exhibit is sort of an experiment. She wants to see what is possible with her art and “figured a public display would be a good start in ‘testing the waters’ of my personal artistic influence,” as well as a way to see how art can support non-profit art groups.
Her favorite artist is Dr. Seuss because of “his ability to use art and language to portray significant world issues through his work.” She also likes his sense of fun and that he “inspires positive change.” Activist artist Sue Coe’s “passion for raising awareness and inspiring change through art,” Smith said, has also been an inspiration.
Smith said the specific wording of life’s questions is difficult to explain. Her pieces, she attempted, “center around who we truly are as humans, the difficulties we encounter in our daily lives, and the presence and relationship to the Divine (God) within that space.” Smith admits the work is ambiguous but said it’s “clear at the same time.”
Her artwork “rests in the tension of the unresolved questions that we carry with us regarding our place in the world, the things that affect and change us, and the presence of ‘something else.'”
Exhibit guests have a chance to take home a Smith original if they have a winning ticket from drawings at the receptions. Opportunities for smaller pieces are $25, $50 for one of the larger ones. Almost half of the money Smith raises from sales will be split among the Fraser Valley Library, Just Ezra ministries that has an art studio for street kids, and the Poverello Center for the homeless art program in Missoula, Mont.