I am an artist exploring environmentally and culturally sensitive materials, processes and conversations, often growing, foraging and recycling materials. I am currently a Master's Candidate in Sustainable Design at the Minneapolis School of Art & Design.
Recent concerns have led me to experiment with some biological self-regenerative works that work with Mother Earth. Bacteria and yeast create cellulose which I use to grow around cast-off parts of nature, a leaf, sticks, seeds and leaves. She (Nature) can also grow material which can be sculpted, formed and dried. These works are biological and can be returned to the soil as food!
Many works are narrative and contemplative, often encouraging engagement and exploration, working in video, photography, sculpture/installation, biological and public art.
In 2016, I designed Urban Forest, an outdoor public sculpture for First Capital Realty and Longo's at Shops of Oakville South Mall. Urban Forest combines cast aluminum and quarried stone, responding to ideas of sustainability and environmental stewardship while creating a space for conversation and relaxation.
In 2017, I completed the Wiidosendiwag + Walking Together + Marchons Ensemble Tour in Owen Sound, ON, featuring five sculptures and twenty-five audio stories. Using the premise Walking is Medicine, spoken by Brock Lewis who journeyed from his Indigenous community in the north to Ottawa for "Idle no more" in 2013, a tour was designed. The tour responds to ideas of reconciliation through education, working with community partners Susan Staves (nee Schank) of the Great Lakes Metis Council and Trish Meekins of Nikaanaganaa Counselling & Learning Centre and the First United Truth and Reconciliation Circle in consultation with the Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash, Neyaashiinigmiing. This project was funded by the Grey Bruce Community Foundations 150 Program, the City of Owen Sound, the United Church Truth and Justice Fund, OCADU and individual patrons. In 2019, the tour added informational plaques incorporating Indigenous studies students from St. Mary's Catholic High School. In 2020, this project won a Cultural Heritage Award from the city of Owen Sound.
For more information on my work please contact me at email@example.com or 519-370-2345.
Glass ornaments are available @ virginiagailsmith.square.site