Feature Articles

August 2013

Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, Offers Works by Kirkland Smith

Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, will present Nothing Wasted, will present an exhibition of works created by Kirkland Smith, almost entirely from post-consumer materials collected from friends and family members, on view in Milliken Art Gallery, from Aug. 29 through Sept. 26, 2013. A Gallery Talk will be offered on Sept. 5, at 6pm, with a reception to follow at 6:30pm.

The 3-Dimensional items have been assembled into large representational “paintings” including portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley. Viewed at close range, the images are unrecognizable but the individual items are not. Viewers will identify items that consumers discard daily: plastic bottle caps, make-up containers, cell phones, and fast food toys. From a distance, the Assemblages come into focus to reveal representational images- primarily portraits.

Smith, a classical painter, began creating Assemblages when she entered an environmental art contest and decided to use post-consumer objects as her “paint”. She was looking for an evocative way to drive home the message of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Giving new life to discarded objects, she hopes to start a conversation and challenge viewers to consider their consumer habits. 

Smith was the People’s Choice winner during the first Artfields competition held earlier this year in Lake City, SC, for her assemblage portrait of the late Steve Jobs, made out of the very products he helped create. Using only Apple products, the image is comprised of pieces and parts of Macbooks, iPods, iPhones, and micro-processing chips (the brain of the computer).

Founded in 1889 and located in the heart of Spartanburg - home to six colleges and 13,000 college students - Converse helps women develop the skills necessary to balance a full life. Converse competes in NCAA Division II athletics—the highest level of any women’s college, is the only women’s college on the All-Steinway School roster, and is consistently top ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, contact Kathryn Boucher, Milliken Art Gallery Director for Converse College, by e-mail at (kathryn.boucher@converse.edu).

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