LIMINAL / Exhibition of Mariana Smith / IX Triennial of Graphic Arts

23 November – 6 December 2023
Opening: 23 November (Thurs), 6:00 pm
 
Mariana Smith has been invited to Bulgaria by the Organising Committee of the Ninth Triennial of Graphic Arts in Sofia, Union of Bulgarian Artists, to sit on the international jury which will determine the prizes. The event is part of the Cultural Calendar of Sofia City Municipality. The exhibition of Mariana Smith is the first one in the series of exhibitions and cultural events in the Triennial programme.
 
Mariana Smith is an Associate Professor of Art (Printmaking) at Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, USA. Her areas of expertise include printmaking, multimedia and video installation, miniature painting, book art; theory: contemporary fine art, folk art. Mariana Smith received a BFA from Moscow College of Applied and Industrial Arts in Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to the USA in 1992, she received a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA degree from the Cornell University.
 
In her studio, Mariana Smith combines printmaking, miniature painting, and video installation to address the nature of immigrant dislocations and anunrealized dream of homeland. Smith’s work has been exhibited in the USA, Italy, Taiwan, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Guam and Armenia, and was displayed at the State of Ohio Governor’s Mansion in Columbus, Ohio. Artist residencies include Kala Art Institute, Berkely, California; Art Print Residency, Barcelona, Spain; International printmaking workshop in Auckland, New Zealand; Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia, Venice, Italy; International Printmaking Workshop, Xi'an, China; GCAC Dresden Residency, Dresden, Germany, Vermont Studio Center, and Fedoskino Lacquer Miniature Factory in Russia.
 
I work with printmaking, miniature painting, and video installation to create collages of landscapes to explore the space disruptions and often the nature of immigrant dislocations.
 
For the exhibition, I bring landscapes based on various locations like Venice, Ireland’s Burren spaces, California Redwoods and works based on personal memories.
 
In the series of works about Venice, I collage the stories of displacement based on my own experiences, and Joseph Brodsky’s Watermark—collection of essays about Venice created during residencies at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia in Venice, Italy.

Having read Brodsky’s work prior to my first in-person encounter with Venice, I was struck by the uncanny sensation of having memories of a place I was seeing for the first time. Joseph Brodsky’s fragmented Venetian imagery of sound, light, and water corresponds to collaged fragments and sequences of cinematic spaces, where distance fluctuates between physical and temporal.
 
The latest landscapes focus on the redwoods, their beauty, and scars from the catastrophic forest fires. They are developed in 2023 during the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and on-site work at the Big Basin Redwoods and Henry CowellRedwoods State Parks in California. Witnessing the monumental redwoods' charred remains, their surreal beauty; their impermanence so tangible when one walks through the parks scarred by the fires ignited by the climatechange.
 
I reassemble the fragments to speak of fragility and resilience. The repetition and careful assemblage balance out the chance disruptions.
 
I look at landscapes marked by the cultural and political contexts and reassemble them in spaces coded in the printmaking metaphors.
Marian Smith
 
Mariana Smith will also lead a 3-day master class/workshop on photoengraving with Solar Plates at the Printmaking Base of the National Academy of Art. For participation, the organisers extend an open invitation to teachers, students, and doctoral students from higher education institutions of art, students from secondary art schools. Since places are limited, anyone who would like to participate in the workshop should send a short portfolio or biography to the email address d.hristova@nha.bg
 
Workshop dates: 26, 27 and 28 November 2023
Venue: Atelier 303, New Academic Building, National Academy of Art
 
Participation fee: BGN 50 for established graphic artists and BGN 20 for students and pupils
The fee includes the cost of materials and solar plates, which will remain property of the participants.

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