University of Arkansas, Fine Arts Gallery, From the curator:

“‘Mother Tongue’ refers to an individual’s native language or an inherited form of communication associated with one’s origin. The term takes for granted that we conifer both history and location when deciphering innate characteristics of dialect. However, it would be imprudent to simply think of language as speech; communication involves a myriad of ingredients such as social norms, the way in which a body can express sentiment, and event the objects we keep. These elements become fragments that are then excavated to better comprehend relationships to the past, present, and future. Smith communicates through both material and body. In the same way one acquires elocution, she studies how materials and objects interact with the human body. Aspects such as unity, scale, and form all start to play active roles within the work. Few things could be more human than deciphering and ascertaining meaning from the objects we make and encounter. The found and hand-crafted objects populating Smith’s visual universe, in turn, suggest an alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and syntax all their own. The artist’s individualized languages are a catalyst for understanding memories and experiences with renewed clarity.”


University of Arkansas, Fine Arts Gallery.