Trina May Smith recognized the chaos and reality of the pandemic, an abrupt change of patterns within daily life. These changes inspired her to make art about this experience. Her paintings began as a reflection of the intellectual disorientation she was feeling, as her living space became her work and studio space simultaneously.
“I began taking photos of my apartment through a glass privacy block that inspired the paintings,” said Smith. The warped image turned into a metaphor for the altered feelings surrounding her personal space. The glass block represents the barrier between the viewer and what is presented in the work.
“In the past two summers, I took a glass block with me hiking in Montana, which inspired the kaleidoscopic altered reality seen in the Longing for the Mountains paintings,” said Smith. The warped but lively passages imitate the sensation of her awry memory of these places that live and expand, even when the mountains are out of sight.
Her work often reflects the distorted, altered emotive state she was in. The pandemic caused a lot of confusion and distress for many people, and that unsureness of what to do is shown in her warped kaleidoscope paintings. Smith’s display will be in the Len G. Everett Gallery in Hews Library until February 10th, with a reception from 2-4:30.
Ali Vorhies – Features Editor