Dwelling: An Exhibition, Work by Susan Smith, Bangor Public Library Jan. 5- Feb.1, 2013. Artist talk Thursday, January 10, 6-7 PM, Lecture Hall
When we think of the role of art, we can think of how often artists take up the undercurrents in our society, things that may have otherwise gone unspoken, exposing them and provoking us with them. In the wake of a crisis, artists often are the ones who first bring issues to the forefront, documenting and reacting to challenges that are all too often left undocumented or even ignored. Artist Susan Smith uses her art as a way to bring awareness of issues and events, but also attempts to provide the viewer an experience of simply being able to be immersed in a visual environment.
Smith, who is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Maine, and also works as coordinator for the Orono campus Lord Hall Galleries is exhibiting recent work in the Lecture hall at the Bangor Public Library during the month of January. The main focus of the exhibition will be work centered around the foreclosure/abandoned home crisis being experienced nationally, but more specifically, her own area of central Maine. Becoming a homeowner for the first time at the same time that the economic downturn forced so many of her neighbors out of their homes, revealed the uncertainty and precariousness of the so called American dream, and resulted in a series of photo documentation and paintings that deal with the subject. The exhibit also includes artwork on the topics of our impact on the natural environment, and social concerns, such as the earthquake in Haiti.
According to Smith, “artists have a unique position to be able to make statements about issues that affect us all, and to do it in a way that is accessible to all. Art is not just a catalyst for change, it can be change in and of itself”.
An artist talk is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 10 from 6-7 p.m.