Saturday, October 22, 2011

Smythe opens "Girlie Girl" exhibit at Ben Bailey Art Gallery

Ben Bailey Art Gallery - 10/14/11 - 11/04/11
Contact: Julie Navejar or 361-593-2590`

Local artist Michelle Smythe says her most recent body of work is probably the “girliest” work she has ever done. Thus the name of her exhibit on display at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. When Did I Become a Girlie Girl? is currently on display through Friday, Nov. 4. A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, Oct. 27.

When Did I Become a Girlie Girl? features pieces from Smythe’s most recent exhibits Naturals ’08-’09, Goodbye Girls and Wallflowers.

Naturals ’08-’09 saw Smythe move away from painting and drawing into wall-dependent sculpture with dresses and corsets made with pulp mache’, glue and natural materials like grass, seeds and beans. The background is hand-painted acrylic paint on wood panel. Goodbye Girls is a series of paintings dedicated to young women who have gone missing and/or been murdered at a young age. Smythe said it was inspired by a friend whose daughter was murdered. Each work includes an empty ghost-like wedding dress representing the wedding dress they will never wear. “Wallflowers is the girliest body of work that I have ever made. I’m still asking myself where this is coming from,” she said. “Prom, debutante and wedding dresses mark special moments in our lives. Even if we barely remember the event itself, we have the photos  – and  sometimes the dress – to help us retain our memories.”

Smythe lives in Rockport and is a founding member and serves as executive director of K Space Contemporary, a non-profit, contemporary art space in Corpus Christi. She holds a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from University of Texas at Tyler, master’s degrees in arts and fine arts from Stephen F. Austin University.

She is active in coordinating the monthly Corpus Christi ArtWalk, Dia de los Muertos Festival and other events. Smythe also is an adjunct instructor of art at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The art gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 361-593-3401.