Carmen Smith features
Carmen art exhibitions reviews
Carmen Smith is a visual artist based in South Florida. Originally from St. Augustine, FL, she moved to Miami in 2008. She is an Associate Artist at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami. She holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. She earned the Academic and Creative Excellence Award at VCU.
She has participated in more than 15 juried shows and fairs, including the 8th Annual All-Media Juried Biennial (Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 2017) and Spectrum Art Fair (Miami, 2017).
She has participated in many group exhibitions including The Portfolio Review Series, Coral Gables Museum (Miami, 2019) and Everything Old Is New Again, Superfine NYC (New York, 2017). In 2021, she held her first solo exhibition entitled “Night Swimming” at Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA). In May 2022 she exhibited alongside Hermes Berrio at Coral Springs Museum of Art. The two-person exhibit, “Rushing Down,” explored themes of urban Miami life. She is best known for her intensely colorful paintings of tropical urban scenes with pools and slides.
Carmen Smith’s artwork explores the link between color, the built environment, and emotion. Central to her practice is the belief that color as well as structures, like the figure in art, have emotive and intellectual influence. Her current series Night Swimming emphasizes the nocturnal South Florida landscape, presenting the magical glow of pools and colorful buildings. Her compositions are kept simple, while her use of color is exaggerated.
Carmen’s paintings are fictitious scenes, yet they appear familiar. They are carefully built from memories, experiences and familiar Floridian architecture. She layers drawings of buildings, patterns, pools and slides to create a balanced geometric composition. Her use of familiar settings entices viewers with relatable scenery. Her choice of perspective positions the viewer as part of the scene. She uses an exaggeratedly bright, sometimes neon, color palette to explore and symbolize themes relating to the personality and culture of South Florida such as opulence, decadence, escape, nostalgia, flashiness, leisure and fun. The result is a more nuanced consideration of how places affect experience, memory, and identity.
2005 BFA magna cum laude, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Richmond, VA
1999 BA, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Lynchburg, VA
1998 St. Petersburg State University, International Student Exchange Program, St. Petersburg, Russia
2017/18 Merit Certificate, Annual “Paint Me Miami” Art Competition
2003 Academic and Creative Excellence Award, VCU School of the Arts
2003 Dean’s Scholarship Award, VCU School of the Arts
2021 Night Swimming, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA, Apr 2-May 21, 2021o
Exposed, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Aug 29-Sep 25
Topography, Willow Street Gallery, Washington, DC, Mar 9-Apr 14, 2019
Sense of Place, Arts Warehouse, Delray Beach, FL, Jan 11-Feb 25, 2019 (2 Person exhibition)
Superfine! NYC Art Fair, New York, NY, May 2-6, 2018
Art and Soul, Gallery One, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 27, 2018
Art Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, January 24-28, 2018
Superfine! Miami, Miami Art Week, Miami, FL, December 6-10, 2017
Paint Me Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Center Art Gallery, Miami, FL, September 2, 2017
Superfine! NYC Art Fair, New York, NY, May 4-7, 2017
Art and Soul, Gallery One, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 28, 2017
Boca Raton Museum of Art Artists’ Guild Exhibit, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, Jan 23-Feb 7, 2017
Art Bravo, Art Serve, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, February 2-24, 2017
8th Annual All-Media Juried Biennial, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, FL, Jan 21-March 5, 2017
Spectrum Miami, Miami Art Week, Miami, FL, November 30-December 4, 2016
Art Trax Gallery, FATVillage Arts District, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 30, 2016
Select Group Exhibitions
The Portfolio Review Series, Coral Gables Museum, Miami, FL, August 2, 2019
Civil Rites, Sandrell Rivers Theatre, Miami, FL, January 21-April 4, 2018
1310 Gallery, Group Exhibition, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 11-July 8, 2017
Everything Old Is New Again, Superfine! NYC Art Fair Curated Gallery, New York, NY, May 4-7, 2017
Wynwood Yard Artist Showcase, Miami, FL, February 14, 2017
Ligne Roset Art Basel Showcase, Ligne Roset Miami, Miami, FL, December 1, 2016
At Home with Art, Ft. Lauderdale Home and Remodeling Show, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, November 18-20, 2016
Is there an artwork you’ve made that surprised you?
Yes, it was one I painted for my last show at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, and it surprised me because I pushed the neon color to an extreme I hadn't tried previously and the result was really outstanding .
Which artwork is the most personally meaningful to you?
The most personally meaningful painting to me is "Forty Winks." It captures a man sleeping on a shopping cart. He was dressed nicely, and it was the middle of the day. I have never stopped thinking about him, even now I wonder why he was there and if he's okay.
Is there a piece that signifies a breakthrough for you?
Yes, the piece is called "Empty Basket," and it signifies a breakthrough because I had never painted an urban city scene so simply. It was a departure from what I was working on previously, and it was more realistic as well. But it worked, and it led me to paint my first really successful series "High Noon."
Do you have a piece that you made during a rough patch in your life?
During hurricane Irma I started a painting. I kept working on it while we all cleaned up and waited for weeks for the debris to be cleared. The chaos and instability of that experience is part of the painting.