Melted, mottled glass featured at COM art exhibit
Raised on her family’s one-acre island in Muskoka Lake in Canada, artist Margaret Smithers-Crump says she grew up “surrounded by water and light.”
“The sea comes to play a lot in what I do,” said Smithers-Crump.
In her exhibit, “In Motion” on display at the College of the Mainland Art Gallery through Sept. 27, she incorporates the sea – and life’s fleeting, fickle, fragile nature.
Some pieces mirror the movement of a stone tossed into a pond; the titular piece, “In Motion," features ambiguous figures dancing across the wall, larger encircling smaller.
“I think of very membranous forms like plankton on jellyfish,” said Smithers-Crump.
Versatile and translucent, Plexiglas forms the canvas of her work.
“Plexiglas underscores the fragility of life,” said Smithers-Crump.
Her piece, “Time Released,” features fractals of Plexiglas culminating in a diamond-like cluster of fragments.
“This piece came to me with the idea of stalactite,” said Smithers-Crump. “Most of my work is about stages of growth in life. It's the idea you can’t hold onto anything forever. There’s beauty in every part of the cycle.”
Transitioning to Plexiglas art from painting on wood, Smithers-Crump slices, paints and melts it with a 1,000-degree heat gun. Each part of “Pulse" she fashioned, painted and melded together into a web of tentacles.
Her work has been extensively displayed. Her exhibit “Pulse” was displayed at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston. Her art was also open to public at Galveston Art Center and Buchanan Gallery in Galveston.
Smithers-Crump’s pieces, like her sea, evolve.
“I like art to be something you look at again and again and again and discover something new,” said Smithers-Crump. “Art shouldn’t be closed. It should be a book that can be read by a lot of people.”
A reception and artist talk is free to the public Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m. For more information on the COM Art Gallery, visit www.com.edu/gallery.