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Smith Garcés’ Exhibition Explores the Safety of
Women Around the World at the Boston Arts Academy
ORGANIZATION:Gordon Gallery (at the Boston Arts Academy)
EXHIBITION:Kindling:Visual Essays by Sandy Smith-Garcés
DATES:Septmber 22-October 19, 2011
ADDRESS:174 Ipswich Street, Boston, MA02215
The exhibition features three of Ms. Smith-Garces’ graphite and white charcoal essays.
Ms. Smith-Garces’ work draws you in with the exquisite beauty of her draftsmanship
and keeps you engaged with the provocative juxtaposition of her beautiful illustrations
with difficult subject matter. The essay Kindling features gorgeous still lifes of bundles
of wood floating over the words of several local mothers Smith-Garces interviewed for
the project. Their statements reflect on the plight of refugees from Darfur, Sudan and
the local mother’s own relative ability to provide for their families. A second series, The
Perfect Stone includes seven large format drawings of rocks, each one unique, dis-
tinct, and beautiful to look at as well as an installation of six stones mounted on ped-
alstals and labeled with the names of recent victims of stoning. In the essay’s framing
text we learn that a man in Somalia who was asked to organize and carry out a ston-
ing of a 13 year old girl pondered the “perfect stone” with which to carry out his task.
The final series in the show, Is This the Answer?, features detailed drawings of
medieval torture devises alongside historic Western proverbs. Ms. Smith-Garcés
explains, “These medieval instruments of torture, real and imagined, are visual com-
ments on the state of safety for women in the 21st century.” While the imagery in each of the series reflects a taste for the classic, their presentation—finely rendered drawing suspended in the middle of rough toned paper—is, in some ways, quite modern and surreal, and possibly the only way to comprehend the questions inherent in Smith- Garcés’ art. Smith- Garcés explains:
I love the flexibility and delicacy of graphite and charcoal. The drawings subtlety invites intimacy while the stories themselves can be disturbing. These visual essays arean attempt to recreate for the observer my own experience of dismay over the continued vulnerability of women in the 21st century and reflect my own struggle to understand what is senseless, while hoping to raise awareness for the viewer.
Ms. Smith- Garcés received her Masters of Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York where she was the recipient of Paula Rhodes Memorial Award for Excellence in Art. This is Smith- Garcés’ first show in the Boston area.