Bright colors, vibrant fabrics, and found materials are the tools of play in this body of work. Plushy and pet-able, each piece begs the viewer to touch; inviting them in and asking them to experience with another sense. It is impossible to make work that is not in some way related to the turbulence created by current events; the work acts a subtle distraction from how dark the world can be by adding a little brightness, playful personification, and comfortable approachability.
Claire Smith graduated from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a major in Sculpture and a minor in Industrial Design. Her mix of education in fine art and design allows for her to be a resourceful problem solver with the confidence to build just about anything. She has shown her work at the Milwaukee Art Museum, The Harley Davidson Museum, Urban Arts Space, and The Cultural Art Center. In 2012, Claire returned to Columbus to start an art practice based in non-traditional and found object construction installations. After her studio at Junctionview closed in 2013, she became part of the core group of artists to start Tacocat Cooperative. Smith took a brief hiatus from her art practice and is now currently working out of Blockfort. Claire has been working with artists at Open Door Art Studio & Gallery for over 6 years, starting out as a volunteer, she quickly transitioned to a role as a creative mentor. Smith says, “Working with the artists of Open Door has a symbiotic effect, we feed off each other’s creativity. The artists and staff constantly inspire me, more than I ever could have imagined.”