Margaret Smithers-Crump: Kinship
Opening Reception: Friday, April 14, 2023, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) will present Margaret Smithers-Crump: Kinship as its spring 2023 exhibition. Margaret Smithers-Crump is a Houston-based sculptor, whose work focuses on the vulnerability and interconnectedness of the Earth’s diverse life forms and ecosystems. Smithers-Crump explores natural conditions of development such as birth, maturation, procreation and death and unnatural conditions caused by human impact such as global warming, pollution and loss of habitat.
Growing up on a tiny island in Canada, she witnessed the transformation of her family’s lake’s crystalline waters changing with obvious signs of pollution. Later on while living in the South Pacific, she saw clear evidence of invasive species and witnessed the awesome beauty of life in the coral reefs that are now affected by coral bleaching. Profoundly saddened, Smithers-Crump developed a passionate regard for the planet and its life forms. As a result, she wanted to find an art material that could conceptually evoke fragility and breakage. She wanted something that looked like glass but offered many creative possibilities.
In the late 90s, Smithers-Crump began working with recycled plexiglas and polycarbonate and found that these substances perform with amazing versatility. She is able to cut this material into hundreds of units that are shaped with heat and are chemically bonded together to create large two and three dimensional works for the wall, floor and ceiling. Many of the suspended forms rotate with the slightest air currents due to their light weight. The acrylic can receive a variety of media that is applied to the front and back of the forms. The painted surfaces are translucent and provide possibilities for greater depth and luminosity.
While Plexiglas offers diverse applications for her practice, it also offers compelling conceptual strengths that underscore her core concerns regarding the fragile balance of life on our planet. The glass-like appearance implies the possibility of breakage and shattering. It is a powerful metaphor for the tenuous existence of all life.
Join us for the opening reception of Margaret Smithers-Crump: Kinship on Friday, April 14, 2023, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Light drinks and refreshments will be served, and a brief gallery talk with the artist will take place at 7:15 pm. The reception is free and open to the public.