Salt Lake artist Jill Saxton Smith exhibits Next at Gallery East

USU Eastern Press Release

The “Change of State” exhibition features the work of Salt Lake City artist Jill Saxton Smith in the East Gallery of USU Eastern, on display October 5-29.

Smith is a Salt Lake City-based artist who has lived and worked as an artist internationally for 15 years. She received an MFA from Emily Carr University of Arts and Design in Vancouver, Canada.

His experience in the United States, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Guatemala gave him unique opportunities and ideas that have greatly influenced and enriched his work and career as a studio artist.

The exhibition – a series of portraits – integrates traditional methods and materials with raw and atypical materials to underline the transformative theme of his portrait.

A “state change,” she said, is a physical process where matter moves from one state to another. “The work aims to create parallels between these physical processes of the material world and the seismic events and experiences that have profoundly transformed the people around me. I combine the traditional portrait with my intuitive use of unconventional materials to talk about an emotional world or a story hidden behind each individual.

Smith’s interdisciplinary work draws attention to the felt experiences, both physiological and psychological, that compose and shape our being-in-the-world. His work focuses on material explorations, pushing them to their limits. She combines the traditional portrait with unconventional raw materials and lets physical experimentation lead to process-based practice.

In the studio, she follows the trajectories of chemical reactions, stains and physical forces on her materials. She explores themes such as comfort, dislocation, motherhood, detachment and the healing process.

Her investigation is about whether these inner emotions and experiences can be transferred and embodied in the intuitive processes and simple materials on which she relies to create her work.

Smith’s work is exhibited internationally on three continents, notably at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. She has lectured, facilitated workshops and presented her art as a guest artist in schools and organizations with a particular interest in disadvantaged and disabled artists.

The USU Eastern East Gallery is located in the Central Instruction Building and its exhibitions are free and open to the public during the academic year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on weekends and holidays. The gallery is observing COVID-19 precautions, including face coverings and a limit of 10 people in the gallery at a time.

The reception for Smith’s exhibition is October 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


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