Chloe Grey Smith is a junior at Gallatin, concentrating in urban community building through art. Her artwork investigates urban history and practice and themes of memory, space, mental illness, and relationships. She works in paint, mixed media, installation, and social practice, and as an art teacher. Hailing from the beaches of South Florida, she creates work that is influenced by the tropical environment of Florida as well as the temporal and spatial density of New York City. Smith has shown her work at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Townhouse Art Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
Don’t Worry Baby/Please Let Me Wonder
This project was conceived with the intent to bring together several different personal themes: my struggle with mental illness, my family’s struggles with mental illness and substance abuse, my love for the Beach Boys (whose principal composer and singer, Brian Wilson, also struggles with mental illness), and my family’s history of living on the beach, albeit in several different states. Each painting is a composite of family photos taken at the beach, photos of beaches where my family lived, and Beach Boys lyrics. The pieces investigate questions of family and fate: is mental illness genetic, and am I fated to play out the same struggles as my family members? Is it choice or coincidence that my family has lived by the ocean for generations? My hope in creating this project is not only to investigate mental illness within the history and culture of my own family but to start discussions about mental illness in families other than my own.