artist discovery: Kirkland Smith


Kirkland Smith is a local Columbia artist who uses “found” objects to create works of art. I came across her work in The State newspaper today. She uses toys, electronics, bottle caps, and any number of other things to create portraits of famous people. Kirkland Smith originally began creating these “assemblages” to bring awareness to the city’s trash problem. All of the portraits or “assemblages” look like piles of trash up close, but far away the picture materializes and becomes a work of art.

marilyn monroe

Look at all of that stuff that she has included in that portrait! I see many action figures, toy ponies, combs, a hairdryer, a telephone, the word “why,” lots of plastic utensils, and so much more!

portrait of a child

According to The State newspaper, many people save many different items for her and drop them off at her studio, and even her house. Some of the “trash” she doesn’t use, she takes to Goodwill. I can’t imagine the scene inside of her studio! How can she tell what’s art and what’s trash?!

Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin

American flag

Her work is currently on display at Gallery80808 through October 15th. I hope I get a chance to make it down there to check out her art. I love the concept, and I love the results she has been able to achieve–all the while creating awareness within the city of its ever-growing trash problem. Be sure to put your trash in the proper receptacle, people!


One response »

  1. Saw Marilyn Monroe at Grand Rapids ArtPtize. I am totally mesmerized by that work. Definitely a unique medium to open awareness of our garbage epidemic. Afraid I’m guilty as charged.

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