Public Lecture by Mimi Smith, the 2017-2018 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Douglass College, on October 24, 2017. This lecture was in conjunction with the 2017-2018 Estele Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist Exhibition, "Protection and Other Time Considerations" on view at the Douglass Library from September 5-December 15, 2017.
Introductions by Connie Tell, Curator and Administrative Director, Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities; Isabel Nazario, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives; and Jacquelyn Litt, Dean, Douglass Residential College and Douglass Campus.
Born in Massachusetts and based in New York, Smith graduated with her MFA from the Visual Arts Department at Rutgers in 1966 when the program was located on the Douglass Campus. Douglass Residential College (DRC), formerly Douglass College, was founded in 1918 as the New Jersey College for Women. DRC is an intellectual community for undergraduate women that inspires its students to learn, lead, and live with conviction, creativity, and critical insight. DRC is located within Rutgers University, the only flagship public research university in the nation to offer students the opportunity to join a women's residential college.
As a student at Rutgers in the 60’s attending classes on the Douglass Campus, Smith studied with Fluxus and Conceptual artists and began making sculptural works. She became a pioneer in early feminist and conceptual art focusing on clothing sculpture and drawing installation, and attributes her time at Rutgers to this development in her work when clothing and materials became both subject and form. Her various bodies of works include clothing made from plastic and steel wool, traditionally rendered drawings, drawings made from knotted thread and tape measures, clocks, and knitted sculptures. Her work embodies the relationship between everyday life, intimacy, anxiety, and time. During her 50 plus year career as an artist, Smith’s work has been both misunderstood and highly regarded. Her work is included in public collections such as The Getty Center, Los Angeles; the Fogg Art Museum,
Cambridge, MA; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.