Sheila Smith was born and raised in New Jersey. After obtaining a degree in Chemistry she moved to NYC. Art was always part of her childhood, for several cousins were artists. Her real art education started with frequent visits to New York's MOMA and Guggenheim Museums. The painters who interested her most in those days included Van Gogh and Picasso.
Eventually Smith settled in Utica, New York with her husband and three children. She ended her chemistry career in order to take on family and household responsibilities. She started to study drawing and painting at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (MWP). She found parallels between creating art and scientific research; both were solitary processes involving thinking, working with one’s hands and applying learned techniques and knowledge to the creative process. She completed the MWP Fine Arts Studio Program and began to work as a sculptor.
Smith’s sculptural work focused on the female figure and conceptual pieces often addressing gender issues. Eventually Smith switched to painting. She continued to explore feminist themes by creating allegories mainly using the female figure and cows as a metaphor. During the time she spent in Upstate New York her work was shown at the MWP Art Institute, the Everson Museum of Art, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Albany Institute of History and Art as well as numerous galleries through out central New York.
In July of 2019 Smith moved to Rhode Island. Just prior to this she had journeyed away from figurative work to a very formalist approach towards surreal images. After re-establishing her studio in new surroundings she continued with the series Biologiks. With this body of work she commits to line, color, texture, and form.
©All images copyright of Sheila Smith.