Debra Smith’s new works contained in the exhibition Seeking Balance are the result of both an intuitive process, formed from years of working with historic textiles, and a mindful practice. Each work is an open expression, constructed in an extraordinary way - with hours of stitching, embedding layer upon layer of material. For Smith, her art is an articulation of her life. It is this dance to distract and effort to breathe where eventually everything connects and the destination is a place of beauty and clarification.

Debra Smith was born in Kansas City in 1971 and raised in Hannibal, Missouri. Pursuing her interest in fashion and textiles, Debra Smith studied at the Italian Academy of Fashion & Design; Lorenzo de Medici in Florence Italy before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute with a major in Fiber in 1993 and an Associate Degree in Applied Science from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2002. Breaking all stereotypes associated with textiles, from ideas of craft to that of “women’s work”, Smith’s pieced images have a strong language that is much more similar to that of painting. In 2012 Smith was honored as one of the Women to Watch 2012: Focus on Fiber & Textiles from The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC Her work has been shown internationally over the past two decades, including solo & group exhibitions. After living in Brooklyn, NY, for over a decade, Smith returned to her native Midwestern roots in 2004. She now lives in Kansas City, where she continues to create art from vintage textiles.

Location: Haw Contemporary Crossroads - 19 W 19th Street

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