Join 81C and the St. Thomas Historical Trust to view a full-scale art exhibition of abstract works by artist Laurie Smithwick Saturday at 81c’s downtown location on Strand Gade in historic Charlotte Amalie from 7 p.m. to midnight. Entitled “Split Complementary — Color-Baked Monotypes,” the show features monotype prints inspired by the colors of downtown Charlotte Amalie.
During Smithwick’s first visit to St. Thomas, she roamed the downtown streets and was struck by the unique combination of saturated colors. The colors she has now reproduced in the monotype prints in the collection. Each print was inspired by a single photograph of a specific building.
Smithwick is an abstract painter and printmaker working primarily in monotypes, acrylics and watercolors. From Charlotte, N.C., Smithwick studied art and creative writing at Duke University and graphic design and photography at Parsons School of Design. Her design work earned her a Grammy nomination, and she has exhibited in New York, Raleigh and Charlotte.
“After a career as a graphic designer, disciplined by rules: grids, letterforms, hierarchies, and construction, I experienced a shift, a transition to the intangible,” she said. “Abstract art has taught me to embrace unpredictability and abandon perfectionism. Now I explore the tension between order and disorder, rules and intuition. I find myself consumed with the equilibrium created by opposing forces, balance being the consistency throughout the exploration of abstraction. My work introduces structures that would never be able to balance in the real world but in the context of my artwork they perform the impossible.”