Shelby Dawn Smith
Shelby Dawn Smith is an artist who grew up in small town Northwestern Ontario, and currently conducts her practice in the Greater Toronto Area. She graduated with honours from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Ottawa in 2015. Her debut solo show, Different Every Time, took place at Studio Sixty-Six in the spring of 2016.
Shelby describes her work, a combination of mixed-media and abstract painting, as a conversation between gestures, forms, and other aesthetic components. She incorporates various contrasting elements — or “binaries” — within her art in order to create a dialogue or conversation between marks. Examples of these binaries include soft/hard, fast/slow, geometric/organic, textured/smooth, saturated/unsaturated, and planned/accidental. Smith takes a reactionist approach to painting, in which a childlike sense of playfulness emerges. To her, having fun is key to artistic exploration. To ensure that each painting is unique, she begins each painting with a different action, and follows an unguided path to the conclusion.