University of North Texas

UNT Insider | October 2013 issue | Sculptor and printmaker Kiki Smith named UNT's artist-in-residence for 2013-14

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Sculptor and printmaker Kiki Smith named UNT's artist-in-residence for 2013-14

From a UNT News Service press release

Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith

Internationally renowned sculptor and printmaker Kiki Smith, who received a 2012 U.S. Department of State Medal of the Arts Award, was named UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts artist-in-residence for the 2013-14 academic year.

In spring 2013, Smith visited UNT as speaker for the annual Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Lecture Series in Contemporary Sculpture and Criticism. In his introduction of Smith, College of Visual Arts and Design Dean Robert Milnes says, "Kiki Smith creates some of the most empathetic, intimate, imagistic and figurative works of our era. Her work is deeply spiritual and at the same time politically charged, addressing philosophical, social and spiritual aspects of human nature through prints, drawings, sculpture and installations."

Smith began her residency Sept. 29. While at UNT, she will work with students, visiting classes to talk about her work. Throughout her residency, she will be making a large-scale print and will exhibit other pieces of her work at UNT on the Square in March.

"I look forward to my residency at the University of North Texas," Smith says. "I plan to use it as an experimental time for learning ways new to me to create large landscape prints celebrating the Texas wildflowers."

New York's Museum of Modern Art calls Smith "one of the most significant artists of her generation." She was among five artists who received the first state department Medal of the Arts Awards for the work they have done, including having their artwork displayed in U.S. embassies around the world. Known for her sculptures and prints, which often focus on female iconography, Smith's artwork is in collections throughout the world including:

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
  • Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • Victoria and Albert Museum in London

"It is both an honor and a thrill to host Kiki Smith as the fourth IAA artist-in-residence," says Herbert Holl, director of UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. "I know her previous positive experiences with the UNT College of Visual Art and Design contributed greatly to her accepting our invitation. We are especially delighted at her willingness to present an exhibition at UNT on the Square."

Past IAA artists-in-residence have included:

  • Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga
  • Nationally acclaimed opera composer Jake Heggie, who wrote Ahab Symphony, which premiered at UNT in spring 2013
  • Visual and performance artist Nick Cave and UNT alumnus who featured brightly colored horse soundsuits at the premiere performance of Heard at UNT in spring 2012

About Kiki Smith

The daughter of sculptor Tony Smith and opera singer Jane Lawrence Smith, Kiki Smith began sculpting in the 1970s. Since 1980, she has created artwork using a variety of other media. In addition to the 2012 U.S. Department of State Medal of the Arts Award, she has received several awards and honors. These include the 2005 Athena Award for Excellence in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and the 2009 Edward MacDowell Medal. She was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2005. Smith's work is represented by Pace Gallery, New York.

About the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts
Launched in October 2009, UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts aims to showcase, support and advance excellence in the visual, performing and creative literary arts at UNT, among its faculty members and in conjunction with their renowned colleagues and collaborators. The three central components of the Institute are:

The IAA is an initiative of the offices of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Participating colleges include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Visual Arts and Design, and College of Music.

About the UNT Art Galleries

Part of the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design, the UNT Art Galleries support the educational mission of the university, enrich the aesthetic environment of the community and serve as a cultural resource for the public at large. Through their focus on curatorial projects involving vanguard contemporary art, the galleries challenge and promote the current discourse surrounding living artists and their works.

Margarita Venegas with UNT News Service can be reached at


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October 2013

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