Milliken Gallery Exhibition Features Art from Consumer Waste

Marilyn by Kirkland Smith
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Beginning Aug. 29, Milliken Art Gallery will host a large selection of 3-D paintings by Columbia, SC artist Kirkland Smith in her “Nothing Wasted” exhibition. Smith will present an exhibition of work created almost entirely from post-consumer materials collected from friends and family members. The 3-Dimensional items have been assembled into large representational "paintings" including portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Bob Marley. The exhibition will be available to view through Sept. 26. Gallery hours are Monday—Friday from 9:00 am—5:00 pm, and Sunday 2:00—5:00 pm. The gallery is closed during school holidays.

Viewers will identify items that consumers discard daily: plastic bottle caps, make-up containers, cell phones, and fast food toys.

On Thursday, Sept. 5 at 6:00 pm in the Milliken Art Gallery, a Gallery Talk with the artist will include discussions of her career and art process. The Gallery Talk will be followed by the opening reception at 6:30 pm. The exhibit and events are free and open to the public.

Viewed at close range, the images are unrecognizable but the individual items are not. Viewers will identify items that consumers discard daily: plastic bottle caps, make-up containers, cell phones, and fast food toys. From a distance, the Assemblages come into focus to reveal representational images- primarily portraits.

Smith, a classical painter, began creating Assemblages when she entered an environmental art contest and decided to use post-consumer objects as her "paint". She was looking for an evocative way to drive home the message of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Giving new life to discarded objects, she hopes to start a conversation and challenge viewers to consider their consumer habits. 

For more information about this exhibition, contact Kathryn Boucher, Milliken Art Gallery Director for Converse College, at kathryn.boucher@converse.edu.