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Physical labor is a prominent part of Halie Smith’s world, and naturally engrained in her art practice. Emphasizing physical labor and tradition, Halie strives to bring what she believes to be at the foundation of humanity into a contemporary context. She finds value and stability in the ways things used to be done that seem foreign today. She thinks of painting as a form of labor, which turns the body into a tool. The way Halie paints is a continuous eye to hand relationship. However, emotions, worldviews and environmental factors are the lenses that the image is filtered through. Feeling the temperature of the room and hearing the sounds in the environment, being able to tap into the emotions and tension in the situation are all factors that affect the way the work is produced. The way Smith paints is a byproduct of this environmental awareness, it has a kind of human touch that cannot be achieved by a manmade machine. This old way of thinking that Halie finds so important is still active in small towns in New England and she lets these traditions grow into fruition through her paintings and sculptures.

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HALIE SMITH is a figurative oil painter and sculptor from central MA. She is an MCLA ’18 alum, and currently a graduate student at MassArt in Boston pursuing her MFA in 2D fine art. Halie is an assistant Art Teacher at The Worcester Art Museum and Firefighter on the Spencer Fire Department. Her work focuses on recording what she witnesses and experiences in her rural hometown. She is a member of the Massasoit Art Guild.