Allison Smith

Eureka Fellowship Awardees 2021

Allison Smith is motivated by a sense of accountability for harms caused by ancestors. Her artistic
practice engages the cultural phenomenon of historical reenactment as the ritualized performance of
unresolved trauma. Haunted by the past, her activism takes form in a queered materiality that summons
the ghosts of history/herstory/hxstory, tracing alternate lineages, transmitting different storylines, and
offering hopeful re-workings. Through apprenticeships with culture bearers across craft traditions, she
creates sculptures with curative potential, serving as keys for time travel and the possibility of healing
past, present, and future generations. Smith has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions at
venues, including P.S.1/MOMA, Palais de Tokyo, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MASS MoCA
The Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield,
CT; The Arts Club of Chicago; S!GNAL Center for Contemporary Art, Sweden; and the California
College of Arts’ Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, among many others. Smith has received awards
and grants from United States Artists, the Arts Council England, the Public Art Fund, the Creative Work
Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Artadia, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New
York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been featured on Art:21 and PBS The Art Assignment. Smith
participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and holds an MFA from Yale
University, a BFA from Parsons School of Design, and a BA from Eugene Lang College. Recent projects
include Common Good, produced with the Cambridge Arts Council and shown at the Carpenter Center
for the Visual Arts at Harvard University; Models for a System, a collaboration with Christina Zetterlund
at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco; Be Not Still at di Rosa Center for Contemporary
Art in Napa, California; and Two of Wands with Adam Milner at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland.
Smith is currently working on a long-term project exploring early American colonial legacies through the
lens of animism, witchcraft, and ritual practices of ancestral lineage repair which will manifest in group
shows in Plymouth, Massachusetts and Plymouth, UK and a solo exhibition at Fort Mason Center for Arts
& Culture in San Francisco in 2020.

Rudiments of Fife & Drum, 2013
Itinerant Bedding, Conner Prairie, Indiana , 2013
Reflective Lens, 2018