Michael Smoot, And To This World

October 14, 2023

March 9, 2024
Michael Smoot’s work explores ideas of interconnectedness and probes the systems and structures we have put in place to fulfill our needs.

Michael Smoot, And To This World’s work explores ideas of interconnectedness and probes the systems and structures we have put in place to fulfill our needs. We are individuals, but we exist as part of a much greater whole. We depend on each other for the most basic needs, like food and shelter, but also for less tangible things, such as community and shared meaning. Through invention, ingenuity, and collaboration, we have created systems and technologies that have enabled us to communicate, travel, and connect more easily than ever before. 

Smoot uses a variety of traditional printmaking techniques, such as lithography, pochoir (a hand-stenciling process), and relief printing, in combination with contemporary digital tools, to create forms that evoke evolution, geological shifts, and other biological and chemical processes. The resulting images are delicate and haunting and imply the steady march of time, incremental change, and the accumulation and layering of relationships and experiences. 

As we continue to grapple with our impacts both on each other and on our planet, it can be hard to feel hope for the future. Smoot’s work reminds us of the possibilities that are inherent in our human capacity for change. His belief in printmaking’s potential for collaborative effort and collective creative action lends the works an underlying sense of optimism in the face of seemingly grim prospects. 

— Sarah Freeman, curator

Michael Smoot

My work explores our conceptions of the material world and their relationship to our embodied existence. I utilize traditional printmaking techniques in combination with digital technologies. This current body of work contemplates biogeochemical phenomena as a framework for generating psychological resilience in the face of ecosocial convulsions. Inspired by concepts from chemistry, physics, biology, geology, economics, anthropology, and sociology, I am interested in the connection between our models of the physical world and their potential to serve as a meditative tool while we are confronted with ecological, political, and cultural calamities.

— Michael Smoot

Artist Details

Michael Smoot

Mike Smoot currently lives in Southern Vermont. He completed Tamarind Institute’s Professional Printer Training Program in 2007 and has worked at several professional fine art print studios including Atelier Towson, The Experimental Print Institute, Tamarind Institute, Landfall Press, and Janus Press. He has given lectures and demonstrations on printmaking at Towson University, Goucher College, East Carolina University, Southeast Missouri State University, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Georgia State University, Valdosta State University, UMass Amherst, Bennington College, Keene State College, and Smith College. In addition, he has worked with a number of art related community organizations including, School 33, Art with Heart, Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, Governor's Institute of Vermont, Empty Bowls, Seedlings Program, and Baltimore Talent Development High School. He believes printmaking’s potentials for sustained collaborative effort, the negotiation of difference, and collective creative action make it a worthwhile pursuit.

ARTIST STATEMENT
My work is made using enduring printmaking techniques along with contemporary technologies to articulate my interest in past, present, and future social-political-economic-ecological interactions, phenomena, and potentials. I am intrigued by systems and the ways in which we generate, organize, and reproduce information. My work is the result of a process of continual investigation into these structures and how they inform our values and actions. I am pessimistically hopeful.

Location

Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
10 Vernon St. Brattleboro, VT

Current Exhibits

Brattleboro and Beyond is Brimming with Creatives!  

March 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

May 18, 2024

June 30, 2024

Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts

March 30, 2024

May 12, 2024

Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts