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Daily Inspiration: Meet Noreen Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noreen Smith .

Hi Noreen , we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a self taught multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Baltimore, MD. My love for art and making began in my adolescence and grew from observing women in my family create out of necessity or simply for the sake of making something beautiful but, rarely for recognition or monetization. The simple joy, pride and pure energy in their practices encompassed every work of their hands. Those authentic experiences taught me that art is a birth right belonging to everyone, a universal form of communication and an intimate exchange that on the deepest level can even evoke a visceral response. Knowing that I could cultivate an artistic voice that could be seen, felt and herd was the catalyst for my desire to be an Artist.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It was initially difficult for me to outwardly identify myself as an artist and to understand that my creations were/are worthy of showcase and celebration. I further felt challenged by the snobbery and elitism that is often a part of the social circles within the art world. But, it fueled a determination and rebellion within me to feel comfortable in my skin and to claim any space that I am brave enough to stand in. Once I submitted to the truth of my own power, i decided to stop silencing my artistic voice and work to amplify the stories I wanted to share with others with pride and confidence.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What do I do/specialize in? I am a multidisciplinary artist but, I especially enjoy working with paper.
What am i most proud of?
Most recently I created my first body of work, a collage series entitled, “Heroes & Villains”.
What sets me apart from others?
This series was created exclusively of materials sourced from comics and graphic novels. The utilization of these particular books is meant to point to the history of the under-representation of brown/black female characters within those story lines, similar to the real life history of gender and racial inequality of the feminist art movement of the 1970’s. “Heroes and Villains” also explores my journey through life as a black woman, and the social/racial inequities between black/brown women and their white female counterparts when living out their feminine freedoms and truths, and lends itself to the innate power found in womanhood, and the divine feminine; inclusive of those seldom celebrated complexities and nuances of female existence over time and various life occurrences.

What does success mean to you?
My definition of success is very simply living a life that makes you feel happy and whole.

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