RHONDA SMITH
TITLE: MEMORY OF WATER
SIZE: Triptych: Each Panel 30” x 44″ 
MEDIUM: Monotype, woodcut
PRICE: $2550
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Rhonda J. Smith is a practicing artist and retired professor of Art who is committed to advancing processes that explore and redefine what printmaking can be. She uses non-toxic inks and the non-traditional approach of mounting her prints on archival boards. She says, “I am primarily a printmaker who also works in collage and digital prints. My work is mounted on board with a 2″ cradle with no glass boundary between work and viewer – so they are often mistaken for paintings.”

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Travel and encounters with the art and culture of other peoples is a powerful motivator for printmaker Rhonda J. Smith. The themes of her intaglio prints and collages involve journey, excursions that occur both within the process of creating and in the physical encounters with places and cultures.

Like the layers of journey that reveal themselves over time, Smith uses a matrix created on acrylic sheets printed in layers using non-toxic inks. Her printing plates are repurposed sheets of Plexiglas originally used to protect the table tops in her studio. After years of cutting and gluing on these transparent surfaces, she was preparing to toss them out but decided to try using them to make prints.

By overprinting the various plates, and creating some with specific images, she found the surfaces produced a tangle of lines suggesting maps and coordinates. For Smith, the process of travel and printmaking are similar. Despite assumptions about where the journey may lead, she is always surprised by what she eventually discovers.

Rhonda served as Chair of the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater at Shepherd University for over 25 years and acted as Coordinator of the BFA Painting Program for 5 years before becoming Coordinator of the BFA Printmaking Program for 24 years. She recently retired from Shepherd University after 30 years. She is currently a Master Faculty at Shepherd University teaching African Art and Printmaking.

Smith received her BFA from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky and her MFA from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Her work has been exhibited regionally and nationally. Smith has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, China, Peru, India and the United States. Born in Fort Worth Texas she has lived in Kentucky, New Mexico, West Virginia, Virginia and now in Keedysville, Maryland.