Artist Statement

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am a P and a J (most people are a P or a J), which amounts to a constant internal struggle between flexibility and structure. This can be difficult day to day, but turns out to be great for art.

I spent a lifetime as a graphic designer, disciplined by rules: grids, letterforms, hierarchies, and construction. But after 20 years, I needed a shift, and that’s when I transitioned to abstract painting and printmaking. Abstract art has taught me to embrace unpredictability and abandon perfectionism. Now I explore the tension between order and disorder; rules and intuition. I am obsessed with the equilibrium created by opposing forces.

I have been working on my current series, “Balance,” throughout the pandemic — a period of time that has many of us feeling decidedly unbalanced, thanks to rising COVID case counts, Black lives being taken by police and violence arising from the protests, our entire west coast being consumed by fire, and an election unprecedented in its stakes. My work introduces structures that would never be able to balance in the real world, but in the context of a painting, are able to perform the impossible.

Laurie Smithwick

Artist Resume/CV

Laurie Smithwick is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based artist and designer. She works primarily in painting and printmaking, with an emphasis on abstract forms and color harmonies.


AAS Graphic Design, Parsons School of Design, 1993; Graduated with honors
B.A. English/Creative Writing, Duke University 1991; Certificate in Women’s Studies

Solo Exhibitions

June, 2021 “Split Complementary”, 81C Gallery, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
May, 2021 “Balance”, Kiki Bistronome, Charlotte, NC
March, 2020 “Windows”, Garner Performing Arts Center, Garner, NC
November, 2019 “Windows”, Chifferobe, Black Mountain, NC
September, 2019 Commission for Levine Childrens’ Hospital, Charlotte
2019 “Oh How Bright the Path Grows”, Art of Recycling Public Art Initiative, Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, Charlotte
2018 “Wayfinding”, Camp North End, Charlotte
2017 Can-Do Signs, Signal Cabinet, Thomas & Central Ave., Charlotte
2017 “Beautiful Utilities”, Signal Cabinet, East & South Blvd., Charlotte

Group Exhibitions

2021 Up-And-Coming Invitational, Shain Gallery, Charlotte, NC
Duets – An Immersive Open Air Art Show, Charlotte, NC
2021 GRACEfest, SouthEnd Arts, Charlotte, NC
2020 Nutrient Rich, Goodyear Arts, Charlotte, NC

2020 Benefit Art Sale, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2020 ArtPop Charlotte, Class of 2020, Billboards and Digital Displays, Charlotte
2019 PRESS – An Exhibit of Prints and Printmakers, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC
2019 Facilitator, Eight Signal Cabinet Wraps in Plaza Midwood, Charlotte
2019 Boom Boxes, BOOM Festival, Charlotte
2019 Spring Fever, South End Arts, Charlotte
2018  Amplify the Signal – Facilitator, Eight Signal Cabinet Wraps along South Blvd., Charlotte
2016 Facets, Gallery Twenty-Two, Charlotte
2016 Dada Soirée: An Absurd Art Show, C3 Lab, Charlotte
2016 Member Show, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2013-19 Yard Art Day, Charlotte
1993 Parsons End of Year Show, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, New York, NY

Interactive Exhibitions

2018 Perfect Imperfection, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2017 iMake Charlotte, C3 Lab, Charlotte
2016 Imagine If, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2016 Mini Maker Faire, Discovery Place Science, Charlotte
2016 Art & Soul, Historic South End / Rail Trail, Charlotte
2016 iMake Charlotte, C3 Lab, Charlotte
2016 Six Word Stories, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2015 Step Away from the Screen, Altitude Summit, Salt Lake City, UT


2019-2020 Workshop Instructor, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte
2018 Keynote Speaker, North Carolina Presenters Consortium Annual Meeting, Asheville, NC
2017 Featured Speaker – Innovation Workshop, Women’s Leadership Retreat, Arapahoe, NC
2016 – present Regular Appearances, Charlotte Today, WCNC, Charlotte
2016 You Are an Idea Person, TEDxCharlotte Talk
2015 Keynote Speaker, Alt For Everyone, Online Conference
2011 – 2016 Graphic Design Teacher, Alt Channel
2009 Panelist – Managing Online Communities, Social Fresh, Charlotte
2007 – 2016 Recurring Panelist, Altitude Summit, Salt Lake City
2007 – 2016 Recurring Panelist, Mom 2.0 Summit, Houston

Awards + Grants

2021 Meta Mural Residency, Brand The Moth, Charlotte
2019 Art of Recycling program, Arts & Science Council, Charlotte
2017 Creative Lab Grant, Historic South End, Charlotte
2016 Placemaking Grant, Historic South End, Charlotte
Art Directors Club – Merit Award
Association For Independent Music – Winner, Best Packaging
1997 Grammy Awards – Nominated for Best Boxed Recording Package
Society Of Publication Designers – Silver Medal
Print Magazine Regional Annual
Graphis Design Annual