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Artist Statement

Portals may not be literal, but I believe they are real.

Through my art, I seek to explore transition and possibility. The quiet tension before that first step forward, the breath held during the leap. The single moment that might change our lives forever.

I see portals as a symbolic representation of the intersection of past and future; what was and what could be. Using color, form, and texture my art evokes the conflicting emotions of the hope and resistance that accompany change, but also the power of a fleeting moment when anything is possible.

Laurie Smithwick

Artist Resume/CV

Laurie Smithwick is an abstract painter, printmaker, and muralist steeped in formalism. She uses visual hierarchies and the element of surprise to tell stories and elicit emotion.

Solo Exhibitions

February, 2023 Composure, Southern Strain Brewing, Charlotte, NC
June, 2022 Composure, Artisan’s Palate, Charlotte, NC
May, 2022 Split Complementary, Art on the Corner, Rock Hill, SC
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
2018 Wayfinding, Camp North End, Charlotte

Murals + Public Art

2023 Pilgrimage, Sculpture at Ballantyne’s Backyard for Charlotte International Arts Festival
2023 Tiny Art Gallery: Portals, Public Art at Peel Gallery, Carrboro, NC for Uproar Festival
2023 Bubble Trail, Sidewalk Mural at Anne O. Moffat Park at The Sharon, Charlotte, NC
2022 Tiny Bubbles, Sidewalk Mural around Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, NC
2022 LoSo Portal, Mural at Burr & Berry Coffee, Charlotte, NC
2022 Pulse, Mural at The VAPA Center, 2nd floor, Charlotte, NC
2022 Bounce, Mural at The VAPA Center, Multipurpose Room, Charlotte, NC
2021 Threading Through, Mural on the Sugar Creek Greenway Parkwood Tunnel, Charlotte, NC
2021 Focus: Energy, Mural at Novant Orthopedic Hospital, Charlotte, NC
2021 Waves of Hope, Community Mural at Novant Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte, NC
2021 Awning Mural at Betty by Moxie, Charlotte, NC
2020 Commission for UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Charlotte, NC
2019 Commission for Levine Childrens’ Hospital
2019 Oh How Bright the Path Grows, Art of Recycling Public Art Initiative, Collaboration with Helms Jarrell, Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, Charlotte, NC
2017 Sidewalk Skip, Signal Cabinet, Thomas & Central Ave., Charlotte, NC
2017 Beautiful Utilities, Signal Cabinet, East & South Blvd., Charlotte, NC

Select Group Exhibitions

2023 Winter Show – GreenHill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC
2022 100 Tiny Things – Charlotte International Arts Festival, Charlotte, NC
2022 Unprompted, Flux Galleries, Charlotte, NC
2021 Labyrinth – Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
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 Commissioned to create two site-specific pieces for UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Charlotte, NC
2020 Counter-Balance, Counter- Restaurant, 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

Honors + Grants

2022 SEED Grant, Arts & Science Council, Charlotte, NC
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


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