Our world is full of uncanny spaces worked into landscapes just waiting for us to get lost in. Some of those places are naturally occurring. Others are constructed. We can be carried away by something as large as a mountain or lose ourselves in something as small as the iris of the eye.
Having begun first as an emotion, these figures of wood, paint and porcelain are portraits of the mind. Unexpected vessels providing a moment of escape to remind us that our lives are about more than just surviving. Silently they create rabbit holes of experiences through which we can regain balance, connect with others, and return to our own reality refreshed.
One of the recent murals was in conjunction with a live event. Since one way we can refocus our outlook is by letting go of the things we can’t do anything about so we can focus on those precious to us, an interactive component was added. People in the crowd were told to take an eggshell filled with food-based pigment powder, write a worry on it, and then let it go by hurling the egg at the wall. Puffs of colored smoke majestically filled the air as their egg burst against the wall and their worry shattered into pieces. The pigment left on the wall was incorporated with the mural painting: A consoling portrait called “Bridge”. As those in the crowd let go of their worries, they built something new and beautiful together.
Thoughts and emotions as Leah's true medium. She employs wood, sculpted or painted ceramic tile, living plants, metal, fabric installation or any other medium that is best to embody the emotion that needs to fill the space. She has taught ceramic workshops at local ceramic studios, and her art has hung on the walls next to artists such as Sugarlux, Shepard Fairey, APEX, Jeremy Fish and Sam Flores. She's been interviewed and her art featured in a variety of TV, print and digital magazines such as Voyage LA, Atlanta Magazine, CBS's Good Day Sacramento, and The Hedonist Magazine. From featured illustrations in Paris, France to solo exhibitions in San Francisco's French quarter and Mission Districts, Leah's work has been exhibited throughout the US and abroad, including Scope Miami during Art Basel week. She continues using her mixed media work to create immersive experiences through her Los Angeles Arts District studio.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND HONORS
Channing and Leah Smithson, Vessel: Art as a Doorway Podcast, “Our Love Letter to You: Our Response to COVID-19”, April 5, 2020
VoyageLA, “Meet Leah Smithson of Talon and The Suneaters in Downtown”, July 23, 2019
Industry Magazine, “Rose Poses”, May 30, 2018
Mary Logan Bikoff, Atlanta Magazine, “Clay Time: 9 Georgia-made ceramics we love”, April 2017
Ketria Garner-Chambers, Style of Business Podcast, “Leah Smithson of Talon & The Suneaters”, January 2017
Mary Logan Bikoff, Atlanta Magazine, “Atlanta artist Leah Smithson creates whimsical jewelry based on her surrealist paintings”, February 2017
Berta Amelinaite, “Have You Ever Wondered What Goes On In An Artist’s Head?”, Modern Nothings (Blog), November 18, 2016. http://modernnothings.com/interview-leah-smithson/
The Hedonist Magazine (Blog), “LEAH SMITHSON’S Interview | Art As A Fresh Perspective: TALON AND THE SUNEATERS”, October 26, 2016. https://www.thehedonistmagazine.com/2016/10/26/leah-smithsons-interview-art-as-a-fresh-perspective-talon-and-the-suneaters/
Brecken Branstrator, National Jeweler, "Is Art Jewelry Poised to Take Off?"
Amy Carabba, CBS Good Morning Sacramento, Wearable Art, July 20, 2014
Sergey Kireev of Tribe Magazine, "Gallery Friends," Alberta Gallery, April 6, 2013.
Damon Youmans ,"Artist Bio," DY Magazine, access Date: January/February 2011.
Sane, "Leah Smithson, Splashing in the Bay Area," Gallops, Finds, and Tales (Blog) Tuesday,
March 15, 2011. http://saneartworksblog.blogspot.com
Maia Sylba, "Leah Smithson Evoking Emotions," Musetouch (Blog) Tuesday, October 10, 2010.