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World's Largest Bead-stitched Sculpture - Closing Reception

This Week is your last chance! — Closing Reception for Shelter II, the largest beadwork sculpture in the world will take place at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG) on December 9th, 3-5 pm. Shelter II is currently on display at UWAG alongside Material Culture by Jose Luis Torres, and is available for public viewing from Wednesday to Saturday from 12-5 pm until December 9. I am also exhibiting new work, a 6-minute drive away, as part of a two-person exhibition with nationally recognized Anishinaabeg artist Barry Ace titled "Beyond the Bead" at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery (CCGG) until January 7th. This exhibition is the first in the institution’s 30-year history exclusively on beadwork!

photo credit: Scott Lee

From Ivan Jurakic, Curator of UWAG: “Shelter II is a large-scale beaded sculpture that ambitiously expands on the artist’s beadwork practice. Applying weaving techniques employed in glass bead-stitching on a completely different scale, over the last two years Smith has radically up-scaled her process to incorporate hundreds of grapefruit-sized metal beads tensioned together using steel cable. The end result is a gargantuan beadwork that has immense physical presence and a surface that slyly reflects and distorts its surroundings. While building on the artist’s training in architecture, Shelter II is also a pointed rebuke to the dismissal of beading as ‘women’s work’ within the context of a patriarchal Western art history rather than as a viable and transgressive art form in its own right.”

photo credit: Scott Lee

Shelter II is made up of 2,900 mirror-polished stainless steel spheres as ‘beads’ and stainless steel wire rope as ‘thread’. It weighs over 2000 lbs and measures approximately 10ft H x 9ft W x 10ft L.

The works installed inside and outside of CCGG also include custom-fabricated steel spheres as well as brass and blown glass ‘beads’. CCGG is currently running a fundraising campaign to purchase Embrace II currently installed outside the gallery. All of my sculptures currently on display at UWAG and CCGG were made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Waterloo Region Arts Fund and the Ontario Arts Council.

Shelter III and Oh Great Mother, photo credit: Conan Stark

Embrace II, photo credit: Conan Stark


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