Trustees Room, Tower Building, 11th floor
Allison Smith is a sculptor and installation artist whose body of work often features elements from history, craft, and queer culture. A recent project, entitled The Muster, is a large-scale public art project inspired by the aesthetic and performative qualities of American Civil War reenactments. For the work, Smith sent out a "call to arms and art" and organized a gathering of troops from her artistic and queer communities to create art, make public pronouncements, and tackle the question, "What are you fighting for?"
In another collaborative project, Smith adopts the social role represented by Victorian-era peddler dolls that held baskets of miniature handmade wares. These "Notion Nanny" dolls were originally created to commemorate the disappearing eighteenth century social custom of itinerant traders who roamed the countryside selling their wares. For the project, Smith re-created the peddler doll, but life-size and in her own image, and filled the basket with wares she made in collaboration with artisans, tradesmen, and craftspeople around the world. Smith has exhibited her work widely, including venues such as P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York; Palais de Tokyo in Paris; MassMoCA in North Adams; and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.