Tremain Smith has four works in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her work is in corporate and private collections across the country. She has had dozens of solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Scottsdale, Maine, Delaware, Florida and Hawaii. Group exhibitions include SOFA Chicago, Art Miami, the Painted Bride, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the USArtists American Fine Art Show. Smith was an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art in 2004 and an instructor in encaustic painting at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC in 2006. Smith has been reviewed extensively including coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune and the LA Weekly. Her work is included in The Art of Encaustic Painting Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax published by Watson-Guptill, and in the art journal New American Paintings. Smith studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania. Alongside her studio work, Tremain is also a teaching artist. She teaches art, lectures, and leads community workshops through various venues, particularly in the Philadelphia area.
In my paintings I seek to visually manifest access to the spiritual. I am interested in what is invisible, “hidden in plain view”, or overlooked. I surround the act of painting with studies concerned with systems of divination or the discernment of the unseen, and with paths of initiation. I then use lines, shapes and colors to create paintings that reflect my growth and understandings. The mixed-media technique I use is made of layers of oil glazes, collaged elements and beeswax on panel. I paint, incise, heat, iron and draw on the layers, sometimes burning imprints of found metal pieces into the wax. With these processes, I create a depth that can draw one into the substance and spirit beneath the surface.
b. 1961, Charlottesville, VA
Lives and works in Philadelphia, PA