During our studio visit with Elena Smyrniotis, we’ll discuss her current work and practice. As an artist, Smyrniotis is interested in the exploration of real and fictional islands, their effect on our imagination, and their place in the utopian mentality. Islands are imbued with powerful myths; they combine materiality and metaphor and offer spaces that appear at once open and closed, fixed and fluid, defenseless and resilient, seductive and dangerous. Labyrinth focuses on three major themes: the metaphor of space, the allegorical representation of utopia, and the emulation of landscape through cartography and topography. The goal of this project is to explore how landscape functions as a visual and material space, as well as the ways in which landscape affects our consciousness. The mystery of remote places has enticed travelers to take dangerous journeys in search of an ideal land. This quest for the impossible motivates her artwork.
Join us on Zoom: https://uiowa.zoom.us/j/95989218521
Elena Smyrniotis is a printmaking and installation artist with a background in architecture. Her work explores literary and historical utopian ideas through contemplations on the utopian landscape, with a particular focus on architecture, topography, and cartography. She earned an MFA in printmaking from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in printmaking and drawing from the University of Saint Francis, and an MA in Architecture and Engineering from State Petroleum University (Ufa, Russia).
Her recent exhibition include a solo show at PINEA-LINEA DA COSTA (Rota, Spain), Artlink Contemporary Gallery (Fort Wayne, IN), and the Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, IN), where she was given the Walter Beardsley Award in 2017. She is a regular participant, and a guest of honor in 2018, of the International Art & Design Exhibition at Selcuk University (Konya, Turkey).
Smyrniotis has held fellowships and teaching positions in cultural institutions around the world. Most recently she has been a fellow at the Rome Global Gateway in cooperation with the Capitoline Museums and Hertziana Library and Geographical Society of Italy in Rome; led a printmaking workshop at the Gems Metropole School in Dubai, UAE; and participated in a painting workshop at the Painting School of Montmiral in Montmiral, France.
Smyrniotis has taught printmaking and drawing courses at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Saint Francis. She was the 2019 Visiting Artist at the School of Creative Arts at the University of Saint Francis and a founder and director of the Art and Architectural School for Children (Ufa, Russia).