Kiela Smith-Upton

This project will center artist led collaboration, formal and informal action research, and placekeeping activations.

 

Philosophy

Neighborhood: Greater South Shore
Racial Justice Issue: Self Determination & Gentrification

This project will center artist led collaboration, formal and informal action research, and placekeeping activations. The focus will be to study the feasibility of developing a permanent work/live space cooperatively owned by artists of all abilities. It will also include capacity building about shared ownership.

BIO

Kiela is a lifelong Chicagoan with a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and 30 years of professional arts experience teaching, consulting, planning, and creating collaborative community-based mural projects. Kiela’s leadership in conceptualizing, designing, and creating art with community was also seeded by her family legacy of licensed architects/designers and civil rights activist parents. Her desire to collaborate with and empower other artists and non-artists community about the power of art and the importance of art spaces has fueled her engagement around concepts of artist ownership and community placekeeping.

works

Custom shape Ceramic mosaic tile & mirror mural at Pershing East elementary school

Intergenerational mosaic project designed collaboratively with the youth, Kiela, and artist Nina Smoot-Cain.
Fabricated during onsite collaborative work sessions with youth, their parents, and grandparents at the school.
Images reflect drawings and collages done with the youth of local nature with the spider and its web relating to the connectedness of all life.

Ideation lunch in South Shore with 22 local stakeholders and organizations, artists, and philanthropic representatives to imagine artists space ownership, needs, and challenges for South Shore.

STAY INFORMED

Threewalls is always finding new ways to share our artist’s unique voices through exhibits, talks, and gatherings. We would like you to be the first to know about these opportunities.