SHINIQUE SMITH: Secret Garden Laughing Place

Photo by Maurice L. Hewitt

Photo by Maurice L. Hewitt

SHINIQUE SMITH: Secret Garden Laughing Place
On-view through june 25,2017

Children are encouraged to crawl and directly engage with a vibrant installation by artist Shinique Smith. Secret Garden Laughing Place, is an expansive labyrinth and abstract painting, that contemplates matters of transnational consumption, as well as the human need for play and wonder. This exhibition expands the Museum’s year-long survey of the question “What does it mean to be a global citizen?” We encourage our small visitors to think about our inter-connectivity as humans, our role in waste production, and our relationship to this planet.
Smith's installation is a whimsical view of how that which has been casted off can become new. Throughout the installation, textiles and images are merged with the artist’s lyrical brushwork and spray-painted calligraphic text that is signature to her practice. Smith’s works often transform second hand wares into new objects layered with references to femininity, graffiti, and global intersections of race, economics, and spirituality.  The artist uses discarded clothing as a medium for exploring how buying and disposing clothes daily impacts our environment and neighbors in developing regions around the globe. 
Musing on things that brought her joy as a child, Smith has constructed a fun-filled place for children to independently problem solve by connecting and playing with others while navigating this intricate exhibition. The installation incorporates low doorways, secret corners, and a reading nook filled with a selection of children’s stories, curated by the artist, to bolster the ideas anchoring this show. During the exhibition’s run, the Museum will host a series of storytelling and art making activities inspired by Smith’s work. 

The Secret Garden is an installation commissioned in 2011 by San Diego’s New Children’s Museum for its group exhibition Trash. We are excited to exhibit this piece in New York for the first time. 
SHINIQUE SMITH: Secret Garden Laughing Place has been organized for the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling by Lauren Kelley, Associate Director, Curatorial Programs. Exhibition-based curricula have been designed by Jennifer Ifil-Ryan, Associate Director, Education & Community Engagement.

ABOUT shinique smith

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Shinique Smith lives and works in Ulster County, New York. Smith’s work has also been exhibited nationally and abroad in such venues as The New Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Smith is represented by David Castillo Gallery (Miami) and Brand New Gallery (Milan).


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Exhibitions and related programs are made possible thanks to generous support from Agnes Gund, and additional support provided, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with New York City Council, and from The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.