In artist Kelsey Smith’s world, the body is a brilliant gothic canvas, Barbie has her dark but beautiful side and the skeleton is an artwork in itself.
Just in time for Halloween, “Bella Morte” features Smith’s corpsed pieces and various other darkly themed work Friday, Oct. 27 to Nov. 17 at Summit Artspace on Tusc, 571 W. Tuscarawas Blvd., in Barberton, where she also has a studio.
Smith will be at the free opening reception on Friday, Oct. 27, 5 to 8 p.m. during Barberton 4th Friday. Admission to the exhibition is free.
“As an artist, I work really hard to open people’s minds about what art can be,” Smith said. “ An artist isn’t just a painter, a photographer or a sculptor; an artist can be anything. While I understand my art doesn’t appeal to everyone’s tastes, I want people to understand that beauty can be found anywhere.”
She added: “My goal for this show is to have at least one person walk out of there thinking, ‘That stuff is disgusting but, doggone it, that’s what I call art.’”
She describes herself as a “Halloween-obsessed special effects artist.” Her pieces include three-dimensional ghoulishly-decorated dolls and animal corpses and photography featuring models in stunning grisly special effects body paint and costumes.
“Everything I do, whether it be prop building or special effects makeup, is unique and one of a kind. I never do the exact same thing twice, which challenges me, and I absolutely love seeing the results because most of the time, I have no idea what they will be,” Smith said.
Summit Artspace on Tusc is open on Fridays, 5 to 8 p.m., and includes Barberton 4th Friday events. Smith will be in her studio to talk with gallery visitors on Nov. 10. Summit Artspace on Tusc is located at 571 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton.
Summit Artspace on Tusc is operated by Summit Artspace, the community arts center for Summit County and surrounding area. For information about Summit Artspace on Tusc, go to summitartspace.org or call (330) 376-8480. Find Summit Artspace on Tusc, Summit Artspace’s Nine Muses Art Gallery and Summit Artspace on Facebook. Summit Artspace is also on Twitter @AkronAreaArts, Snapchat and Instagram.