On View in Milwaukee
Hidden in Plain Sight
November 10, 2022–February 19, 2023
MOWA on the Lake
About the Exhibition
This exhibition is open to the public at MOWA on the Lake, located inside the retirement campus of Saint John’s On The Lake in downtown Milwaukee. Learn more
November 10–February 19
MOWA on the Lake
Shelley Smith’s paintings exude calmness. They feature venerable architectural elements in the Milwaukee area that have become so familiar that they are often overlooked. Smith’s paintings reawaken us to their presence and character.
During a childhood visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, Smith saw the paintings of Edward Hopper. The quiet, orderly, and beautifully composed paintings struck a chord with the fledgling artist. Smith’s own paintings similarly feature crisp, clean lines and a subtle palette, but they are also inspired by sources not commonly associated with art or artists: her passion for math, micro-economics, and logic.
Rarely do Smith’s meticulous paintings contain cars or people. She prefers to focus on the architectural structures and ambiance of the scene rather than provide distractions or details that might date the image—an important feature given the age of some of the buildings and the sense of nostalgia that permeates them.
Smith hopes to make us see what is hidden in plain sight. Her paintings sharpen our powers of observation and invite us to pay attention and look afresh.
This exhibition is open to the public at MOWA on the Lake, the museum’s community gallery located inside the retirement campus of Saint John’s On The Lake in downtown Milwaukee.
Exhibition Opening Party
Thursday, November 10 | 5:30–7:00
Artist Talk at 6:00
Location: Saint John’s on the Lake, 1840 Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee
Image: Shelley Smith, Fowl Play, 2020. Oil on canvas (Detail)