Alison Smith is a storyteller and naturalist, whose ambitious installations and performances engage the senses. Her work is a union of place and process: She balances deep examination of her native Bay Area with frequent explorations of the western United States. What she discovers informs, alters and enriches the visual art, music and scent she creates to tell her stories. At once lustful and restrained, autobiographical and fantastical, wild and plotted, her work is alive — breathing and bleeding.
Collected plant matter, bones, wood and objects burned and broken combine with watercolor and wool to feed her latest creative undertaking, Sang Song (bloodsong).
Alison approaches all her work with a desire to inquire, experience and share with love, humor, empathy and encouragement. Balancing solitary artistic quests with community workshops, she remains committed to her personal vision, social and environmental justice and innovative learning for all. Her workshops are uniquely customized to create an honest space of possibility and reverence for students which mirrors her own artistic practice.
In addition to her artistic practice, Alison is a stirring vocalist, certified Holistic Massage Therapist and Health Practitioner, Teacher and Herbal Medicine Maker, dedicatedly strengthening her community. She was a teaching assistant at The Nova Studio in Richmond, California for seven years, supporting education in natural body product and herbal medicine-making with entrepreneurs of all ages. Additionally, she has provided arts education to elementary and high school students in the East Bay Area since 2002 and currently teaches water fitness at her local community center. She is actively involved with the Northern California Fibershed, working with farmers, artists and natural dyers to produce sustainable art. Alison attended California Institute of the Arts; received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts and Book Arts from Mills College; Master of Fine Arts in Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University; and certification in Holistic Massage Therapy, Spa Services and Holistic Health/Coaching from The World School.