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Carrie Mae Smith


Victory Victuals

Smith’s interest in Artship Olympia is to highlight a historically overlooked, yet vital aspect of the lives of the sailors— their diet, as well as the distinction of rank and class reflected in the naval rations.  While officers dined on freshly frozen meat, the common sailor subsisted on a diet high in starch— mostly of hardtack and potatoes, along with salted tinned meat. Cooked side by side in the same galley kitchen, the meals were worlds apart in terms of variety, flavor and presentation.  The privileged class enjoyed personal space, privacy and fine dining while the common sailors prepared their food on the floor, slept side by side divided only by canvas, and ate off enameled metal plates.  Smith’s sculptural works illuminate this contrast between the diet of the common sailors and the diet of the officers during the first Commissions of Olympia.

About the Artist


Carrie Mae Smith creates sculpture that explores marginalized histories and utilitarian forms.  She is interested in traditional construction techniques and fine craftsmanship and works with materials ranging from wood and steel to panty hose and cheese-puffs.  Smith has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and is a recipient of artist grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation. She has been awarded Artist Residencies at Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Wilmington, DE, RAIR in Northeast Philadelphia, and the Vermont Studio Center. Smith completed an MFA at the University of Delaware (2013) and a Four Year Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2005).  She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.