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American, b. 1972
Lives and works in Oakland, California


Allison Smith uses a variety of materials such as textiles, ceramics, printmaking, and wood furniture in her artistic practice. Through these mediums she explores ideas of historic re-enactment, social activism, craft, and national and gender identities. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in England, France, Germany, New Zealand, and South Korea. She has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Public Art Fund, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT), Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (St. Louis, MO), Berkeley Art Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Arts Club of Chicago.

Born in Manassas, Virginia, Smith received a BA in psychology from The New School for Social Research, a BFA in fine arts from Parsons School of Design, and a MFA in sculpture from the Yale University School of Art. She also participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She lived in New York City from 1990 until 2008, when she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the faculty of California College of the Arts, where she is a tenured professor and Chair of the Sculpture Program.

Smith has lectured on her work extensively at art schools and research universities in the United States and abroad, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sculpture Center and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Her work has been featured and reviewed in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, as well as on NPR, KQED, and in many other media and scholarly publications. Smith has received generous support from United States Artists, Arts Council England, FOR-SITE Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Artadia, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Notable residencies include IASPIS (Stockholm, Sweden), the Museum of Modern Art Artists Experiment initiative (New York, NY), the International Studio and Curatorial Program (Brooklyn, New York), Artpace San Antonio (Texas), and Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, California). Her work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Saatchi Gallery London and other public and private collections worldwide.