Fall 2020: Symphonii Smith-Kennedy
Name: Symphonii Smith-Kennedy
School: Maryland Institute College of Art
Major/Concentration: Painting with a concentration in Illustration
Anticipated Graduation Date: Spring 2023
Location: Baltimore, MD
As an aspiring painter and writer, I illustrate mythological and supernatural based pieces derived from my book Urban Celestial and my culture as a woman of color. Surrealistic fantasy originates from my dreams depicting the dream references and converting them into paintings and drawings. Stylized vibrant concepts and strict realism influence my traditional paintings. Also portraying an admiration for the animal kingdom and the world around us that we take for granted. While pursuing my art career at Maryland Institute College of Art, I learned how to incorporate my heritage and black history in my work instead of conforming to the modern concept of fantasy art.
What does being a Black girl who paints mean to you?
Being capable of doing an art form that isn't seen as a practical career is empowering since I plan to prove them wrong. I think it's an interesting aspect as well to use my artistic ability to voice my experience as young black girl. Especially since the art world does not have a large quantity of black woman in art.
I want to inspire the future generations to embrace their culture and to learn how to use to their advantage. For instance, I want to illustrate a magical world where my sisters of color can feel included and be empowered by it as well. I want to demonstrate how amazing our world could be if we can use our own imagination.