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Student Impact: Kiki Smith Witt Artist Residency

Student Impact: Kiki Smith Witt Artist Residency

Kiki Smith is one of the foremost artists working in print media today, and is known for her multidisciplinary practice relating to the human condition and the natural world.

Smith was a Witt Visiting Artist at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design during the week of October 16, 2017, where she worked with Stamps professor Endi Poskovic and his students to create new, original artwork in the school's print studio. During her visit, she also gave a talk at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater as part of the renowned Penny Stamps Speaker Series.

During the course of her residency, Smith found inspiration in Stamps student Emily Legleitner (BFA '19). Legleitner worked directly with Smith in Print Media Studio, assisting with plate alterations, processing, and pulling prints. Imagine Legleitner's surprise in June 2018, long after the residency concluded, when professor Endi Poskovic handed her a package containing an original print by Smith, a portrait of Legleitner herself, entitled Blush.

"I can’t believe Kiki Smith actually made a print of my face!" Legleitner said. "It was strange because when we were working in the studio last fall, she asked for a photo of me. I didn’t really think anything of it. And now...well, I'm honestly speechless."

Additionally, a set of Kiki Smith etchings entitled Autumn Two and Four, Autumn Two and Five, and Autumn Five — created as part of Smith's residency — were part of the exhibition Kiki Smith: Frequency, on view at the Krakow Witkin Gallery in Boston in spring 2018.

"I think she just felt comfortable being in our studio, working with me, our 2D coordinator Nick Dowgwillo, and the students," said Poskovic. "That experience of feeling welcomed and accepted resonated with her beyond the conventional wisdom and for the students afforded a window into realities not normally accessible to many."

Learn more about Kiki Smith's Stamps School residency below and watch Kiki Smith's full Penny Stamps Speaker Series talk.