Melissa Cowper-Smith and Yelena Petroukhina at Boswell Mourot Fine Art Gallery

My first show at Boswell Mourot!

Here is some press: Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Art Beat

By Ellis Widner, June 9, 2019

The past and the present, processes organic and digital, manifest in the artworks of Melissa Cowper-Smith.

The multimedia artist works with photography, computers, painting, encaustic and digital printing to create images that are printed on paper she makes from the plants in her garden at her Morrilton-area home.

Initially, Cowper-Smith planted cotton for papermaking, but is also using other plants from her garden. Her thick, richly textured, irregularly bordered papers include mulberry and herbs, particularly medicinal ones as she creates works inspired by her interviews with herbalists and folk healers in Arkansas.

Cowper-Smith also is exploring pigment prints in a larger presentation -- She Let It Happen (It Wasn't Her Fault) is 55 by 42 inches. The interior scene of a living room is unsettling in its orderly center surrounded by seemingly disorderly radiance. What happened here? There is a sense of struggle, perhaps one to remember exactly what did happen.

Relief from Sorrow (star) is a visual, hopeful balm. The lovely Mom's Shirt and Heartache, a pigment print on handmade paper, encaustic and gouache paint, aches with emotion and beauty.