Artist Smith celebrates YS diversity
- Published: April 1, 2011
“Yellow Springs Potheads: A Celebration of Diversity,” an exhibit of the mixed media mosaic art of Yellow Springs artist Johanna Smith, will open this weekend at Brother Bear’s Cafe with a reception Saturday, April 2, from 6–9 p.m. The exhibit will continue through April.
The exhibit was inspired by outsiders’ perceptions of Yellow Springs as a haven for “potheads,” according to Smith, who said she began hearing generalizations about the village as a druggie haven more than 13 years ago, when she and her husband first thought of moving here. After the couple did move and found the reality to be quite different, she continued to hear the generalization, spoken with great authority, from those who live out of town.
“So, inspired by this discrepancy of reputation and reality, I began a series of mosaics celebrating what we do have a lot of in Yellow Springs — ethnic, religious and economic diversity,” Smith wrote on her Web site, http://www.johannamosaics,com.
The “potheads” in Smith’s exhibit are just that: heads made from pots. Smith enjoys using recycled materials, and has gathered pots and pans from thrift stores, then covered them with mosaic glass and discarded stained glass. Smith created accents for her potheads from marbles, pebbles and old jewelry, and she made hair out of scrubbies and cellophane Easter grass.
According to Smith’s artist statement on the show: “I decided to find a way to celebrate what Yellow Springs REALLY is: A loving, close, creative, mostly liberal, very diverse, tolerant, kind (OK, sometimes we could be kinder) and spiritual place!”