Me, Myself & Mia: Artwork by Mia Smith ’15


“Insomnia” by Mia Smith

Mia Smith, a member of the Newark Academy Class of 2015, an alumna from The Oxbow School semester OS30, and a future graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Class of 2019, has used art to express who she is for her whole life. She considers herself skilled in many areas, such as drawing (graphite, charcoal, pastels, pens), painting (oils, acrylics, watercolors), using metallic leaf, and also has some knowledge in sculpture and photography. Mia feels indebted to those inspired by her work and hopes to help others gain the same level of insight into themselves as she has through a medium in which she has found solace and relief.

The above 12″ x 18″ image, partially inspired by the poem “Insomnia”by Elizabeth Bishop, was created in 2014 using modeling paste, acrylics, blue variegated leaf, gold leaf, paint pen and gel pen. To see  more of Mia’s amazing artwork, click “continue reading” below.

"Me" (self-portrait)

“Me” (self-portrait)

Y ear: 2014.
Medium: Fiberglass, canvas, pan flutes, steel and wood.
Size: 18″ x 18″x 18.”
Final Project at The Oxbow School in Napa, CA.

Artist’s Statement:  “‘The self’ — what defines it? What makes each person unique? I am interested in where the self originates, not only biologically in the brain, but also socially, emotionally, and environmentally. There is a vast expanse of knowledge regarding when and how one develops an identity. Since one’s identity is described as a sensory and emotional experience, analyzing the uniqueness and spectrum of each individual’s point of view is unimaginable.

This sculptural instrument is a self-portrait that explores my intra-personal self. My favorite coloris purple and one of my favorite styles is steampunk. The pan flutes represent my love for listening to and playing music.The song that circumscribes the sculpture one of my favorite duets to play on the piano; it is “Berceuse” from the Dolly Suite, Op. 56 by Gabriel Fauré.

This work represents my emotional and intellectual growth at Oxbow. There is a large hole on one side that symbolizes how I have learned to let others in…to see inside me with minimal fear or discomfort on my end. Maybe I don’t know what makes me ‘me.’ I have not discovered my full individuality, though I have reflected on it for as long as I can remember. I have only skimmed the surface; it will be a lifelong journey that will lead me through more research. I think of my self as an individual whose journey, while sometimes excruciating and sometimes euphoric, has been thought-provoking, complex,and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind.”



 Y ear: 2014
Medium: Steel rods, fishing line, lead fishing line weights
Size: 12″x 12″x 12″cube

Created at The Oxbow School in Napa, California. Mia’s assignment was to create a piece based on one word. Her word was “cohesion.”




 Y ear: 2014
Medium: Photography
"Clay Sticks"

“Clay Sticks”

 Y ear: 2014
Medium: Copper wire, clay, acrylics
Size: 12″x 4″

Created at The Oxbow School in Napa, CA. Mia created a replica of a found stick using copper wire for the frame, clay for the exterior, and acrylic paints for color. Can you tell which stick is the real one and which is the clay one? You can find the answer by scrolling to the end of the post.




Y ear: 2014
Medium: Oil pastels, white & black charcoal
Size: 12″x 18″


Y ear: 2014
Medium: Photography
"Edward Scissorhands"

“Edward Scissorhands”

Y ear: 2012
Medium: Oils
Size: 11″x 14″
"Caterpillar (1)"

“Caterpillar (1)”

Y ear: 2014
Medium: Gel pen, felt-tip marker, gold leaf on paper
Size: 7 .5″x 10″
(Part 1 of series)
"Caterpillar (2)"

“Caterpillar (2)”

 Year: 2014
Medium: Gel pen, felt-tip marker, red variegated leaf, acrylics
Size: Paper is 7 .5″x 10″
(Part 2 of series)
"Caterpillar (3)"

“Caterpillar (3)”

Y ear: 2014
Medium:Acrylics, gold leaf on paper
Size: 7 .5″x 10″
(Part 3 of series)
"Caterpillar (4)"

“Caterpillar (4)”

Y ear: 2014
Medium: Blue variegated leaf, gold leaf, gel pen on paper
Size: 5″x 8.5″
(Part 4 of a series)

The image on the left was scanned and the image on the right was photographed using natural light.




Y ear: 2014
Medium: Gel pen, felt-tip marker on paper
Size:  5″x 8.5″

Zero is a playable character in the video game Borderlands.


"Blanket Space"

“Blanket Space”

Y ear: 2014
Medium: Gel pen, blue variegated leaf
Size: 11″x 15″


Y ear: 2013
Medium: Colored pencil on paper
Size: 9″ x 12″


Y ear: 2014
Medium: Graphite on paper
Size: 7 .5″x 10″


Y ear: 2014
Medium:Wire, moss, marbles, LED lights, quartz crystals, acrylics, spray paint
Size: 12″x 8.25″

“Creciente” means “growing” [adj.] in Spanish.

"Don't Be Afraid, It's Only You"

“Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only You”

Y ear: 2013
Size: 25″x 18″

Featured in the Newark Academy McGraw Gallery 2013 Community Art Exhibit “Dream On.”

"Rusting Fragility"

“Rusting Fragility”

Y ear: 2014
Medium: Photography


Y ear: 2014
Medium: Modeling paste, acrylics, copper leaf, moss
Size: 12″x 16″
"I Love You"

“I Love You”

Y ear: 2013
Medium: tissue paper, oils & crayon on canvas
Size:16″x 54″

The crayons are positioned to resemble the shape of the sound wave of the artist saying “I love you.”

"Message in a Bottle"

“Message in a Bottle”

Y ear: 2013
Medium: Oils
Size: 12.5″x 17″


Year: 2014
Medium: Acrylics, gold leaf, copper leaf, red variegated leaf, gel pen
Size: 7.5″ x 10″

ANSWER to the “Clay Sticks” mystery question: The real stick is on the left and the one sculpted by the artist is on the right.



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