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Amanda Smart

Amanda Smart was born in The Pas, Manitoba. She developed confidence through drawing and
painting in secondary school, then took Art History at the University of Manitoba. She trained as a filmmaker
and journalist with a focus on Aboriginal issues at the National Screen Institute. She has sold her
pieces through galleries; one large one now hangs in the Legislative Building. She produced films and
learned painting techniques working as a set designer and scene painter at the Black Hole Theatre and
in the motion picture industry. Amanda says she especially admires the work of Georgia O’Keefe, the
colours and stylized human figures of Tamara de Lempicka, and the ethereal abstractions of Darren
Waterston.
Amanda currently works in acrylic and compressed charcoal on canvas. She also does ink drawings and
has photographed her own performance art. Her subjects include portraits and healing self-portraits;
the human figure; water; and birds, fish (especially sturgeon), and other animals. Aboriginal spirituality is
a recurrent theme. In work ranging from representational to abstract, she uses bright colours to express
emotion, and sometimes creates forms out of calligraphically rendered aphorisms. “I let each piece
grow as I work, so there’s often a layered quality,” Amanda says. “Art has saved my life, and I’m grateful
every day for the other artists and film-makers in my life and for the supportive family and community
I’ve found at Artbeat.”

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