University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries


Medium: Porcelain, PVA
Date: 2020
Dimensions: variable

Kaitlyn Jo Smith

Kaitlyn Jo Smith is an interdisciplinary artist focused on the present and future trajectories of America’s working class. Raised by skilled laborers in rural Ohio, Smith was thirteen when the housing market crashed and nearly every adult she knew was suddenly out of work. Her artworks render visible the intangible realities of unemployment by utilizing automation, machine learning and 3D scanning and printing. These technologies are directly linked to the loss of over 4 million US manufacturing jobs since 2000. Her work has been featured in PDNedu and Don’t Smile Magazine and has shown at the Tucson Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson, Arizona, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, Flower City Arts Center in Rochester, New York, Harry Wood Gallery in Tempe, Arizona and CO-OPt Gallery in Lubbock, Texas.

Fixtures establishes a symbolic relationship between my family’s experiences and the socio-economic realities of 21st century blue collar workers. A broken porcelain handle my father excavated from the leveled American Standard plant becomes his surrogate. It is surrounded by 200 digitally fabricated PVA and porcelain replicas that were produced as stand-in’s that point to the anonymous millions that share his experience of displacement. Each copy is manufactured through the automated processes of 3D scanning and 3D printing, technologies frequently used in present day manufacturing. When combined with the original, these newly minted artifacts erect an abstracted, piecemeal, industrial ruin.