MMoA Artists Share: Catherine Whall Smith

Catherine Whall Smith is a fiber artist from Chaplin, CT.  She was recently chosen in the first round for the Elected Artists’ Six by Six program displayed in MMoA’s Schuster Gallery which now houses the Museum Store.

A dominant feature in her work is the simple line.  She is interested in how it separates visual space and it is a recurring feature she uses to explore spaces created – where line meets line and where lines overlap lines.

During social distancing, she has updated her blog with images of current work including a recent series entitled Hay… Keep Your Distance pictured below.

Catherine became an Elected Artist member at MMoA in 2015.


About the Artist

After many years of working in the field of Education and retiring from the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education in 2008, Catherine Whall Smith re-entered the world of quilts, and realized how much she enjoyed the tactile sensations of needle, thread, and fabric. She resumed her passion for all things fiber. The color and the endless possibilities of design elements became her day to day work.  Using fabric, pattern, color, and a limited variety of shapes to guide her, her quilts start to take form.

In a recent article in the Hartford Courant in regards to her work in the show ‘Thread Count’ at Hartford Fine Art and Framing, Catherine says “sometimes an artist becomes involved in working with a certain color or place. With ‘Transfusion’ [Whall Smith’s exhibit in the show] I started working with red. It started me thinking about my dad who died suddenly years ago of a heart attack. With red I saw blood. I saw movement. And it brought to mind blood transfusions.”

Her art is influenced by her rural surroundings in Eastern Connecticut. Everyday scenes are incorporated into her compositions. Her camera records the cutting of hay fields being prepared, rolled, and packed in white plastic, then stacked like sculptures. When incorporated into her quilts, these images make a statement about the seasonal changes that are occurring around her.

Catherine Whall Smith has entered in many juried exhibitions throughout New York, Texas, Connecticut, and other states in the New England area  since 1983 and has received many awards and acknowledgments.