Student Spotlight: Christopher Smalls

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chris6Christopher Smalls is a BFA- Jewelry and Metals student currently studying conceptual themes here at Winthrop University. Born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina on St. Helena Island by his mother who is a large African Art Collector and Historian for freed slaves in the south. She was the one who truly inspired Smalls to become an artist. In high school he signed up for a new artist exclusive show per his mother’s advice, which gave him the courage to pursue art on a higher level. Performing music has been a driving force in Smalls life  and he currently sings in two ensembles, the Winthrop Chorale and the Chamber Singers.chris4

How would you describe your relationship with art?

I have always been a maker. I love putting together found objects and altering others. I used to heat up candles and make things out of the wax. Now I get to make lost wax castings. I also use Rhino which is a digital modeling program. I see jewelry as small-scale sculpture. I take a conceptual idea and engineer it into an object that may or may not be intended to wear. I am inspired by non western and ancient civilizations. Architecture and body adornment fascinates me. I believe the body was the first canvas with tattoos and piercings.

What are your dreams and goals?

I have always liked fashion and I like making objects from my own designs. I would love to manufacture under my own name.  To have my own brand using my aesthetic ideas is my ultimate goal. I would like to pursue an MFA at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia because they are the leading force in Computer Aided Design Program, using CAD CAM. I use SLS or Selective Laser Sensoring to digitally model objects. My teacher Courtney Starrett earned her MFA from this school and studied under Stanley Letsum.

Who is your favorite fashion designer?

Holly Fulton for her geometric art deco prints. She is my biggest artistic inspiration. I also enjoy the work of Garith Pugh.chris5

Favorite artist?

Alexander Caldwell. I am attracted to his aesthetic of textiles and rhythm of weaving.

What is your favorite music?

Classical and the darker the better. I sing BASS 2 so I have a better correlation to low.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From Mayan culture, old wooden shields, fabric and textiles, bed, coffins, African blown glass beads, and more.

chris2Favorite Movie?

Fifth Element, especially the opera singing. I love the drama of it.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Storm from X-men. I would love to have the power of weather manipulation.chris3

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