“A Page from My Intimate Journal” is inspired by the works of Guy de Cointet (1934–1983) a French-born artist based in California who created text and sculptural works, often combining them as props and stage sets in theatrical performance pieces. Many of de Cointet’s works were based on systems of encoding or abstracting found text from popular culture, everyday conversation or literary sources.
Professor Smith exhibits works from her 2008 Mattress Factory installation in which she worked with local Pittsburgh potter Bernard Jakub to make over 100 stoneware jugs, pitchers, bottles, and crocks. As Jakub showed Smith how to make the historic forms, they listened to the radio and discussed current events and international politics. As he threw the objects on a potter’s wheel, she listened for anxiety-producing terms on the radio, and embellished the forms with corresponding cobalt images and phrases.