Art Fair preview: victorian influences make for modern designs

Over the coming days, we're introducing some of the talented Columbus College of Art & Design students and alumni whose work will be available for purchase at the Art Fair on Saturday, April 1. Find other entries in the series here and here.

Master of Fine Arts, Headshot of Carmen Smith at Art Fair wearing a black shirt, gray jacket, and pink and black earrings

Beadwork from around the world, as well as patterns found in nature, are the driving inspiration for Carmen Smith (MFA, 2014). Her work, which will be available for purchase at the Columbus College of Art & Design Art Fair on Saturday, April 1, is intricate, with Carmen using different types of stones, cameos, and other materials in her designs. Prices for her pieces, which can take as many as 40 hours to create, range from $30 to, in a few instances, $900. Little wonder Smith has been a featured artist at a previous CCAD Art Fair (this year marks her seventh time participating in the fair).

In addition to her personal creations, Smith owns the Toledo-area business Beads and Books with her husband, Eric Nedrow. Read more from Smith below, and find more examples of her work on her website.

Master of Fine Arts, Model in white corset top modeling a woven dark blue scarf against a cream colored background

Master of Fine Arts, Model with shoulder length pink hair posing in chair with jacket over shoulder wearing ankle boots, black pants, and a black and tan lace top

Photos by Gibby Kain (Photography, 2014)


Why did you want to participate in the CCAD Art Fair?

The CCAD Art Fair has always been a productive and prosperous show for me. I enjoy participating because it brings together so many amazing artists and the community.


Is there anything that particularly distinguishes CCAD’s Art Fair?

The quality is always very very good too, each booth with art that meets a certain expectation. It’s nice that when I sign up and pay for the show I know I’m being included in this high standard


What informs or inspires your work?

My work is inspired by nature and a Victorian aesthetic, if my influences are boiled down to their roots. Many of the stones I use have patterns in them already and I use those patterns to create the piece. The shapes of many of the pieces have, up to this point, been influenced by Victorian jewelry. I’m trying to move away from that with my new work, if only to do something new.

Master of Fine Arts, Image of Victorian Inspired earrings with skulls in top hats with guns and roses on a black backdrop

How has your CCAD education influenced the work you will be offering for sale?

CCAD helped me develop my business skills.

Master of Fine Arts, Image of Carmen Smith at Art Fair interacting with guests at her table near the stairs in the lobby of Crane


CCAD Art Fair 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

First Look: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

General Admission: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Loann Crane Center for Design (at the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Gay Street)

Parking is free. Tickets are available at the door. First Look costs $20; General Admission costs $5. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit CCAD student programming.