City Gallery: Alison Franco and Janelle Smith

Alison Franco is an artist and gallerist working in Ann Arbor. Her paintings are inspired by experiences ranging from her identity as a Native American to her volunteer work with domestic violence survivors. The images relay internalized conflict, often involving the aftermath of traumatic experiences. Her current work depicts women in undefined spaces encountering emotional obstacles. These pieces are meant to convey the invisible anxieties a person carries with them on a daily basis.

Janelle Smith is an artist based in Ypsilanti. “I paint to inform and understand. Working with the figure is as much about learning more about technical skill, as it is about the relationship I have with the painting. Many of my subjects are close friends and family.  Elements of the natural world are strongly tied to these individuals I am painting, and create a dialogue about the way people interact with environment. Even in the world that we call “natural”, there is a constant reminder that people are present. Often there is something artificial, uncomfortable and toxic about the effect that people have on the places they are and have been. This shows through in my work, in the way that nature is something constructed, referenced through form, but not always focused on illusion. This body of work is based largely in oil painting, and while focused on exploration of representation, aims to make sense of the world around me.”