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Kathy Smith

b. 1963

Kathy Smith is an Australian artist who has been working with animation, painting, installation, and sound since 1982.

Her early works posted here were exhibited with the former Sydney Super-8 Film Group, now dLux Media Arts.

Kathy is Associate Professor and former Chair (2004-2009 & 2010 - 2014) at the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California. After graduating from the Sydney College of the Arts in 1985, from 1987 – 1988 she studied and worked in Europe at the Dr Denise Hickey studio residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris and under the Dyason Bequest study grant at Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy. Both grants were awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW.

Since 1984, Kathy's films have been screened internationally, including SIGGRAPH N-Space Art Gallery, Sundance Film Festival, New York Digital Salon, Hiroshima, Anima Mundi, and Ottawa International Animation Festivals. She has a record of achievement in research and creative work spanning thirty years. This includes international research residencies in France, Italy and the USA awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW and the Australia Council. Kathy has exhibited internationally at group and solo exhibitions such as Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Conservatorio di Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence, Italy, the Australian National Gallery, Canberra and Tamarind Art Gallery New York City, NY.

Kathy has received numerous awards and grants to support and create these works, including two Development Grants from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, the Desiderius Orban Art Award for Animation, and a production grant from the Screen Australia for her animation, Indefinable Moods. In 1994 she was selected for the Australian Network for Art and Technology summer residency and it was here that she started her research in combining 2D oil painted sequences onto 3D forms. Since then she has been researching 2D and 3D computer generated digital imaging with immersive and spatial sound. This culminated in a three-year residency at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, - where she executed and combined her research in painting with Autodesk Maya to create Indefinable Moods, a 2D/3D animated film exploring dreams, symbols, and natural landscapes funded by Screen Australia formerly Australian Film Commission.

In 2002 Kathy was awarded a full-time position at Associate Professor level at USC and received tenure in 2003. Kathy has chaired the John C Hench Division from Fall 2004 to Spring 2009 and from Fall 2010 until current establishing the new BA in animation and digital arts, creating the semester abroad with Studio Art Centers International Florence, Italy and establishing the research collaboration with the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies in 2004.

Recently Kathy was Co-Chair of REDEFINING ANIMATION The 25th Annual Conference of the Society for Animation Studies hosted at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC 2013. Kathy is currently working on her new animation installation combining painting and holography about time and non-local consciousness.

Birth place
Taree, NSW, Australia
Period of activity 
from 1982
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States
United States
1982 - 1986
1987 - 1988
1989 - 1998
Kathy Smith - HOW, Kathy Smith discusses the making of 'Ayers Rock' – via Vimeo 
Kathy Smith - WHO, Kathy Smith discusses her biography – via Vimeo 
Kathy Smith - A virtual gallery, A virtual tour through the artist's body of work – via Vimeo 
Kathy Smith - WHY, Kathy Smith discusses her work 'Ayers Rock' animation – via Vimeo 
– from Power and passion, via Vimeo 
Kathy Smith, 'A figure in front of a painting' – from A figure in front of a painting, via Vimeo 
Kathy Smith, 'Ayers Rock' 1985 – from Ayers Rock animation, via Vimeo 
– from Change of place, via Vimeo 
Exposure Sheet,
Exposure Sheet, – from Designed Nightmare, via 
– from Delirium, via Vimeo 
– from Living on the Comet, via Vimeo 
Indefinable Moods, 2001 – from Indefinable Moods, via Vimeo 
– from Slippages, via Vimeo