Rising Stars: Noreen Smith ‘Justis’


Noreen is self-taught, multidisciplinary artist, based in Baltimore Maryland (USA). Her love for making began from observing the women in her family create out of necessity or simply for the sake of making something beautiful but, rarely for recognition or monetization. Those authentic experiences taught Noreen that art is a birthr-right belonging to everyone, a universal form of communication, and an intimate exchange that on the deepest level can evoke a visceral response. Knowing she could cultivate an artistic voice that could be seen, felt, and heard was the catalyst for her beginnings as an Artist.  


“Heroes & Villains” explores the intersectionality of gender and racial inequality of the feminist art movement of the 1970’s. It is rooted in my journey through life as a black woman and the social/racial inequities between black/brown women and their white female counterparts when living out feminine freedoms in a white male dominated society. All collage materials are sourced exclusively from comics and graphic novels to call attention to the serialized and ephemeral nature of comics, reflecting the real world-racism, sexism, and classism that structure American society. The series also lends itself to the innate power found in womanhood, and the divine feminine; inclusive of those seldom celebrated complexities and nuances of female existence over time and various life occurrences.

May the bridges I burn light the way? 2020
Paper collage (shown unframed), 54.61 X 48.26 cm / 21.5 X 19 in
Soft black wool and a can of whoop ass! 2022
Paper collage (shown unframed), 60.96 X 39.37 cm / 24 X 15.5 in
Truth in power, 2020
Paper collage (shown unframed), 45.72 X 26.67 cm / 18 X 10.5 in
Beneath the veil, 2021
Paper collage (shown unframed), 83.82. X 43.18 cm/12.21 X 12.5 in
Black  Rainbow, 2022
Paper collage (shown unframed), 35.56 X 38.1 cm/14 X 15 in

Get in touch
with Noreen

Instagram: @njustisart

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