Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

Kiarra Lynn Smith is a visual and literary artist. A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, she began drawing and writing as a small child. Her artwork has been exhibited in multiple venues and her poems have been published in various magazines for creative writing. In 2004, Smith was commissioned to create a mural for First Student Bus Company, a year which marked her beginning of independently illustrating books. She was a featured artist at the 20th "Meet theArtists" exhibition in Indianapolis and began studying at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2008. She graduated from Culver-Stockton College with a degree in English and Art in 2013.

 

Smith's passion is preserving Afrikan heritage creatively while simultaneously building her community. She has conducted writing workshops with children and has used her art and poetry to enlighten others about Black history. Her motivation stems from childhood experiences in which she was given limited views of her heritage. The late illustrator and writer, Fred Crump Jr. and his fairy tales featuring characters of Afrikan descent influenced Smith's work and subject matter. In 2012, she published her first book, Collective Face: a Series of Quatrains on Community Building. She also illustrated Looking for an Angel: the Story of Christian Taylor Ferguson to emulate the path of Crump. In 2015, Smith created her second book Let's Speak! Kiswahili to encourage youth to learn an Afrikan language. In 2016, she published The Book Cart Dance-Off: a Library Tale and Vibration: a Collection of Poetry, Essays and Art.

 

Smith plans to continue to use her talents to inspire people of all ages.

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

Literary Accomplishments

       

      2017

  • Book Signing at Progressive Emporium

  • Interviewed on Soul-lutions FergusonUSAHotTalk Radio

  • Poem "Tea" published by Route 7 Review

 

      2016

  • Authored and illustrated Vibration: a Collection of Poetry, Essays and Art

  • Authored and  illustrated and published The Book Cart Dance-Off: a Library Tale

  • Poem "Picket Fence" published in Women's Arts Quarterly

  • Poetry and art published in Crossing the Divide from the Poets in St. Louis

      

     2015

  • Read poems "Forever" and "Ferguson" at Divoll Branch Library for Sisters-Nineties "Honest Assessment"

  • Poem "Blue" featured in Gunpowder Review

  • Authored, illustrated and published Let's Speak! Kiswahili 

 

     2014

  • Reading of poem "Phillis" - Center for Divine Love


      2013

  • Short story “Nat and Mary’s Water” published in the 2014 Edition of Best New Writing. Award finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award.

 

      2012

  • Children’s book “Collective Face: A Series of Quatrains on Community Building” interview –TheVillageCelebration.com

  • “Collective Face” book discussion and talk with the Yari Yari Writers Group- Forest Park Community College

  • “Collective Face” book discussion and talk- Canton Civic Club, Canton, Missouri

  • Artwork featured in Culver-Stockton Senior Show- Culver-Stockton College, Mabee Gallery

 

      2008

  • Honorable Mention Dylan Days Creative Writing Contest

  • Honorable Mention IUPUI Poetry Contest-- Indianapolis University-Purdue University Indianapolis

  • 3rd Sarah Mook Memorial Poetry Prize

 

      2007

  • Second Place Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest- Dreamquestone.com

 

      2006

  • 1st Place AKA Poetry Contest- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

  • Created theatrical play “Thashira the Rainbow”- performed at Prince Hall Community Center

  •  “Help! I’m Trapped in the Civil Rights Movement” selected for the film shorts project Coming Up Shorts at KDHX TV

  • “Help! I’m Trapped in the Civil Rights Movement” performed at Wayman Temple

 

      2005

  • Created performance piece “Help! I’m Trapped in the Civil Rights Movement!” debuted at Prince Hall for the Kwanzaa.   Directed by Fanny Lebby.

 

Visual Art Accomplishments

     

    2019

  • Work displayed at EyeSeeMe BookStore for Remember the 400

    2017

  • Featured visual artist at African We Dance at the Lux.

  • Art displayed at the Bentil's Jahz Art Gallery for the UrbanAfrica "Art of African Fashion" Show

   

     2016

  • Art published with Gival Press

  • Art published in 3 Elements Review. 

  • Interviewed for Kut-Nup Productions documentary "Strange Fruit"

    2015

  • Painted mural for the Candy Shop Salon and Spa for Kids in St. Louis, Missouri. 

 

    2014

  • Featured I Am ARTist on Gloveboxx.com.

  • Art piece featured in the Blue Earth Review.

  • Created KiarraLynnSmith.com website.

 

      2013

  • Visual art exhibit of 22x22 inch silk pieces at the Vaughn Cultural Center. Title of exhibit "Afrikan Identity: Lost and Found"

  • Illustrated "Damien’s New Bike" by Lynda D. Brown.

 

      2012

  • Visual art donations for the scholarship auction- National Society of Black Engineers.

 

      2009

  • Visual art donations for scholarship auction- National Society of Black Engineers

  • Exhibited work for an internship- East Cleveland Theater

  • Artistic participant in the "Meet the Artists"- Marion County Library, Indianapolis

 

      2008

  • 1st PlaceYouth in Need Poster Contest (HS division)

  • Featured youth artist at "Meet the Artists XX"- Marion County Indianapolis Public Library

  • 1st Place Martin Luther King Jr. Visual Arts Contest- Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

  • Featured Next Step Super Teen- Next Step Magazine

  • 1st Place MORA Poster Contest 12th Grade Division- Missouri Recycling Association

 

      2007

  • 1st Multicultural Task Force "Many Voices, One Community" Poster Contest (HS division)

  • 1st St. Louis Community Air Project Clean Air Bookmark Contest (High School division)- St. Louis Public Library

  • Inductee into the Missouri Fine Arts Academy- Missouri State University

  • Art reception at Julia Davis Branch Library

  • Dean's Award for Creative Achievement in the Arts- University of Missouri-St. Louis

  • Featured Super Teen- Next Step Magazine

  • Minority Journalism Workshop (photo journalism)- St. Louis Post Dispatch

 

     2006

  • Featured Artivist of the Moment- WeAllBe.blogspot.com

  • 1st place "Draw Your Favorite Animal" Poster Contest- St. Charles Humane Society

 

      2005

  • Visual Art Apprentice- Saint Louis ArtWorks

 

      2004

  • Featured Youth for November- YoungSaintLouis.org

 

 

 

Community Work

     

     2018

  • Created presentation about Cathay Williams and presented it at Walnut Park Library -February 10, 2018

  • Created "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Trivia" presentation at Julia Davis Branch Library -January 20, 2018

 

     2017

  • Participated as an actress and historian in "Tales from the Bitter Crop" written and directed by Sherre Ward.

  • Modeled in UrbanAfrica's "The Art of African Fashion" Show at the Bentil's Jahz Art Gallery.

    

     2015

  • Brought a Heritage Box Workshop to the Ferguson Youth Initiative.

  • Participated in the Metro Bus Black History Program Event.

  • Photo featured in article written by Sergio A. Poveda "Voices: In Ferguson aftermath, walls and windows speak"

  • Assisted in the mural painting for Ferguson business Hidden Treasures.

  • Tutored and assisted a child in publishing her own book.

 

     2014

  • Painted shirts for the I AM ART show - Regional Arts Commission

  • Created a banner and posters for the Michael Brown protest rally

 

     2013

  • Created posters and fans for the Lewis Place Historical Preservation After-School Program students. Program titled "Dr. King’s Final Message to the Black Community" silent march. –Truth and Light Ministries Church

  • Volunteered in reading assistance once a week for one month with the Lewis Place Historical Preservation After-School Program.

  • Directed "Help! I’m Trapped in the Civil Rights Movement!" with the Lewis Place Historical Preservation After-School program and the Fountain Park neighborhood. Program titled "Black History Month 2013: Who Am I?"

 

      2012

  • Conducted an art workshop for members of the Yari Yari Writer’s Group- Forest Park Community College

 

     2011

  • Painted a window of an insurance office building for the homecoming parade – Canton, Missouri

 

     2010

  • Hosted a letter writing party titled "Reagyn Day" for a little girl with a brain tumor.

 

      2009

  • Created a banner for Youth In Need’s Parade

  • Created an art piece for Youth n Need’s event program leaflet

  • Volunteered for the East Cleveland Theater’s Christmas production

 

      2008

  • Participant in Tents of Hope for Darfur Project

 

       2007

  • Conducted youth poetry workshop- Sherman Elementary, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Conducted youth poetry workshop- Huffman Elementary, Cahokia, Illinos

  • Donated "Carver: Cycle of Life" painting- Julia Davis Branch Library

 

       2006

  • Conducted youth poetry workshop- Sherman Elementary, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Conducted youth poetry workshop- Huffman Elementary, Cahokia, Illinos

 

      2005

  • Donated visual art for Hurricane Katrina Benefit Auction

 

     2004

  • Commissioned Muralist- Laidlaw Bus Co.

  • Participant in community mural with artists Christopher Burch and Kericee Fletcher- Adams Community Center

 

Books Illustrated

 

     

      2016

  • The Book Cart Dance-Off: a Library Tale – Written and Illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

  • Vibration: a Collection of Poetry, Essays and Art by Kiarra Lynn Smith

      2015

  • Let's Speak! Kiswahili: 3 Short Stories Teaching Basic Kiswahili Words - Written and Illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

     2013

  • Damien’s New Bike – Written by Lynda D. Brown and illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2012

  • Collective Face: a Series of Quatrains on Community Building – Written and Illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

  • Looking for an Angel: the Story of Christian Taylor Ferguson- Written by Theda R. Wilson and illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2011

  • Douglas Don’t Do That!- Written by Lonnie Love and illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2009

  • I AM a Child of God- Written by Jana M. Gamble and illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2006

  • Nee and the Vampire- Written by Linda Jo Smith and illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2005

  • Rivers of Synergy: a Collection of Children’s Poetry and Prose- Illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

      2004

  • Tafadahli Anaglia!- Illustrated by Kiarra Lynn Smith

 

Published Poetry and Art - Anthologies, Literary Journals, Books

 Yari Yari Literary Group (2004 - 2008), Rivers of Synergy (2004)Sisters-Nineties Magazine, Black Magnolias Literary Journal (2012), Aquillrelle, Harmony Magazine (2012) Best New Writing (2013) Blue Earth Review (2014),Gunpowder Review (2015) Gival Press, 3 Elements Review, Women's Art Quarterly, Crossing the Divide Poets from St. Louis (2016), Route 7 Review (2017) 


Organizations and Affiliations

Yari Yari Writers Group, Art Dimensions, Harmony Literary Magazine, St. Louis Children’s Choir, International Students Organization

 

Poetry Readings in Various Venues (2004-2017)

Memphis Originals (Memphis, Tennessee), Divoll Branch Library, Center for Divine Love, Eternity Vegetarian Deli, Julia Davis Branch Library, Sista Keeper Holistic Center, Legacy Books and Café, Ujamaa Maktaba (St. Louis, Missouri) Marion County Indianapolis Public Library (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Cleveland, Ohio

 

Visual Art Exhibits/Displays (2004-2017)

The Bentil's Jahz Art Gallery, The Lux, Schlafly Branch Library, Prince Hall, Julia Davis Branch Library, Gya Art Gallery, St. Charles Boys and Girls Club, Portfolio Gallery, Mabee Art Gallery and Vaughn Cultural Center, EyeSeeMe Bookstore (Missouri) Marion County Indianapolis Public Library (Indiana) Memphis Originals Café (Tennessee) East Cleveland Theater (Ohio)