Welcome to a new blog series highlighting influential women from friend to the famous. These women have a common thread of being influencers in their field and a love of the arts. Our first edition features Kim Smiley, Founder of Sapphô Jewelry and the Empathy Effect, a 365 day social experiment, and the posthumously trending Frida Kahlo. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kim in Toronto and viewing her beautiful creations. I was struck by her wide range of overflowing talents. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she, like Frida Kahlo, seems bigger than life in what she is accomplishing.
The Empathy Effect has taken Facebook by storm, her jewelry line is beautiful and charitable at the same time and that is just the tip of the iceberg. What struck me most about Kim Smiley, was her warmth and sense of “Sisterhood”. She’s one of those special people who you can connect to immediately. In a parallel universe, I believe she and Frida Kahlo would have become fast, and enduring friends.
When I was 8, I had a bright pink and red striped bathing suit. “Red and pink don’t match. You clash,” a couple of kids said. I didn’t care. Non-conformity was in my blood. Frida and I are similar that way. She had a devil may care style and sensibility that permeated everything about her: personality, philosophy and painting. High contrast, bold juxtapositions, seemingly surreal.Frida had no limits. “Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” Despite her transcendence, Frida’s feet were firmly planted in the world. She empathized deeply with everyone, perhaps because she endured so much suffering. Frida would often say, “I was born a painter.” I always felt the same way.
Find more inspiration at:
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS TEXTILE AND GOURD CARVING DEMONSTRATIONS: ARTISANS FROM CHIAPAS AND OAXACA
August 11–20: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (exception: August 15; 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. & 4–6 p.m.)
September 10–October 12: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; Thursdays & Fridays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Women artisans from Chiapas and Oaxaca demonstrate their age-old techniques in weaving and embroidery. Using the backstrap loom, these textile artists evoke ancient motifs with natural dyes, striking a beautiful balance between traditional and contemporary. In August, visiting artisans also carve and draw graceful designs onto gourds, or jicaras, communicating their personal and communal stories of celebrations, myths, and folklore.
FRIDA KAHLO: THROUGH THE LENS OF NICKOLAS MURAY, WITH TRADITIONAL MEXICAN COSTUME FROM THE TEXTILE MUSEUM OF CANADA
Jun 10 – Sep 7, 2015
Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray comprises 50 photographic portraits of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken by Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray between 1937 and 1946, capturing the exceptional breadth of Kahlo’s persona from the photographer’s unique perspective as her friend and intimate confidant. The exhibition includes pioneering color images whose lush, saturated colors highlight the elaborate wardrobe that was an intrinsic part of Kahlo’s identity during the 1930s and 40s, when political idealism and national fervor were at their height among her circle of urban intellectuals.
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