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Portrait of Ka'ila by Sam Gehrke Photography. Modoc Point Studio, Oregon, 2021.

A R T I S T  B I O

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist, writer and activist based in Modoc Point, Oregon. The conceptual framework of her practice focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. Utilizing painting and traditional Indigenous art practices, her work explores space in-between the Indigenous and western paradigms. Ka’ila displays work in the form of paintings, objects, and self-curated installations.

Ka’ila is a 2021 Hallie Ford Fellow and a 2019-2020 Fields Artist Fellow with Oregon Humanities. Her work has been exhibited at Out of Sight, Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Oregon she has work in the permanent collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Portland Art Museum. She is a featured artist at SCALEHOUSE Creative in Bend, Oregon and her work will be on view in 2022-2023 at MESH curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby at the Portland Art Museum, IN SITU at the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls, Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea at The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Whatcom Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Ka’ila has been selected to attend artist residencies at Caldera Arts Center, Djerassi, UCROSS, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Crow's Shadow.

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University. She is a a certified Wilderness First Responder and is a Land Defender on the front lines, fighting resource extraction projects across the Pacific Northwest.



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