Portrait of Ka'ila by Cale Christi 2023
Ka'ila Farrell-Smith (b. 1982) 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 with wild harvested pigments and stenciling found metal detritus, her work explores space in-between indigenous and western paradigms.
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, Portland Art Museum and the Portland Building. Her solo exhibition LAND BACK was on view at the Goudi'ni Native American Art Galleries at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, CA, Spring of 2023. Her work was curated in the exhibition Inherent Memory at the IAIA MoCNA in Santa Fe, NM 2023. And Ka'ila's new work GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE (2022-2023) was on view at the Russo Lee Gallery in Portland, OR, August 2023. Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea is at The Boise Art Museum, The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Whatcom Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum through 2023. The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans is curated by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and will be on view at The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC through 2023 and traveling to the New Britain Museum of Art in Connecticut through 2024.
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. Farrell-Smith is a 2021 Hallie Ford Fellow and a 2019-2020 Fields Artist Fellow with Oregon Humanities.