I just wanted to send a quick note regarding Linda Marie Smith’s program about Artemisia called, “The Triumph of Artemisia.”
It was performed on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Westchester Community College. It truly was the perfect program for Women’s History Month. But it also had other linkages, specifically to the Art Department and the Music Department, as well as the Sociology and Human Services Department because of the context created by Linda M. Smith portraying Artemisia as a notable woman and gifted Post-Renaissance artist, who had to overcome adversity and sexual discrimination/abuse, both on a psychological as well as sociological level.
The performance was rich in content and superb in artistic quality. The music was beautifully composed and the vocalized harmonies were tonally pure. The meshing of media projections of Artemisia’s work with the folk music melodies was curated with grace, intelligence and such good aesthetic taste that the audience could hear, feel and see the beauty of the art and music as a delightful and unique pairing.It made the experience for the audience members so memorable.
Besides the brief informative explanations prior to a “ repertory piece, Linda and her musicians made themselves available for a Q & A. The audience was delighted to stay and learn more about both Linda Marie Smith, her creative process and inspiration for this program, and to learn
more about Artemisia herself. Graciously, the trio held a meet n’ greet in the lobby for those that still wanted to inquire and chat more.
All in all, the evening’s performance was a success!
Dr. Paula Rubenstein, Coordinator of Cultural Affairs
Westchester Community College
Linda Marie Smith’s singer-songwriter talents stem from a diverse personal background. Before Smith started performing at local clubs and coffee houses in her early twenties, she was a budding classical pianist winning state-wide championships. She then began crafting her own songs, picked up the guitar and has not put it down since. She started experimenting with her voice and developed the unique vocal style heard on her albums today – a sound that blends folk with rock. Smith’s music is romantic, soulful, earthy and mystical, and is best known for its lyrical and melodic freshness. By listening to a wide range of artists and musical genres, she continuously opens herself to new ideas she encounters in her auditory adventures. Her music has been compared to the likes of Natalie Merchant, Jewel and the Indigo Girls.
Smith released her self-titled debut album in 1998, and in 2000, released her second album, "Blame it on the Moon," featuring renowned master guitarist Michael Smith. She released her third album, "Artemisia," at the Old Town School of Folk Music in January 2006.
“Artemisia” is Smith’s first conceptual piece. Captivated by Artemisia’s story, Ms. Smith has captured the artist’s rhythm through music and visual representations of Artemisia’s work. Themes of redemption and perseverance transcend the years and remain relevant to Smith’s own life and the lives of women today. "Life and the everyday are what drive my music. I try to capture how we as human beings think, feel and react towards obstacles and struggles," said Smith. "I like to think of my music as part of the chain that encourages us all to be warriors through adversity."
“...the lyrics are especially rich, evoking the complexity of Artemisia’s growth as a woman and a painter.” Andy Downing, Chicago Tribune
“Soulful and earthy.” WGN-TV
“...frank, audacious, unrepentant.” Sam Rosby, Professor of Art, Harper College
Smith and her band have played many Chicago venues and have become favorites at annual festivals like Evanston First Night, Harold Washington Library Festival of Poets, Old Town Art Fair, Park Forest Summer Nights Concert Series, Long Grove Arts Festival and Lincoln Square Concert Series. They have also toured universities across the nation. In addition to recording and performing, she teaches guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Smith is proudly sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts.