Much like past contestants on the reality show Project Runway are often tasked with combining their creativity and sewing skills to transform used articles of clothing into something fiercely innovative, New York-based artist Shinique Smith manipulates abandoned materials such as old clothing, shoes, picture frames and even her grandmother’s old sheets to make an altogether different statement. But instead of floating down a runway, Smith’s original creations come to life through paintings, murals and installations influenced by astrology, Tibetan culture, mythology, fashion, calligraphy and more.

A graduate of Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Smith’s contemporary artwork has been displayed in both individual and group exhibitions in major US cities, as well as Italy, Germany and Belgium, among other European countries. Currently, her “Bright Matter” exhibition can be seen at The Museum of Fine Arts Boston. It features 30 select works of art that highlight the past 10 years of the Baltimore native’s career, plus more than 12 new additions that range from sculptures and paintings to installations and videos.

Here are 5 interesting facts about Shinique Smith:

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