Beauty and meaning intersect in Smadar Livne’s artworks. Ten years ago, the Israeli native moved to Owings Mills from upstate New York.

She sees the Baltimore area as the “center of the East,” perfect for her and other artists traveling north, south and west to show their works. 

Besides the fabric, paper and other items in her layered art, Livne interlaces symbols and subtle messages into her acrylics on canvas, fiber sculptures, wall hangings and tapestry collage art. 

Q: How has your work evolved?

A: In art school, I learned a lot of technique and very academic skills, but once I graduated, I needed to develop my own style. And it’s not easy. ... Over the years, I developed by adding poems, stories from the Bible, my own thoughts, and text from Jewish and Kabbalah philosophers to the paintings. ... Each painting has meaning. It’s not just a scenario. I put a lot of details and symbols into each. You have to spend some time looking at my work. I don’t want [viewing my work] to be just a blink of an eye, ‘OK, I got it.’ I really want people to look carefully and find meaning.

Q: What influenced your development?

A: Every year or two, my mom tells me, ‘All right you did this, now you have to do new things.’ She reminds me to keep evolving — mothers still tell you what to do no matter how old you are. So I say, ‘OK, today I’ll do a totally different painting.’ I’ll promise her that, and she’ll call again from Israel to see. It’s almost like a prompt or assignment you have to do at the university. So in my new work, I’m painting the canvas’ edges.

Also, my three wonderful girls give me much happiness, and all my work is happy and meant to give comfort and satisfaction. I’m not dealing with suffering and things that are hard because that’s here, there’s nothing I can do. I want to create a positive energy. I want to get up in the morning, be positive and add to the universe some good things. I don’t need to emphasize the bad. I know many artists who want to show life’s realities. I want to show the good in everything.

Q: Why do you use such bold colors?

A:  The bold colors are very powerful. When you look at them, you can’t stay calm. You have to react. You don’t have to like it, but you will say, ‘Woah, what’s going on.” They ask you to look again and feel the painting. I want the painting to talk. I want the energy to grow out from the painting to me and also to the viewers.




Smadar Livne, an award-winning Israeli born artist, creates unique and exciting works at her studio in Owings Mills, Maryland. Educated at Haifa University in Israel, Smadar has degrees in fine art, literature, and architecture. She has continued her education of philosophy through Baltimore Hebrew University.

Portraying scenes from her life and learning is what gives Smadar’s work an edge. The work contains short stories, poems and philosophical observations. Her works are vibrant and exciting, expressing the joy that Smadar sees in life.

Bold, bright colors in a multi-level composition with fabric, paper, and embedded photographs, create a pentimento effect that is both a visual and tactile experience. Smadar’s work incorporates historic images in a contemporary style.


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Intro song performed by: Stav Livne                         Site Design and development: Simon Cherkasski Design Studio SCDS 2009