Alegría and Other Emotions, by Maya Smith

The Alliance Française de Seattle is delighted to welcome its community for the launch of the exhibit Alegría and Other Emotions by visual artist Maya Angela Smith, as part of its special Francophonie programming in March 2023.


Friday, March 10
5pm - 6pm
Alliance Française de Seattle, Room 204 (Library).

Limited capacity: please RSVP below to register your attendance. Free event.


March 6 – 30, 2023
Monday to Thursday from 12pm – 4pm
Or by appointment:
Alliance Française de Seattle, Room 204 (Library).

Please note the following exceptions:
Wednesday, March 8: 12pm – 1pm only
Thursday, March 23: closed
Tuesday, March 28: 2:30pm – 4pm only


Calling Seattle home for the last decade, I made my way here from my hometown of Houston via Zaragoza (Spain), New York, Madrid, Paris, Dakar (Senegal), Rome, Padua (Italy), Oaxaca, Caruaru (Brazil), and Berkeley. As a professor in the French and Italian Studies department at UW who specializes in multilingualism, migration, and identity formation, I spend a lot of time researching, writing, and teaching about how people move through the world and how they narrate their life stories through various languages.

As a visual artist, I try to do something similar by bringing my own life and the lives of those around me into focus through color and contrasts. I find that my academic work and my artistic projects are richer when I do them simultaneously. For that reason, I am grateful to the Alliance Française for giving me a space to exhibit my work. This art show is only my second solo exhibit in Seattle and follows previous solo shows in New York, Paris, and Oakland.

I rely on my travels, my interactions, and my curiosity to guide me in my creative endeavors. Many of the pieces displayed here are an homage to my dear friend and college roommate Estefanía, now a professional flamenco dancer. In a moment in time marked by pandemic fatigue, fear, hate, despair, and sadness, I felt a need to create something that could counteract this negativity—in this case, the joy and vitality that Estefanía exudes when she dances and shares her craft with the world. Other pieces capture the range of human emotions as we make sense of our worlds.


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