Sarah Rose Smiley is a visual artist based in Boston, MA.
Art is her love language.
Most significantly, it has been a way to express pain about oppressive expectations of beauty and ways of being, and celebrate what feels more real.
She believes you do not have to "get ready" for a photo. You are always inherently "ready," and worthy of being photographed, documented, and loved without changing a thing.
Her painting and photography touch on themes of intimacy, queerness, representation of survivorship, and reclamation of the body as home. She interrupts the male gaze through its absence.
Balancing her commitment to gender, justice and youth work with her artistic practice has been a lifelong tension. While growing up and into adulthood, Sarah Rose has struggled with the question of how to fit art and the rest of her life together in a way that does not ask one to sacrifice the other. At times, the two have felt distinctly and painfully separate. She is embracing the intertwined nature of art and everything else by recognizing art is everywhere. By no longer relating to art in such an idealized and perfectionistic way, it has become a source of community building, abundance, and connection.
Sarah Rose is also the co-founder of the Boston based initiative, Queer Art Collective, a creative collective that supports queer femme & enby artists in the Boston area by building community, fostering artistic collaborations, and providing shared infrastructure.
Nathan & Sheena
“Our photos are so special. For the first time in almost ten years, I feel like we have photos that actually look like us. Sarah did a beautiful job.”