Born in 1988, Miriama Grace-Smith has been creating art for most of her life. She specializes in contemporary Māori painting, printmaking, illustration, and fashion design. As a child, art was not offered as a subject at her school so she started carrying a sketchbook around and drawing people and objects whenever she could. Following High School in Wellington, New Zealand, she completed a Certificate in Visual Arts at Whitireia Polytechnic and then added to this with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Massey University. Her education in the arts encouraged her to pursue a career doing what she loves most - making art, and although being a self-employed artist is not easy, she is determined to make it work.
Much of her work depicts traditional village life centered around Hongoeka Marae in Plimmerton, Wellington where she spent a lot of time growing up in a family of artists and creatives. Her work also explores natural phenomena and the Māori gods and goddesses associated with these natural phenomena. The spiritual realm and world of the dead is also touched on in some of her works.
Miriama started customizing clothing and after receiving some great feedback, she decided to start their own clothing label called Foresight Clothing. After first establishing the label in the seaside village of Paekakariki, she then upgraded to a shop space on Cuba Street in Wellington.
Miriama Grace-Smith has had several successful exhibitions of her work both in New Zealand and internationally (Melbourne and New York). She was also the recipient of a New Zealand business grant to further develop her creative entrepreneurship. She was the designer and wardrobe director for the New Zealand movie Pā Boys and has also been contracted to teach art for various organizations. Miriama has also illustrated two children's books.
She hails from the Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Toarangatira and Ngāti Porou tribes of New Zealand and is one of the founding members of a group of Māori women artists called the Toi Wāhine Collective.
Read our Toi Tangata Artist Interview with Miriama Grace-Smith HERE.
TOI TANGATA MĀORI ART GALLERY WORKS BY MIRIAMA GRACE-SMITH CURRENTLY AVAILABLE: