Uli Smith is a self-taught visual artist and muralist living in California. Uli holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of San Francisco and worked in public health for nearly 10 years. However, Uli could not suppress her deep passion for painting any longer and in May of 2022 quit her job to pursue art full-time. Since then, she has been featured in Epiphany Digital Magazine, had a solo exhibition at Arthouse on R gallery, completed six murals, as well as served as a panelist for the California Creative Corps Program.
Her public health background still comes into play as she believes in the capacity for art to heal people and spaces and be a catalyst for social change. She is currently looking for opportunities at the intersection of public health and the arts through community-engaged mural projects.
I aspire for my paintings to have a positive effect on people, uplift moods and energize souls. My pieces are often optimistic and hopeful in expression, filled with vivid and bold color combinations, and graphic designs. Through the juxtaposition of hyper-realistic plants on graphic and sharp backgrounds, I achieve something of a still life that meets the pop art effect.
My art commonly features nature, including botanical plants, fruit or cacti, as I want my art to pay tribute to the natural brilliance of our environment and serve as a reminder to reconnect with and protect it. Through my artwork, I want to bring the outside in. I value the moments I get to blissfully soak in the wonders of this world while creating art inspired by it.
How does the theme ‘Biosphere’ play a role in your work?
My inspiration often stems from the vibrancy and healing qualities of the natural world. My artwork pays tribute to our interconnectedness to our environment and serves as a reminder to reconnect with and protect nature. I juxtapose imagery of common plants in front of graphic and colorful backgrounds, mimicking the human-made surroundings, such as you could find a cactus growing in front of a colorful building in Mexico.
My hyperrealistic close-ups are to engage viewers to take a deeper look at the world around us and appreciate the uniqueness of the biodiversity that surrounds us. We must not take for granted the full depth in which plants provide us with the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, while also being a source of joy and respite.