We are pleased to introduce the work of Trina May Smith, a young painter working on her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having grown up out west, Trina and her family experienced first hand the effects of dying industries and the unreliability of seasonal jobs. After moving to the Midwest, Trina May Smith continues to feel empathy for the jobless workers and victims of urban decay. Her paintings are small scale: “BP 1” is just 6 x 9 inches, but are amazingly well painted capturing time, place, and conflict in today’s society. Of her trip to BP’s refinery in Whiting, IN, Trina says she was torn between the environmental issues as “smells and emissions filled the air” while at the same time, acknowledging that she needed fuel to get there and would most likely be dependent on fossil fuels for the rest of her life. “BP 1” captures the beauty of a harsh industrial environment and invites deliberation of complex contemporary realities on the part of the viewer. Please click to see more of Trina May Smith’s paintings.