The Beauty of Letting Go

"The Beauty of Letting Go" is an art installation piece I designed and constructed for the world's largest juried art competition known as ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2017.

When construction began, I wanted the piece to represent the innocence and vulnerability that comes with expressing yourself. As the butterflies scatter off, they show the risk of entering into the unknown, forever altering you in a way where you cannot return to your same original form. I wanted this to show that, although it comes with the risk of not knowing what's to come, expressing yourself and who you are can bring you to the true beauty in the path of life that God has in store for you.

However, during the time of construction, my cousin unexpectedly passed away while giving birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. Suddenly, this piece had even stronger meaning for me. It started to represent the impact we have on the lives around us during our precious time with them. Life is too short not to spread your love, kindness, and inner beauty out to the world. As these tragic events occurred, I started dedicating this piece in her memory, and how it reflected the love, joy, and pure happiness that she spread to everyone around her.

ArtPrize 2017

For her debut, she was on display putside the Courtyard Mariot for 4 weeks in the Fall of 2017. The girl (jokingly known as Barb D'Wire) stood tall at 4x4x3ft. constructed out of various sizes of wire, provideing strength internally and filler on the outside. The over 500 butterflies were cut from wire screens and spray painted to color. These were then strung together strategically with fishing line, and suspended throughout four different trees via wire rods. The total piece fanned out to a distance of 40ftx30ft at its widest. It was set overtop of several walkways, inviting viewers to walk underneath the butterflies as they floated above them.

Anton Art Center 2019-present

Currently, the piece is on display outside of The Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens, MI. for this contract, the original agreement was from May-September 2019. Because of the interest it sparked in the community, it was agreed to extend the contract as long as desired. The idea was never to make it a permanent display at this location, however, it is a public home for the piece until we can find a permanent placement.

For this display, the girl herself was updated, adding much more wire to create more dimension and substance to the piece. Metal posts were also constructed in order to attach and suspend the butterflies. The piece now reaches 15ft in height, 35ft in depth, and 15ft in width.

Contact Me

Email: sks.sarahsmith@gmail.com  |  Tel: 586-329-9700

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