Arianne Vota Smeets earned her AAS degree in Culinary Arts in December, and is well on her way to achieving her dream: to change the ways in which we love—ourselves, others and the world around us—through her art.
Last September, Vota Smeets debuted “Aorta Tranformata” in a three-evening multi-sensory event at Kendall College. The exhibit featured a collection of 33 contemporary mixed-media pieces presenting sculpted-clay hearts on canvas, with tasting dishes interpreting select artworks created by four Kendall culinary-arts students. Music accompaniments completed the comprehensive experience.
Flourish Studios’ Fine Art Gallery, 3020 N. Lincoln Avenue, is hosting Vota Smeets’ exhibit through March 31. “Her work exemplifies all that it means to ‘flourish,’ showing that each and every one of us has the innate ability to live a full, creative and prosperous life,” says the studios’ founder and owner, Dr. Julia Rahn.
Vota Smeets is a former educator of seven years. She designed and led numerous recognized educational initiatives, which culminated in being distinguished as the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Local Teacher of the Year for Plainfield District 202 in 2007. After making several life changes in the same year involving her health, career, marriage and residence, Smeets began further developing her sculpting skills by working on large-scale, multi-dimensional pieces. Inspired in many directions, she created “Aorta Transformata” while a culinary student at Kendall College.
“Kendall has been an important, essential launch pad not only for my art work, but my new life in general,” Smeets says. Newly armed with a culinary-arts degree, she plans to open a coffee house and wine bar called VOTA, where she will be able to continue pursuing her artistic career via the kitchen and the canvas.