Kyra Schmidt

'Earth, Matter, Paper '

Earth, Matter, Paper is artist Kyra Schmidt’s (M.F.A., photography, 2017) first museum exhibition, and presents her signature camera-less photography. The exhibition brings together artwork from the past two years that employs light-sensitive paper as the medium for her experimental outdoor practice.

Schmidt’s work follows a historic lineage of landscape photographers, while rejecting traditional methods in favor of experimentation and ephemerality. The artist creates luscious abstract artworks through the exposure of photographic paper to the elements. Through subjecting this paper to the sun, soil, wind, and water, Schmidt evokes the natural world and uses chance to dictate the resulting images. These works prioritize the artist’s hand, performance, and the land as central to creating images as evocative suggestions of time and place. Many of the artist’s works are unfixed, allowing the pieces to change over time, through the continuing exposure, as well as the decay and loss of the plant matter and dirt on the surface of the photos.

Signature image for "Earth, Matter, Paper" exhibition
Kyra Schmidt, M.F.A., photography, 2017, "Algae, Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia (Ilford VC Fiber Matte, dipped in algae water, unfixed)," silver gelatin lumen print, plant matter, 48" x 40", 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

About the artist

Kyra Schmidt was born in Indiana and is currently based in Roanoke, Virginia. She received a B.F.A. in photography from the University of Southern Indiana in 2015 before earning an M.F.A. from SCAD. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, include the House of Lucie, Los Angeles, California; Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond; Edition One Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; 621 Gallery, Tallahassee, Florida; and at the Lishui Photography Festival, Lishui, China. Her work has been published in Aint-Bad Magazine, Beta Developments in Photography, Etapes magazine, and she was recognized as a 2017 Top 50 Photographer by Critical Mass. Her handmade, limited-edition monograph published with Dust Collective premiered in the fall of 2019.


Earth, Matter, Paper is curated by Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

Museum Admission

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

More on view