Artist Bio


“Ideas for imagery can come from anywhere and anything.”
Mary Ruth Smith

Born and raised in Virginia, Dr. Mary Ruth Smith joined the Baylor Department of Art faculty in 1993, bringing with her the maturity of a long teaching career in two fields of higher education. She has traveled from home economics to art education to art and, at Baylor, has created a studio concentration in fabric surface design. Key course topics include dyeing and printing fabrics, screening techniques, weaving, non-woven fiber/fabric structures and construction methods.

Over the past thirty-five plus years her hand-stitched award-winning artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and in Canada, across Europe, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Venezuela and Costa Rica. Important international exhibitions include 3rd and 4th International Triennial for Miniature Textiles, Szombathely, Hungary; 5th International Exhibition of Mini-Textiles, Kherson, Ukraine; 2nd international Textile Art International Triennial “TexpoArt”, Issa, Romania; Quilt National 2005 & 2007, Miami, Ohio; Visions 2006, Oceanside, California; From Lausanne to Beijing: 4th International Fiber Art Biennale at Tsinghua, University, Beijing; Man+Woman=Creation at the Costa Rica-North American Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica; Scythia 6: International Textile Art Exhibition, Kherson, Ukraine and Pojagis From American Friends at the 5th Cheongju International Craft Exhibition. Her work has been illustrated in Fiberarts Design Books Six and Seven, Surface Design Journal, Embroidery Magazine, Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot, Art Crowd, Touching Fiber Arts, 500 Art Quilts, The Art Quilt Collection: Designs and Inspiration From Around the World, American Style and Textile Forum. An article, “The Stitched Statements of Mary Ruth Smith”, written by Todd Turek, appeared in the summer 2012 issue of the Surface Design Journal.

Throughout her teaching career she has taught numerous workshops and presented lectures for a variety of professional and lay organizations.  Selected workshops include two International Surface Design Association Biennial Conferences (2005 and 2007), the 4th International Biennial of Textile Art and Design Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, Federation of Fiber Artists of Texas, Oklahoma Art Guild, Fiber Dimensions, San Francisco. Lectures have been given at Seoul Women’s University and Sookmyung University, Seoul, South Korea, the 5th Cheongju International Craft Exhibition, Cheougju, South Korea, the Fibres West Conference, Bunbury, Australia, and at the National Art Education Association, Boston, Massachusetts and Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Smith served as National Awards Curator for “Oklahoma Friendly 2012”, one of three on the jury panel that selected work for “Fiberart International 2010”, curator for “Baylor Contemporary Quilt Invitational”, Martin museum of Art, Waco, and “Piece By Piece” Exhibition, Arlington Museum of Art, Texas.

— Mary Ruth Smith