Mickey Smith grew up checking out books from a grand Carnegie Library in her hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Eventually, the collection outgrew the space, but the Carnegie building was saved and repurposed. Mickey and friends continued to utilize the building as teenagers, picking up birth control from a public clinic housed in the basement.
Upon moving to New Zealand in 2012, she was surprised to find 23 Carnegie libraries had been erected throughout the South Pacific. Over the course of three years, she documented the 16 remaining buildings in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. The result of this work appears in a stunning new publication, As You Will: Carnegie Libraries of the South Pacific.
As a conceptual artist and photographer, Mickey’s practice has been engaged with a longstanding inquiry into libraries, books and archives and in particular the social significance of their physical existence or disappearance. She has received awards from Americans for the Arts, Creative New Zealand, CEC ArtsLink and McKnight Foundation.
Mickey, her son Max and their pretty little dog Uma live in Auckland, New Zealand. She is represented by Invisible-Exports in New York.