Rachel Smith is an alum of the UCSC Art Department. About the first in the "How Many Syrians?" series, she writes, "This piece surrounds the death of Aylan Kurdi. The day he died, his father lost two sons and his wife and vowed to return to bury his family and live by their graves. Muhammad Kurdi said on CNN, 'Is there someone whose children are not precious to them? The children enrapture you. They wake up, "Daddy, Daddy, I want to play in the ocean." Everything is gone'."
Rachel writes, "I create spectacle and generate emotion in viewers and participants. Sharing myself ranges in results from the sublime to the ugly. My work emphasizes how the human condition ties us all together. Narrations between the stopping points of humanity are where my art originates. My current concentration is on the heartbreaking migration of Syrians away from their country, bombing attacks, social practice via gigantic soap bubble-making, metal fabrication (including welding), and surfaces covered with tiny glass beads. My media is limber and wanton."