Faculty Profile for Jack Albert Smith
Jack Albert Smith
Associate Professor — Department of Theatre & Dance
phone: (512) 245-2147
Biography and EducationJack Smith is a costume designer for Theater, Musical Theater and Dance as well as a teacher and costume historian. His career has spanned from educational theater to regional theaters around the United States. As a costume designer he loves discovering the intimate details of a character and collaborating with actors, dancers, choreographers and directors to bring those characters to life more fully for the audience.
Jack also has an intense passion for the history of dress, and through that history discovering the values, aesthetics and ideals of a culture and people of an era by what they wear. He has spent countless hours in museums around the country and the world examining in close detail the cut, trim, finishing, embellishing and construction techniques of many cultural artifacts of dress. He has taken patterns and detail sketches from hundreds of extant clothing from 16th to the 20thcenturies. He uses these notes, patterns and sketches to better inform his design work for the stage as well as in the classroom as a teaching tool.
The many aspects of costume design for the stage is not Jack’s only creative outlet. He has also studied lace making in Le Pue, France and has made many trips to the tiny village spending countless hours learning the techniques central to bobbin lace production. He has even presented at the Embroidery Guild of America’s 6th International Convention in 2015 on the history of French Bobbin Lace manufacture.
He is also an avid quilter and produces both domestic quilts as well as using quilting as a form of activism. An example of the Activist Quilting produced a quilt for the San Francesco Gay Men’s Choir’s 40th anniversary tour, The Lavender Pen Tour. He pieced an enormous quilt top (10’-3” by 13’-3”) that incorporated the 6 states the chorus was traveling to and performing in as well as the state of California and . The quilt was comprised of the state blocks of California, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia as well as 147 friendship stars (the name given to a four-pointed star in quilting).
The next faze involved sitting with dozens of strangers and friends alike and hand quilting the quilt and talking about the role and place of members of the LGBTQIA population in the greater communities across the US. The quilt was then given to the chorus and traveled with them on the tour where it was displayed at each performance. His work on the quilt was filmed and became part of the award winning 2019 documentary, Gay Chorus, Deep South.
Teaching InterestsCostume Design, Costume History, Costume Construction and Costume Crafts.
Research InterestsThe intersection of fashion and politics in the court of Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette. Also the general patterning and construction techniques used in the construction of clothing the 18th and 19th centuries.
Selected Scholarly/Creative Work
- August 1, 2022 - August 1, 2023.
- July 1, 2022 - August 1, 2023.
- April 1, 2005 - May 1, 2023.
- April 1, 2023.
- December 1, 2023 - March 1, 2023.