Cynthia Wheelock Smith, Professor of Visual Arts, has been in the Art Department at CCRI since 1974. She teaches Textile Design, Drawing, Painting, and Color. A graduate of Tufts University and The Boston Museum School of Art, and master degree recipient from The Rhode Island School of Design, Professor Smith has also studied design for one year in Sweden with the Scandinavian Seminar, and for a year and a half in Germany at a national design school, Staatliche Akademie den Bildenden Kunste—the latter as a recipient of a grant, a DAAD, from the German government and the Institute of International Education. During this time in Germany, the Faculty Senate awarded her the Queen Olga of Wurtenburg Award as well as the Federation of German Banking Institutions Travel Award.
Professor Smith has researched and traveled extensively world-wide; for example; studying with weavers in a remote Andean village in Peru; visiting textile artists in the small rural villages of the hill tribes of Thailand; meeting with silk weavers and batik artists in Indonesia; as well as documenting the making of tapa cloths on islands in the South Pacific. Her art work is in collections in Europe and the USA.