Logo for "Vero Rose Smith" - the words "Vero Rose Smith are rendered in hot pink letters and the "o" of "Rose" is a stylized rose symbol

Arts and Culture Advocate. Artist. Sparkle Monster.

Hi! I’m Vero. I make complex ideas accessible through serious play. I put the “fun” in fundraising. I’m always looking for collaborations that celebrate and expand my background as a non-profit professional, artist, and educator.

A pale woman with flushed cheeks and lots of freckles grins at the camera. She has thick dark eyebrows, hazel eyes, short, tussled blonde hair, and red lipstick. She is wearing a cream dress with navy blue horizontal stripes and small red hearts.

Let’s chat about:


“I am immensely fortunate to have been able to work with Vero Rose Smith, who developed a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l book design for my monograph-in-progress. From our initial exploratory meeting to our review of the graphic prototypes she crafted, Vero brought critical design thinking and her inimitable creative spirit to bear on my project every step of the way.”

– Naomi Greyser, Associate Professor of English, American Studies and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa

“Over the course of regular meetings, Vero has helped give me the clarity I needed to build multiple projects that showcase this new work while nudging me out of my comfort zone so I could grow into this new chapter more fully. Specifically, I was able to write a grant to produce a catalog that centered this work, I grew my mailing list and professional contacts thanks to Vero’s careful research, and I am in the process of creating a body of large work for a series of proposals for museum exhibitions. Without Vero’s guidance, these all would have felt either out of reach, or were simply not on my radar. I am incredibly grateful to have Vero’s wisdom and guidance, as well as her sense of play, as I move forward.”

– Jillian Moore, Contemporary Jewelry Artist

About Me

In the studio, I make climate change personal through data-driven installations and performances. In the gallery, I facilitate community-centered exhibitions and participatory art experiences. From 2016 to 2020, I served as a curator at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and designed innovative, collegiate-level curricula in the visual arts for both the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. Simultaneously, I co-created collaborative arts experiences for learners of all ages and academic backgrounds. These experiences included a music festival in an operational parking ramp, museum pub trivia nights, hidden histories architectural tours, and pop-up pattern parties.

Since 2020, I have expanded my pedagogical purview to planning and implementing interdisciplinary, project-based approaches for teaching middle and high school. My collaborative classrooms simultaneously serve learners across age and skill level to celebrate each individual learner. For example, I introduced a new tradition to our school: naming every graduating 8th grader’s superpower and creating a superhero persona based on their unique skills and affinities. When our school closed, our students honored us in this same way.

“Low moods and dull colors cower in her presence, all the world stops to watch in amazement as she singlehandedly wipes out every last trace of negative energy in just one bling-filled blow. Mere mortals watch in amazement as she sits in her cave of glitter as she creates her newest collection of smile-inducing, frown-crushing inventions and artworks. She is the one and only Sparkle Monster!”

– Excerpt from the speech one of my 14-year-old students wrote for me

As a historian, designer, and artist, I of course care about imparting discipline-specific content. But in every course I’ve ever designed and taught, my overarching goal has been to connect to others and to create a learning environment where students feel confident in themselves, trust their own passions, and joyously honor everyone in our learning community. By this measure, this student’s speech is the best teaching evaluation I’ve ever received.

In 2022, I founded a boutique consultancy to support creative professionals and arts organizations in balancing financial sustainability and the inherently nonlinear, messy process of making.