In keeping with Studio 1219’s jam-packed 2013 event calendar, May brings a new show by local art teacher and artist, Kirby Smith. Smith will be offering a review of his life’s work in his show, A Teacher’s Retrospective. The exhibit, primarily showcasing Smith’s pottery work, runs from June 4th through June 29th. An opening reception will be held June 7thfrom 6pm – 8pm. The reception is free to the public and all are invited to attend.
An award-winning teacher since 1971, Smith has taught the love of art and the techniques to create it to hundreds, if not thousands, of children, teens and adults. Now semi-retired, Smith shares his craft as an adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Wayne County Community College and continues to passionately create his own work when time permits.
When asked if he would define himself as a professional or an amateur, Smith identified himself as a teacher first and an artist second. He explained, though, that there has been a symbiotic relationship between his classroom work and his studio work. Unlike many artists who have to keep product marketability in mind when creating, the income from Smith’s teaching career has allowed him the autonomy to create non-commercial art that expresses the freedom of creativity and expression of his inner soul.
The non-commercial aspect of Smith’s art is readily apparent. Visitors who appreciate more unusual pieces will be pleased to find a variety of abstract sculptures – some practical items – others strictly created for the purpose of artistic expression. Smith will also be presenting a variety of expressionistic paintings of some of his pieces.
While proficient in nearly any medium, Smith prefers clay. “It’s easier for me. I have a relationship with the clay. I have no interest in becoming a camera [re-creating an image or object]. Spontaneous creation flows from somewhere inside me.”
By citing the cutting-edge English sculptor Henry Moore as a source of inspiration, it is clear that Smith is unwilling to compromise his artistic principles; and it is apparent in his work that he is offering a nod to Moore’s organic, abstract bronze and stone human figures. The show contains some of these humanistic figures and much, much more.
All are invited to the opening reception of A Teacher’s Retrospective scheduled forFriday, June 7th from 6-8pm. This event is free to the public. Those unable to attend the opening are encouraged to visit the Studio at their leisure through June 29th to experience Smith’s works.
For additional information about Studio 1219, including upcoming events and class schedules, visit www.studio1219.com.
Author Bio: Michele Bourdo is a freelance writer living and working in Port Huron. For more information and to view her portfolio, please visit www.michelebourdo.com