Sunday, April 21, 2019

Nan Meets Brian Skerry - National Geographic Photojournalist and Fellow

I was excited to attend my second Brian Skerry lecture this week at the UF Performing Arts Center. I first met Brian by phone when he agreed to send me large format images he took diving for bluefin tuna. This generosity began a connection where I learned more from a lecture in Tampa in 2014 when I got to meet Brian in person for the first time. Brian is an inspiring photojournalist with a great aesthetic who dives all over the world and travels to convey a message of conservation by sharing his gorgeous underwater photography and exciting adventures. As someone who cannot dive I loved seeing not only the photographs but also videos of Brian in action photographing sharks (his latest story for National Geographic). I met Brian again to say hello after his presentation. We share a love for the water and underwater ecosystems and the health of our planet. He is a true inspiration!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Celebrating 40 Years at UF Ceramics!

I was honored to have the School of Art and Art History host a celebration of my 40 years on the faculty at the University of Florida in December 2018. I was so happy to see so many alums, retired faculty colleagues, current students and faculty attend. I was very excited to have the three Dean's... Joseph Sabatella, Donald McGlothlin, and Lucinda Lavelli... who I worked with make comments. My colleague of 24 years, Linda Arbuckle, spoke about our time together when we built UF Ceramics. Janet Chandler, read letters from alums from each of the four decades of my teaching. UF Ceramics faculty, graduate students and staff presented me with a gift. The College gave me a gator on a plank. I offered comments and thank you's at the end of the event. Time does fly by. I am off to Chapter 2 which is my time in studio as a full-time artist. Thank you all who made this a very special evening.

Nan's Figure Sculpting Session at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

A lot of talent was concentrated in the classroom during my week-long figure sculpture workshop titled, "The Reflexive Self" at Arrowmont in October of 2018. What fun we had working the long hours; all day and all evening sculpting, casting, and doing glaze testing for the portrait busts that were created. We had a full room and everyone had good energy. My teaching assistants and I were able to work with the large group to create life casts, offer individual anatomy tutorials (after I demonstrated each step), and fire kilns to test low fire and mid-range glazes and underglaze effects. Pictures of the workshop at various stages follow. Thanks to the students who attended ... it was a joy to work with you! These first pictures are of my demo piece after 3 hours of modeling.

Nan at the 2018 Ceramics Ireland International Festival

What a great adventure we had in Ireland at the Ceramics Ireland International Festival and traveling the country. The festival workshop was a three day intensive where I demonstrated my figure sculpting and mold-making techniques. I also presented a lecture on my art work featuring my new research for the "Water:CodBlue Project"; installation and tile mural based on global water conservation. We then traveled the wet and wild coastal region of Ireland where I took photos for my new tile mural. We ended our visit in Dublin whee I interviewed two water scientists about water issues and conservation efforts in the Republic of Ireland.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Upcoming - Workshop at Arrowmont

I am pleased to be teaching a one week workshop at the Arrowmont School if Arts and Crafts in the Fall of 2018. titled, The "Reflexive Self", The workshop will center on building skills to sculpt an expressive life scale portrait bust. Scheduled for October 14-20, 2018 check for more info at Arrowmont's website.

Nan Smith is Residency Artist at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel

I went to Israel and lived in Jerusalem in November-December 2017. What a wonderful experience to work at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design for 5 weeks as a resident artist. The Ceramics and Glass Program has a great facility and very talented students. My studio was at the top of Mt. Scopus and my view overlooked the city. I could see the deesrt and water in the far distance on a clear day. I worked everyday from Sunday through Thursday to create a body of work for exhibition. On Tuesday evenings I taught a figure sculpture project to a very talented group of students and graduates of the school. At the end of the residency my work was shown and I presented a talk about my ideas and techniques. On the weekends I was hosted by Israeli artists and traveled to Tel Aviv, Acco, Zfat, Mivaserret, and Givat Haviva. I presented a two day workshop on rubber molds for ceramics at the Givat Haviva Art Center. It was exciting to tour the Negev desert and to photograph at the Ramon Crater; photos I used (along with my sculpture) for my show at Bezalel. Thanks to all of the special students who were so talented and who hosted me. Thanks to Eran Erhlich, Jacaranda Kori, Shirly, and Omri for all the planning and help during the residency. Thanks to my artist friends for making this a well rounded experience in Israel - Dori, Etty, Avner, Michal and Uri, Martha, Ester, Yael, and Hilda.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nan's "Unity" Mural to be shown at Baltimore Clay's Diversity Exhibition

Exhibition title: People of Color, People of Clay (an exhibition on diversity) Artist Statement: Unity; a tile mural. I create social narratives through sculpture, installation, and tile. My work with the photomontage on tile generated through original, composited photographs allows me to create complex images that offer the human aspect within a social context. The theme of diversity is new for me and I am addressing it by creating an image reflecting cultural and religious connection in a large tile mural titled, Unity. Photographs from my recent trip to Israel have been composed into a memorable photographic image that shows the unexpected diversity of the Israeli Jewish population. A beautiful panoramic view of the Kotel, the western wall of the historic temple in Jerusalem, is overlaid with photos capturing private moments where Ethiopian, Hassidic, Moroccan, and European Jews stand side by side during the act of prayer. Called the “wailing wall” water flows as a symbol for purification and cleansing. A young soldier wearing a prayer cap stands guard nearby holding an automatic weapon. Location - Baltimore Clayworks 5707 Smith Avenue Baltimore, MD 21209 Dates: May 5th, 2017 Exhibition Opening, 6-8 July 1, 2017 Exhibition Closes Gallery Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays - Closed Wednesday- Fridays 10 am - 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays 12 - 5 pm