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Mythic Sculptures, Drawings Exhibited at Penn College


A world-renowned sculptor and artist will exhibit his bronze sculptures and drawings in “Though much is taken, much abides …,” running May 28 through June 26 at The Gallery at Penn College.

Ed Smith, a Guggenheim Fellow in sculpture and drawing, and an associate member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, will be on hand for a Meet the Artist Reception set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, featuring a 5:30 p.m. gallery talk. The reception and exhibit are open to the public and free of charge.

Two of Ed Smith's bronze sculptures: "Hercules with Club" (left), and "Beggar," bronze, 15" high.
Two of Ed Smith’s bronze sculptures: “Hercules with Club” (left), and “Beggar,” bronze, 15″ high.

The drawings in the exhibition are from Smith’s “Beggars of Venice” series and will be displayed along with large and small bronze sculptures. Smith’s work includes abstract images of the human body and is primarily involved with mythic and heroic aspects of “The Artist” and man, reminding the viewer how to retain humanity in a world where oftentimes the wrong individuals are idealized.

Traditionally, bronze figures served to commemorate the past, present and future and prompted viewers to remember great deeds, great men or actions; they embodied the dreams and hopes of men, cities, states and countries. Smith’s sculptures attempt to bring into focus what is overlooked, as well as to create a sense of historical continuity with the great art of the past.

“The drawings titled ‘Beggars of Venice’ echo the tragedy of the homeless, and set the tone for ones who have, in some sense, been residents of the beautiful city of Venice from the very beginning,” Smith said.

“These figures are outsiders, the invisible ones. As one moves through Venice, you are hard-pressed to notice those who are most present, who in effect have been in the city from its founding, the beggars. These characters are very similar to us as artists, being outsiders beyond the scope of conventions. These drawings bring into focus those we overlook, and they create a sense of historical continuity with the great art of the past.”

Smith is a professor of art at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and director of the Marist College Art Gallery and the college’s Venice Biennale Program.

His work is represented in public and private collections in the United States and abroad. These include The British Museum; The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium; Ministry of the Flemish Community; The Hood Museum; the Davis Museum; Yale University; and many more. He has had over 50 one-person exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions.

The Gallery at Penn College’s summer hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays (closed Saturdays and Mondays).

In addition to serving as an educational resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, the gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation through exhibitions of contemporary art.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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