The University of Olivet will present “A Curious Backyard Community” by Scott Smith on March 3 – April 7, 2022. A reception will be held on Friday, March 4, 6-8 p.m. The exhibition and reception will be held at the Kresge Foundation Art Gallery inside the Riethmiller Blackman Art Building. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
Kalamazoo artist Scott Smith has a way of connecting with his base by keeping the excitement of the holidays alive year-round. Influenced by antique Halloween and Christmas decorations, he puts a personal spin on these old ideas and has developed a style that is uniquely his own. Since childhood, Smith has been drawing, painting or creating something to make people smile. His art career flourished after graduating from the Burnley School of Professional Art and Design in Seattle, Washington. His education led to creating award-winning illustrations and graphic designs for major companies in the Pacific Northwest. Smith held positions as a designer, art director and project manager with the Weyerhaeuser Company Paper and Forest Products divisions for 15 years. In 2000, Smith opened his own studio, Rucus Studio, and focuses on sculpting characters. Rucus Studio has been featured in books and showcased in national magazines.
“I find solace in the garden. The process of tending to my green hideaway keeps me grounded,” Smith said. “There is dirt under my nails from hands in the soil and knees are stained from being close to nature. Every day spent in the garden I’m greeted by some kind of bug, bird or other critters who catch me off guard and make me smile. These connections often lead to daydreaming about this little backyard community of creatures interacting with each other. Needless to say, these ideas have worked their way into my art.
“I’ve created these pieces to record and share a few encounters. Each is composed from a variety of mediums, such as paper-mache, wood, clay or wire. I love sculpting and especially enjoy modeling the faces and bringing the expressions to life. I believe the addition of antique textiles, with tailored outfits, enhances the personal stories.
“The garden gate is open, step inside and escape from reality for a while.”
For more information, contact Gary Wertheimer, professor of art, at 269-749-7627. Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or email@example.com.