Nan Smith is known for her contemplative installations and figure sculptures, which synthesize sculpture -often life-size figures--with digital photomontages. Over the years she has explored social narratives that reflect her interest in spirituality, nostalgia, and most recently, environmental issues.
“Nan Smith’s figure sculptures and installations symbolize the degree to which the human being is a harmony of energy and matter”. Glen R. Brown, PhD.
Raised in Philadelphia’s rich visual and cultural environment, Nan’s interest in universal connections, sculpture and painting began early. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art in 1974 and a Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University in 1977. She holds degrees in Ikebana and Japanese Tea Ceremony from the Japan House at the University of Illinois.
Nan Smith’s installations and sculpture have been exhibited at SOFA Chicago, The American Museum of Ceramic Art in California, The Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, The Appleton Museum of Art and in invitational exhibitions throughout the United States. Nan’s work is also part of many institutional collections, including The American Express Corporation; The Lamar Dodd Art Center; The Givat Haviva Institute’s Art Center in Israel; and the World Ceramics Exposition Korea International Collection in Ichon, Korea. She has been the recipient of four State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Grants, an NEA-funded Southern Arts Federation Fellowship in Sculpture, and a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship. She has been awarded funded residencies by the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, and The Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts. Her sculpture has been presented in book chapters in: “The Figure in Clay” (Lark, 2005) and “World Famous Ceramic Artists Studios” (Hebei Fine Ats Publishing House, China, 2004); plus in feature articles in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Sculpture, World Sculpture News, China Ceramic Artist magazines.
Selected recent exhibitions include: "The International Ceramics Invitational", The Armory Art Center, "Florida Fire", The Florida Craftsmen Gallery, "Extraordinary Characters", The Strecker-Nelson Gallery, "Body Perspectives", Tom Funke Gallery - 2009, "Full and Spare; Ceramics in the 21st Century", The Florida State Musuem of Art - 2008, "NCECA Clay National Biennial", Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, "The Narrative Figure", The Ellipse Art Center Gallery, "Form and Imagination: Women Ceramic Sculptors", The American Museum of Ceramic Art - 2007, "Pygmalion\'s Gaze ReImagined; The Figure in Contemporary Ceramics", Creative Alliance Gallery - 2006, Sofa Chicago; RawSpace, Watershed Inivitaitonal, Thomas R. Riley Galleries in 2005, 2004, "21st Century Ceramics in United States and Canada", Cazani Center Gallery, "Taking Measure: American Ceramic Art at the New Millenium", World Cermaic Exposition, Yeoju, Korea, "Beyond the Physical: Substance, Space and Light", The Storr\'s Gallery - 2001, "A Glimpse of the Invisible; NCECA Invitational", Arvada Art Center Gallery - 2000.
Nan Smith served as the co-juror for the 2006 NCECA Regional Student Juried Exhibition in Portland, Oregon, and for Alchemy: from Dust to Form, The Ceramics National presented by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art in 2011. She has curated three CIE exhibitions for the National Council for Education in Ceramics Conferences. Smith was honored by the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts, NCECA as an Emerging Talent, in 1986.
Nan Smith has presented workshops on figure sculpting and mold-making throughout the United States, including the 1999 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference. Nan Smith lives in Gainesville, Florida where she maintains her private studio and holds the position of tenured Full Professor within the Ceramics Program at the University of Florida’s School of Art and Art History.
View her work at her personal website: www.nansmith.com also at her research website for the "Mercury installation": www.mercuryartscience.com
Look for upcoming events on website under nan's blog.