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Opening Reception: The Art of Metalsmithing Exposed Curated by Steve Shelby, and Emily Sullivan Smith

You are invited to the opening reception of The Art of Metalsmithing Exposed Curated by Steve Shelby, and a solo exhibition by Emily Sullivan Smith on Friday, May 17, from 5-8pm. These exhibitions will be on view until June 21, 2019. The Art of Metalsmithing Exposed will highlight the best of contemporary three-dimensional metal art from around the world. This exhibition features a diverse group of artists, ranging from emerging or self-taught to college professors and silversmithing professionals. Many of the artists teach their craft as freelancer, around the country and parts of the world, in their own facilities, or in colleges or universities. Some primarily design and make jewelry while some come from blacksmithing, welding, or auto body backgrounds. Two of the artists featured, Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid, have written the definitive book on contemporary metalsmithing, Creative Metal Forming.

This exhibition explores metalsmithing in the cold forming of metal from flat sheet (or ingot) into three dimensional form, using hammer and various other tools (not to be confused with blacksmithing, which is the hot forming of iron and steel). The functional objects that used to be handmade by metalsmiths are now mass-produced, evolving the craft over time into a vehicle for artistic expression.

Sullivan Smith’s work focuses on the global debate concerning the planet and the role each of our lives, choices, conveniences and privileges play. Each work investigates the tenuous balance between humans and nature through the perceived abundance of natural resources declining at the hand of humankind or the impact of daily conveniences on nature. Sullivan Smith examines the push and pull between the capacity of humans to control or shift the environment with the potential for unintended consequences. The works find their impetus from appropriated cultural sources, be they historical photographs, or news of recourse decline. A quote from noted naturalist, John Muir, is ever-present in the work “When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it attached to the rest of the world”.

Pictured: Alison Antelman