Page 18 - Foxtalk Winter 2012

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18
Winter 2012
Steel Plant director promoted to full professor
Smith proud to be a part of Marist family
M
arist’s Art Gallery Director Ed Smith
has
received tenure and been promoted to a full
professor of art.
Smith holds an M.F.A. from Columbia
University and a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute. He is a
Guggenheim Fellow in Sculpture and Drawing and an
Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He is also
an Associate Fellow at Trumbull College, Yale University.
Smith has taught at schools all over the East Coast including
Bard College, Brandeis University, Clark University, University
of Vermont and Bennington College. It all looks great on pa-
per, but Smith is more than just a professor with an impressive
list of credentials. He is an artist first and a teacher second.
“If I’m a good teacher, it’s because I’m a good artist,” Smith
said.
Smith prides himself on the amount of time he works in his
studio where he only breaks to eat and sleep. He said that put-
ting the time in is important to the quality of his work and that
ultimately it is all worth the effort.
“You’re working and get periodic moments of greatness,”
Smith said. “I work every day to have those glimpses of
greatness.”
A long road has led Smith to his promotion at Marist. He
tells colorful stories of his 25 years living in New York City and
his interactions with other artists.
“We were all very standoffish because we didn’t know who
was good,” Smith said.
Smith has had run-ins with everyone from the famous play-
wright Edward Albee to Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen called
his house after Smith suggested Springsteen write a profile on
him. Their conversation was short with Springsteen simply say-
ing he liked Smith’s work and that Smith could use his lyrics
for a piece.
Smith currently has a piece of art displayed in the lobby of
Marist’s James A. Cannavino Library that is modeled after
Springsteen’s song, “Reason to Believe.” He said that the fig-
ure is about still standing even though you have no insurance.
It is about doing a great job without the payoff.
“It’s about what you do and how you do it, not whether or not
you’ ll get a pat on the back,” Smith said.
Smith is proud to be part of Marist’s faculty which he says is
a group of very moral individuals.
“Marist has a sense of soul,” Smith said. “The kids, faculty,
administration all have a belief system that we should be good.”
But it isn’t tenure or his promotion that is keeping Smith at
Marist. Even though he has taught all over the northeast, he is
at Marist to stay.
“It’s my colleagues and students that keep me here.”
Photos courtesy of Ed Smith
From left: Ed Smith with his wife , Pamela, in Scotland; PERSEUS-THE ACT, bronze, unique cast
Faculty
BY JENNIFER ABBEY, ‘12