Ross School Visual Arts instructor and world-renowned artist Ned Smyth will be inducted to the National Academy this month. He joins a roster of more than 2,280 artists recognized throughout the history of the 191-year-old organization, including Marina Abramović, Frank Gehry, Cecilia Beaux, and John Singer Sargent.
National Academicians serve as ambassadors for the arts in America. They show their work at the National Academy Museum in New York City, teach in the National Academy School, and in keeping with an almost 200-year tradition, contribute a piece to the Academy’s collection. This permanent collection of over 7,700 works represents one of the nation’s most significant holdings of American art and architecture.
“We are delighted to welcome this year’s class and recognize their important work,” says Bruce Fowle, National Academician and President of the Academy, in a press release. “The 15 artists range from sculptors dedicated to classical themes to performance artists working to positively shape political discourse. The group is a wonderful reflection of American culture, and we look forward to adding their unique visions to our historic lineage.”
After a youth spent in Italy and the United States, Ned graduated from Kenyon College and moved to New York to pursue a career in art. Within five years, his work had been featured internationally in museums and galleries that include the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. In 1977, Ned was awarded his first public art Project—a fountain for the Governmental Services Administration. From 1985 through 2005, Ned focused exclusively on public art; he has completed more than 38 large-scale public projects. Ned is recognized for his contributions to the development of public art and artistic public spaces in the United States. Ned began his relationship with Ross School in 2003, teaching a mosaic master class, before joining the faculty full-time in 2008.
The induction into the Academy aligns with the opening of Ned’s exhibition titled Moments of Matter, which will be on display at Ground for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, NJ, from October 23, 2016, to April 2, 2017. Moments of Matter will focus on large-scale sculptures that appear as large rock formations, cast in bronze or milled in dense foam, coated in a resin hard coat, and painted in a muted stone color. Also included is a selection of Smyth’s large-format black-and-white photography. The images, which are as large as 6' x 8', are portraits of the small stones Ned has collected for 35 years, with each image exploring the stones’ patterns and textures. To learn more about Moments of Matter, or to purchase tickets, visit the Grounds for Sculpture website.
We are thrilled with Ned’s inclusion in the illustrious company of the National Academy, and honored to include him among our faculty, working with our students each day. Congratulations, Ned Smyth!