Noble Works Express Devotion to Humanity

Published 06.01.2015

The Gallery at Penn College

The artist, who says he's not interested in "pretty pictures" but in art that tells a story about humanity and how we should live, explains his creative process …… to an attentive audience that was also treated to Smith's recitation of Tennyson's "Ulysses," the source of the exhibit's title.The gallery's exhibition title wall welcomes visitors and offers poetic insight into the artist's intentions.Bronze sculptures depicting beggars in Venice, Italy, tell stories of history and humanity.The beauty of the gallery space is enhanced by the artistic offerings, light and shadows.“Though much is taken, much abides …,” an exhibit of bronze sculptures and drawings by Ed Smith, a professor of art at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, opened Thursday in The Gallery at Penn College. Drawing on inspiration he uncovered on biennial art adventures in Venice, Italy, Smith devotes his "Beggars of Venice" series to illuminating the lives of the city's most impoverished residents who he likens to mythic gods. Just as bronze figures have historically acknowledged great men or deeds, his figures strive to offer a glimpse into what is often overlooked, yet still noble. During the opening, Smith, a Guggenheim Fellow in sculpture and drawing and an associate member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, read the renowned poem, "Ulysses," by Alfred, Lord Tennyson – the source of his exhibit's title. He also mentioned how impressed he was with the college's embrace of humanism's concepts, which include a belief in people's potential and an emphasis on rational problem-solving. Gallery patrons can view Smith's work through June 26; summer hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays (closed Saturdays and Mondays).