The Art of Phil Lichtenhan and Bob Smith
Opening Reception Friday, March 4th, 2016, 5-8 pm
Lanning Gallery in Sedona, Arizona opens the new exhibition “Nesting Together: The Art of Phil Lichtenhan and Bob Smith” to showcase the work of both gifted, yet disparate, sculptors.
A large new springtime collection of found wire bird nests is just in to the gallery from artist Phil Lichtenhan. Much like a bird collects odds and ends to construct a nest, Phil Lichtenhan does the same. Construction sites are favorite haunts where workers love for him to pick up the twisted wire ties that can be dangerous underfoot but that work excellently to tie together other elements of found metal that make up a Phil Lichtenhan nest. Old vineyards are a great source for strings of wire. “I find my nest materials everywhere,” the artist notes: “Along the roadsides, railroads, and alleyways, in the city or out in the desert are the discards of our world.”
The found metal sculptures by Phil Lichtenhan, most created to sit on a table or hang on a wall, can be tiny, delicate nests or medium sized ones that work nests into all manner of twisted and used found metal items, or large sculptures that become the focus of a room or garden. Firmly affixed inside each nest are realistic looking, high-fired ceramic eggs made by the artist himself.
Varied artistic interests led Phil Lichtenhan first to immerse himself in art study at Northern Arizona University on his way to an extended degree in art education then to the University of Arizona and an MFA in printmaking. He shared his skills for years teaching at high schools and a boarding school in Arizona. For fifteen years now Phil Lichtenhan has worked in his studio as a full-time artist.
The raku vessels by Bob Smith represent over forty years of experience and the artist’s passionate love of clay. Silhouette and form, with a quiet contained presence have always been the major concerns for Bob Smith. His most current work reflects this ongoing fascination with form, plus an increased exploration of greater depth, subtlety and drama in the surface. Bob Smith continues to use the vessel as his point of departure, enjoying the historical connection but more and more, it is what Smith does to the piece after it comes from the kiln – air-brushing, specifically applied combustibles, controlled water and air-quenching that dominates his thinking.
In the newly expanded collection at Lanning Gallery Bob Smith brings the dynamic colorations of Sedona’s surrounding red rocks to the exquisite surfaces of his raku vessels, lidded vessels and vase forms, in a variety of size and design. Also devoted to sharing his expansive knowledge, Bob Smith continues to teach classes and master classes at art centers and teaches for-credit classes as a college adjunct instructor.
Stop by Lanning Gallery to enjoy this newest exhibition and explore the fine creative works of both Phil Lichtenhan and Bob Smith. “Nesting Together” runs through March 13th.
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