Associate Professor – Sculpture
David Smedley is the Sculpture Program Coordinator for the Department of Art and a practicing sculptor. He manages the Fine Arts Atelier, an 8100 sq ft building that houses the sculpture facility, 3D modeling computer lab, and graduate studios. He teaches a broad sculpture curriculum for the undergraduate and graduate sculpture programs. Some of the processes he offers include: figure modeling, body casting, designer toy and sci-fi creature modeling, mold-making and casting, automotive sculpture, model building, woodworking, wood and stone carving, fiberglass and Hydrocal fabrication, origami and pleated paper construction, stone letter-cutting, direct terrazzo-cement sculpting, welded steel fabrication, and blacksmithing. He also works with Architecture and Mechanical Engineering programs in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences, and has participated in team taught courses for Solar Vehicle design and the Senior Capstone Project. His participation was instrumental in Howard’s acquisition of the $70.6M in-kind grant from the PACE program.
Prof. Smedley acquired his B.F.A. in 1985 from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton (now Binghamton University), and a M.F.A. in 1992 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Charles Addams Memorial Prize (Art Department’s top honor). He joined Howard in 1994, and has reconstructed the sculpture program and its facilities (twice) to support more interdisciplinary and contemporary processes.
Prof. Smedley pursues his personal sculpture in four principal directions. His abstract symbolic sculpture is generated by a non-objective construction process that explores the perception of multiple imagery from different vantage points in space. A good example of this work is the bronze “Sankofa Bird” centerpiece in the Howard University Hospital main entrance. His cut-and-folded and pleated geometric forms are based on paper studies that he translates into larger sheet materials, such as bronze, steel and plywood. He also produces fine wood furniture, based on the nature of the tree, and figure and portrait sculpture.
He designs and produces awards and gifts for a number of local and international organizations, many of which are in the collection of major industries, celebrities, and prominent civil rights leaders. A few on the list include: General Motors, Hewlet Packard, EDS, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Sun Microsystems, Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, Representative John Porter (R-Il.), The Charmettes, Dr. Jessie B. Barber, Jr., Dr. Charles Wright, Dick Gregory, Diahann Carroll, Donna Richardson, Dr. Floyd Malveaux, M. Elisabeth Carnegie, Harry Belafonte, Eartha Kitt, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Mohammad Ali, Ms. Judith Jamison, Rita Moreno, Spike Lee, and Nelson Mandela. Most of his work is produced on commission.