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University of Iowa News Release


March 30, 2007

Sculptor Lawson Smith Discusses His Work In April 9 UI Event

Sculptor Lawson Smith, an emeritus professor at Syracuse University, will present a free public lecture on his work at 8 p.m. Monday, April 9, in Room 116 of the University of Iowa Art Building West.

The lecture is presented by the UI School of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Smith taught at Syracuse University for the past 30 years. His work can be found in several museum collections throughout the United States. It is inspired by everyday objects placed in a thought-provoking manner, leading to the possibility of new meanings. The art invites new contemplations of daily life by spotlighting the nuts and bolts of what keeps us all operational.

"I am inspired by objects; well worn, used, or 'previously-owned,'" Smith said. "An object's evident history of 'use' attaches meaning and value to it, and I respond to that. Having been used, or even just having been made, a Thing earns my respect. Even a sliver of soap retains a certain dignity. It has 'experience'; it has been places, and has given itself up.

"Once chosen, the collected objects are placed in situations that hopefully invite the imaginative participation of the viewer. Sometimes they beg the question, 'What happened here?!' Hopefully, their peculiarity invites reflection. At the least, the work operates as a curious but perhaps pleasant, visual exercise. At best, it enlarges the meanings of everyday living."

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;