Dolph Smith Named as Penland Outstanding Artist Educator

Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
(901) 272-5111

 June 30, 2014


Dolph Smith Named As Penland Outstanding Artist Educator

Memphis, Tenn. — MCA Professor Emeritus Dolph Smith has been named as the 2014 Penland Outstanding Artist Educator by the Penland School of Crafts.  Smith will be officially honored at the Penland Benefit Auction on August 8.

Penland is a national center for craft education located in the mountains of North Carolina and a focal point for a lively community of craft artists. With a mission to support individual and artistic growth through craft, the school offers adult workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking and letterpress, textiles, and wood. Students come from all walks of life, ranging in age from 19 to 90 years of age and from absolute beginners to professional craftspeople.

“Dolph first came to teach at Penland in 1986, beginning a twenty-eight year friendship with the school,” said Kathryn Gremley, director of Penland Gallery. “What is most obvious to those of us who have had the privilege to spend time in the classroom or studio with Dolph is that he has an infectious love of teaching, materials, people, sharing knowledge, and unadulterated fun. As a result, he has created ripples in the creative pond that extend far beyond Penland.”

In 2010, the Penland Gallery hosted the exhibition Artist, Educator, Mentor, Rascal: Dolph Smith and Friends, featuring the work of Smith and thirteen other artists, to celebrate the connections Smith has made through his many years as artist and mentor. Gremley notes that although Smith’s work is rooted in the book arts, “he has taken liberties with the rules—the pages take flight and the covers build bridges. He is a gifted storyteller, both on paper and in person.”

Smith taught drawing and painting at Memphis College of Art for 30 years, developing a curriculum in hand papermaking and an artist’s book program, The Flying Vat, which is now one of the premier centers for hand papermaking. Smith was honored with the Humanities Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Germantown Arts Council and was the only individual winner of First Tennessee Bank’s Bravo Award. He was granted an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Memphis College of Art in 2004 and has received Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts, the 2011 Governor’s Arts Award in the Distinguished Artist Award category.

Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart


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