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16th Annual Blacksmith Exhibition

March 25 – April 29, 2023
Kokol Gallery

April 28, 2023
5PM – 7PM
Kokol Gallery

Exhibiting Artists:

Elizabeth Belz – Brasstown, NC
Elizabeth Brim – Penland, NC
Autumn Brown – Penland, NC
George Cadell – Bakersville, NC
Gabriel Chaille – DeKalb, IL
Matthew Clark – Morganton, NC
Jim Cooper – Bakersville, NC
Ben Cornwell – Carbondale, IL
Addison deLisle – Columbia, NC
Alydia Downs – Carbondale, IL
Mike Funnel – Carbondale, IL
Glen Gardner – Pittsburgh, PA
Lisa Geertsen – Murphysboro, IL
Tam Gilker – Carbondale, IL
Seth Gould – Bakersville, NC
Hoss Haley – Spruce Pine, NC
Jakob Hoke – Boone, NC
Lucas House – Raleigh, NC
Carl Johnson – Carbondale, IL
Daniel Kerr – Elkin, NC
Lukas Kohler – Carbondale, IL
Brent Loyd, Carbondale, IL
Jeff McDowell – Spruce Pine, NC
Andrew Meers – Bakersville, NC
John Medwedeff – Murphysboro, IL
Matthew Nowatney – Carbondale, IL
Abraham Pardee – Charleston, SC
Sophia Park – Washington, PA
Owen Riedesel – Weaverville, NC
Aidan Rhoades – Summerville, SC
Patrick Roy – Lenoir, NC
Jim Settles – Spruce Pine, NC
Brad Smith – Burnsville, NC
Rick Smith, Carbondale, NC
Scotty Utz – Weaverville, NC
David Wehrenberg – Pittsboro, NC
John Winer, Mountain City, TN
Nina Yao – Cary NC
Chuck Young – Burnsville, NC


Featuring the work of blacksmiths from the southeast and beyond, this exhibition offers craftspeople the opportunity to show their work in a place known for its blacksmithing community. Historically, the exhibition runs in conjunction with the Fire on the Mountain Blacksmithing Festival. Spruce Pine Main Street, in collaboration with Penland School of Craft and Toe River Arts, hosts the festival every year on the last weekend in April. The public can explore vendor tents for goods for sale, observe live demonstrations, or try their hand at blacksmithing at scheduled hands-on workshops. Every year, the Fire on the Mountain Festival asks a renowned metalworker to join the festival as its Featured Artist Blacksmith. This year’s featured blacksmith is Rick Smith. 

Rick Smith began exploring blacksmithing when he was thirteen in his family’s garage. By 1992, he had completed his MFA and was selected for the Penland School of Craft residency. He went on to work as an independent artist for eighteen years, earning accolades in American Craft magazine and other publications. In 1997, Rick was hired at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Rick Smith is known for his research in laminated and forge-welded steel, patterned surface treatments, and large-scale repoussé in both functional and sculptural applications. Smith has taught workshops at craft schools, institutions, and universities all over the world. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Smith’s work is in the permanent collection of The Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Metal Museum (Memphis, TN), Arkansas Art Institute (Little Rock, AR), and The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis, MN), among many others.

Featured demonstrators at Fire on the Mountain are Adam Atkinson, Frankie Flood, Glen Gardner, Lisa Geertsen, and Jason Knight.

There will be cash awards given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and an emerging artist award. Winners will be announced at the reception on Friday, April 28.

Nina Yao

George Cadell

Sophia Park

Ghost Branch
Hoss Haley

Jacob Hoke

Stacked Fault
Rick Smith

Speckled Bowl
Glen Gardner

Rocking Chair
Lukas Kohler

Wax Carving, Silver, Soldering, 2020
Mina Rastgartalab Tabrizi

Dakota Myers

Ricky’s Fly
Elizabeth Belz

Vessel with Base
Addison deLisle

George Cadell

David Wehrenberg

Lisa Geertsen

Jacob Hoke

Stacked Slope
Rick Smith

Collected Vessels
Glen Gardner

Tenements #2
Aidan Rhoades

The Trojan Snail
Jim Settles

Dakota Myers

Reliquary Study with Seed Head
Autumn Brown