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 Spring 2018 Competition:  

Natural and UnNatural Disasters


3rd Place Winner

Paper Collage
13 x 19 in
295. usd

artist statement

I practiced law for thirty years, enjoying the opportunity for intellectual creativity provided by my work, but also realizing that I needed to work with my hands and had a strong desire to create tangible objects that could be appreciated not just intellectually but visually. I discovered that I enjoyed learning how to make art, the process and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of a piece of art, as much as I did in then using that knowledge to create. Knowing how to weld steel, fuse glass, weave, or make handmade paper expanded my ability to express myself and to communicate visually. 

I believe that every creative action has two elements:  Art and Craft.  Art is the internal vision, the image, the emotion or the idea that you want to convey or express; Craft is the means or medium by which you present your Art.  I work in many different media, each time trying to find the Craft that best expresses the Art. ARMED TEACHERS: WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? was my response to the proposal by some, including President Trump and the NRA,  that the way to prevent future school violence was to have teachers carrying guns in the classroom. While I’m still not sure whether arming teachers would be a natural disaster or an unnatural one, I chose to express my reaction to the proposal by creating a paper collage from simple materials and tools: recycled paper and card, scissors, a paper punch and white glue, items that can be found in a school classroom: a place which should be a refuge of learning and not a live-fire zone.



artist bio


1990-Present    Over 45 different arts and craft courses ranging from making handmade paper to welding steel at institutions such as the John C. Campbell Folk School, Snow Farm the New England Craft Program,  the Cedar Lake Craft Center,  the Abington and Cheltenham Arts Centers, and the Ambler, Cheltenham, Upper Dublin and North Penn Adult Education Schools and the Violette de Mazia Foundation. 

1967-1970  University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., cum laude.  Editor, Law review. 

1963-1967  Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, BSFS, magna cum laude, J. Raymond Trainor Award [for outstanding work in political science], Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta.



2018     Third Place, “Armed Teachers: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?” (paper collage) Art Scene Today “Natural and Unnatural Disasters”. Digital On-Line 

2016      Second Place, Works on Paper "As Memory Fades" (collographic monoprint) All About Art at Moss Rehab Juried Show, Elkins Park, PA

2016      Honorable Mention , “Migrations #5” (Hand pulled ink on paper dark field monotype), River Arts, Inc. 2nd Biennial Wings and Water Exhibit, Juror Marta Brenner,  Prairie du Sac, WI                                                 

2013       Elaine Adler Memorial Award for Ceramics, “A Head of Darkness” (ceramic/glass sculpture)  Abington Art Center Annual Juried Show, Juror, Ross L. Mitchell, Abington, PA

2009       Honorable Mention, “Galactic Center” (glass rondele) North Penn Arts Alliance Annual Juried Show,  Lansdale, PA

2008        Trustee’s Award for Best in Show, “Einstein’s . . .  Teapot”, (ceramic sculpture) Abington Art Center Annual Juried Show, Juror: Virgil Marti, nationally recognized artist, Abington PA 

2008     Second Place Mixed Media:  “Calliope” (steel/fabric wall sculpture) North Penn Arts Alliance Annual Juried Show, Lansdale, PA 

2007     Honorable Mention:  “Universe Edge” (cast glass wall sculpture)   North Penn Arts Alliance Annual Juried Show, Lansdale, PA 

2007    Honorable Mention:  “Track Walker” (steel/cement sculpture)  Greater Norristown Art League Sculptural Show, Norristown, PA


Solo Exhibitions

Mar-May 2016   Myths and Legends, Gods and Demons (multiple media) Art in the Storefront Program, Curated, Ambler, PA 

April 2015         “Whimsical One-Liners” (Ink on Paper), Abington Arts Center, Curated, Abington, PA 

2004-2010         Various Exhibitions (Clocks, Photograms/Reverse Prints, Mixed Media, Ceramic, Monoprints), North Penn Arts Alliance, Curated, Multiple Exhibition Locations


Juried Shows

October 2018  “Rust Belt” (layered monoprint), American Color Print Society, Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Juror: Caren Friedman, Philadelphia, PA   

October 2018 “Magma”, “Stormbreak on the Maine Coast” (stained glass/paper clay wall hangings),  National Juried Art Exhibition at Larkin Arts, Juror: John Ros , Harrisonburg, VA 

July – August 2018 “Eruption”, “Lagoon”, “Sandbar” (stained glass/ceramic wall hangings),

Arts Benicia “Cutting Edge: Nontraditional Glass” Show, Jurors: Carrie Lederer and Mary B. White, Benicia, CA 

July – August 2018 “Half Ass Drawing”, “Bad Sushi” (single line ink drawings), Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center 10th Annual Juried Show, Juror: fired ceramic sculpture)

July - September  2018    "Growing Old Together" (monotype print), ALA Gallery By The Lake "Through My Eyes" show, Juror:  Richard E. Gallego, Lake Charles LA.

April - May 2018  "An Old Man's Prayer", "Reaching for Hope", "Holding onto Hope" (raku fired ceramic sculpture), All About  Art at Moss Rehab Juried Show, Elkins Park, PA 

March – May 2018 “Santa Muerte: Patron Saint of Wall Builders”, and “Santa Muerte …#5”, (ceramic and mixed media), Art League of Rhode Island “Facing the Wall” Show, Juror: Julia Samuels, Providence, RI 

January – February 2018 “A Family Tree” (torch cut steel and cherry wood) and “Sand Hills” (glazed ceramics), Tubac Center for the Arts, Juror: Bram Colby, Tubac, AZ 

October – November 2017 “…And Tenement Halls” and “On Subway Walls” (paper collages),  Fabulon Tribute Show, Juror: Susan Irish, Charleston SC 

August –September 2017   “Eruption” (ceramic/stained glass wall hanging),  HOT GLASS Exhibition and Competition, Juror: Nancy Weisser, Cumberland MD 

January – March 2017   “Focal Point #5” (collographic monoprint), 25th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Juror: David Jones, Kenosha, WI 

January – February 2017  “Contours of Flight #2”, “Contours of Flight#3” (collographic monoprints), TubacArt Center Arizona Aqueous XXXI Show, Juror: Monica Mary Warhol, Tubac AZ 

December 2016 – January, 2017 “Moses Warms His Hands” (Mixed media/ceramic sculpture),  Holy Moly: Religious Commentary in Contemporary Art, Juror: Niza Knoll, Denver, CO 

November 2016 –January, 2017 “The Yeoman” (hand built, raku fired sculpture),  River Oaks Square Art Center - 1st Annual 5 x 5 x 5 Art Show, Juror: Mark Tullos, Alexandria, LA 

September – November 2016, “As Memory Fades”, (collographic monoprint),  All About Art at Moss Rehab juried show, Elkins Park, PA 

 August – November, 2016, “Night View of Kilauea” (ceramic/stained glass wall hanging), Hawai’I National Parks 2016 Centennial Juried Exhibition, Jurors: Jay Jensen, Nalani Kanakole,    Maui, HI 

 June – August 2016, “Creation Story” (raku fired ceramic wall hanging)  Mosaic Society of Philadelphia Members Juried Show  at Gratz College, Elkins Park, PA 

 June – July 2016, “Migrations#5” (hand pulled dark field monotype print)) Appalachin Nature ArtExhibition – Alleghany Arts Council, Juror: Paul Rhymer, Cumberland , MD 

June – July 2016, “Civil Discourse: 2016” (Paper collage), “Voices Unheard” (hand pulled monotype) Art Scene Today Mad, Mad, World Show, national on-line juried show 

May – July 2016,  “The Yeoman”, “The King’s Dwarf”, “Wood Sprite” (hand built , raku fired sculpture),  Jacksonville State University 5 x 5 x 5 Show, Juror: Adrienne Callander, Jacksonville AL 

April – June 2016,  “Migrations #5” (hand pulled dark field monotype print),   River Arts 2nd Biennial Wings & Water Show, Juror: Marla Brenner, Prairie du Sac WI 

January – March 2016  “Compression #4” (Collograph Monoprint),   Arizona Aqueous, Tubac Art Center, Juror:  Regena Degge, Tucson, AZ  

Sept. – October 2015    “Laminations of a Chocaholic” (Found Object Sculpture), Alleghany Arts Council, Wills Creek – One Cubed Show, Jurors: Amanda Jiron Murphy, Jessica Beck, Cumberland, MD 

July – August 2015   “Opprobrium” (Raku fired Ceramic Sculpture) JAM Gallery, 2nd Annual Juried Show, Jurors: Jeff Schaler, Karen Keiser, Malvern, PA  

March-April 2015  “Migrations #5” (dark field monotype print) Arte d’Avian, Tubac Arts Center, Juror: Ben Johnson, Tucson, AZ   

February-March 2015 “Das Boot” (mosaic sculpture) & “Compression #4” (collograph monoprint), The Mosaic Muse, Art in City Hall, Jurors: Leslie Kaufman, Giko Fan, Greta Greenberger, Philadelphia, PA 

February-March 2015 “Creation Story” (Raku fired ceramic mosaic wall hanging),  Shards & Fragments Show, The Mosaic Society of Philadelphia, Jury Committee, Philadelphia, PA 

December 2014  "Migrations #5” (dark field monotype), Abington Arts Center Annual Juried Show, Juror:  Gerard Brown, Ab

December 2013  “A Head of Darkness” (glass/ceramic sculpture) - Abington Art Center Annual Juried Show, Juror, Ross L. Mitchell, Abington, PA 

December 2012   “The American Dream:  Christmas 2008” (recycled material collage), Abington Arts Center Annual Juried Show, Juror:  Carmina Cianciulli, Abington, PA 

December 2008 “Einstein’s . . . Teapot” (hand built ceramic sculpture), Abington Art Center Annual Juried Show, Juror:  Virgil Marti, Abington PA 

December 2007  “Butterfly/Flutterby” & “The Fisherman’s Wife” (photogram/reverse print), Abington Arts Center Annual Juried Show, Juror:  Andrea Kirsch, Abington, PA 

December 2006 “Stasis” (glass sculpture), Abington Arts Center Annual Juried Show, Juror:  Bridgette Mayer, Abington, PA 

May 2002   “Houston Sunrise” (handmade ceramic tile), ALMA Gallery Through Seasoned Eyes Show, Jurors: Mercer Rodcross III, James Wallace, Philadelphia, PA            



John Fansmith
john Fansmith
Meadowbrook, PA. USA [USA]

art scene today Q & A

Q: Where do you see yourself in the art scene today?
A: I see myself as a narrator, a commentator, a story teller who is learning and developing the skills to be able to open and/or expand a conversation in visually interesting ways.  
Q: What is in your inspiration?
A: Inspiration is always around me. I see, read or hear something that triggers a reaction, a desire to respond in a visual way. My next step is to determine how I can express or communicate that reaction and what artistic tools I have (or need to have) to effectively convey my message. I also find inspiration in the curiosity that is at the core of the artistic process, asking myself: “What would happen if…?” Sometimes the answer opens the door to a new form of expression. 
Q: What are your challenges?
A:  The challenges for me are always the same: matching my Art with my Craft, and honing the Craft that I’ve chosen to the best of my ability. 
Q: How did you/do you choose your medium?
A:  Since I do not have a single or primary medium, my choice of medium depends to a large degree on the subject matter I’m dealing with. When the subject matter was gun violence in schools my choice of medium was paper collage using school materials; I addressed the wildfires in the West by using hand inked and hand pulled monoprints, and the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii with stained glass/paper clay wall hangings.
Q: Which artist has influenced you the most?
A:  Every person I have ever met has influenced me. I have never met an artist who couldn’t teach me something about an aspect of art, enlighten me, or inspire me in some way.  


other work by the artist

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