As the National Sculpture Society concluded the 85th Annual Awards recovering from the devastating 500-miles wide Hurricane Florence, Rain of Faith by Sculptor, Ryan T. Schmidt was announced to be the recipient of the Proskauer Prize Jury Award. The Jury of Awards is composed of at least two sculptors and a curator and this year included: Natalie Henderson, Art Curator, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition; Bryan Rapp, Sculptor Instructor, Coastal Carolina University; and Heidi Wastweet, NSS and President of American Medallic Sculpture Association.
Rain of Faith gracefully spun slowly being suspended inside the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion while most of the sculptures during the exhibition have been evacuated during Hurricane Florence and after its landfall in Wrightsville, N.C. which created major river flooding around the areas of Brookgreen Gardens. There are at least 500 sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens. The curator of 85th Annual Awards Exhibition, Robin Salmon, reported to us that it could have been much worse. She explained, "The sculpture gardens fared well considering what could have happened – no damage to outdoor sculpture has been detected and no large trees were lost. There are many large limbs and lots of plant debris on the ground. A few small trees went down along the entrance road. The animals in the zoo are alright. The galleries were dry until last night when we had another bout of hard rainfall through the night, but we had secured the sculpture inside so nothing got wet (only have to repair the roof leaks).
A closing reception was held on Saturday, October 27 at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina where the Awards where formally announced followed by a “Dutch Treat” dinner.
About National Sculpture Society (NSS):
In 1893, founding members – including Daniel Chester French, Augustus St. Gaudens, Stanford White and J.Q.A. Ward – established the Society to “spread the knowledge of good sculpture.” NSS was the first organization of professional sculptors formed in the United States. For more than 120 years, members have created, exhibited, collected and supported the evolving tradition in American sculpture. It promotes excellence in sculpture that is inspired by the natural world. Programs include Sculpture Review magazine, the SculptureNews e-bulletin, scholarships, grants, exhibitions and competitions. Sculpture Celebration Conference features programs such as panel discussions, demonstrations, information sessions, studio tours, and awards presentations. These educational programs are just a few of the ways NSS serves as a link between the public, sculptors, educators, and collectors.