Ryan T. Schmidt is an American Artist from Little Rock, Arkansas sculpting in stainless steel since 2002. His artistic journey began in grade school when he became fascinated by the process of creating origami. He pursued the study of art, and after exploring other mediums such as bronze and aluminum, he found the enduring properties of stainless steel. His sculptures are instantly recognizable in its triangular relationships of sweeping arcs and curves capturing the reflections of the surrounding landscapes and environment.
Schmidt’s intention is to create atmospheric sculptures with smooth lines in fluid movement designed to be reflective invoking the viewer's imagination for inspiration of great healing and thoughtfulness. To achieve the mirror-finish on the sculpture, while labor intensive, ensures the reflective surface will withstand both external and internal elements. It also help enhance the implied motion of the sculpture forms catching the sun, clouds and movement around them, while inspiring the viewer with new discoveries every day. The uniqueness of each artwork reached its final form with Schmidt’s diversified craftsmanship and artistic qualities. Today his works are featured all across the world, and art lovers from all walks of life remain intrigued by how such sculptures are possible to make.
The creative process Ryan Schmidt is primarily inclined in making the sculptures are using two techniques: Fabricating Sheet Metal, and Casting with the Lost-Wax Method. His process in fabrication starts from a blank canvas in his brain with an idea that he sketches directly on metal then, cuts everything freehand. A direct link between working with origami and sheet metal is working with the two planes trying to fold or stretch, and make the paper or metal do something that normally requires manipulation. The techniques employed in the creation includes forming the sculptural shape by tacking the sheet using clamps, straps, and hand tools to weld the forms and manipulate the metal into the shape he desires. This is transformed during fabrication process by pushing the limits of tension and twist in the form. Sometimes this changes quite a bit from the original concept and other forms may be added; thus, making for an organic composition. All joints are fully welded to maximize strength before grinding and sanding;
Casting with the lost wax method requires him to work directly on a steel armature, or the “bone structure” of what the sculpture will be. From there he applies the clay and the mold is made. That mold is transported to a foundry where a ceramic shell or sand cast is applied on the outside of the wax. Finally, the wax is melted out and liquid metal is poured in at 3,000 degrees fahrenheit. After the casting process is complete, sanding and polishing takes place.
The bases for each sculptures are mostly handpicked by Schmidt or sometimes customized requested by a client.
2018 Proskauer Prize Award, 85th Annual Awards Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet S. Carolina 2017 & 2015 Top 25 Sculpture out of 1300+ Artists, Artprize Grand Rapids, Michigan
2009 1st Place, Hot Springs 4th Annual Sculpture Showcase" Hot Springs, Arkansas
2009 1st Place, Shine a Light on Literacy, Governor's Mansion Little Rock, Arkansas
2008 People's Choice Award Art on Parade, Northglenn, Colorado
2006 People's Choice for Best of Show, 1st Arkansas Sculpture Invitational, Little Rock, Arkansas 2005 & 2006 Hardscape Horticultural Excellence, Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, L.R., Arkansas
Sherwood, Arkansas - Neuroscience Institute Research & Education Center at CHI St. Vincent Little Rock, Arkansas - Governor’s Mansion; Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden; and Pulaski United Methodist Church Bridgehampton, New York - White Room Gallery Sculpture Garden
Grand Rapids, Michigan - Habitat for Humanity Kent County City of Beverly Hills - Arts of Palm Centennial, Beverly Hills, California City of Northglenn - Charles C. Winburn Park Northglenn, Colorado City of Hot Springs - Creek Greenway Trail Sculpture Garden Hot Springs, Arkansas
GROUP SHOWS & EXHIBITIONS
2020 Celebration of Fine Art Scottsdale, Arizona 2019 Scope Miami Beach and Red Dot Miami, Florida 2019 7Artists1Night at Omega Building Texarkana, Arkansas 2019 Texas Contemporary with Serrano Gallery, Houston, Texas 2019 The Other Art Fair Inaugural Dallas, Texas 2019, 2018 Aspen and Beaver Creek Art Festival, Aspen and Avon, Colorado 2019 White Room Gallery MadMix and Market Art Design Bridgehampton, New York 2019, 2012, 2007 Sculpture at the River Market Show Little Rock, Arkansas 2019 36th La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, California 2018 “With Abstract Certainty” White Room Gallery Bridgehampton, New York 2018 Saint Louis Ambassadors Air Show to benefit Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri 2018, 2017 Artprize9/10, The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2018 International Sculpture Day - SprATX Austin, Texas 2018 First Friday Artwalk, The Brick at Blue Star Complex, San Antonio, Texas 2017 83rd Arkansas Municipal League - Statehouse Convention Little Rock, Arkansas 2017 Art Revolution Taipei, World Trade Center Taipei, Taiwan 2017 35th La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta California 2017 54th Annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Miami, Florida
2016 Artprize8 J.W. Marriott, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2015 West Coast Artists, Palm Springs, California 2015 Artprize7 Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2014 Arts of Palm, Beverly Hills Centennial, Beverly Canon Gardens Beverly Hills, California 2013 April 11th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival Palm Desert, California 2013 Made in California Juried Exhibition City of Brea, Orange County 2013, 2012 Desert Art Festival, Palm Springs, California 2013, 2012, 2010 Venice Art Crawl: Venice Ale House, 15Rose and Venice Breeze Suites, California 2012, 2011, 2010 Affaire in the Gardens Fall Art Show, Beverly Hills, California 2010 The Art Squared Art Show Pershing Square,Los Angeles, California 2010 Epicenter Twenty Ten Music Festival, Fontana, California 2009, 2008 Art on Parade by Northglenn Arts and Humanities, Northglenn, Colorado 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 Arkansas Flower & Garden Show, Little Rock, Arkansas 2006 1st Arkansas Sculpture Invitational, Arkansas Sculptor's Guild, Little Rock, Arkansas
2020 Fox10 Phoenix News Cory’s Corner: Celebration of Fine Art Scottsdale, Arizona 2018 Fox 17 West Michigan Live from Artprize; Hamptons Art Hub, Art Review “With Abstract Certainty” 2017 Mlive.com, Artprize Grand Rapids, Michigan Top20 Sculptures; Taiwan Institute of Contemporary Artist Assoc. Art Revolution Taipei; Palmer Trinity School News, Featured Guest Artist, Miami, Florida 2014 Beverly Hills This Week, Arts of Palm Centennial Celebration 2012 Saline County Lifestyles, March Issue, Benton, Arkansas; Arkansas Times by Eye Candy 2009 Arkansas Times, Abode Trends Issue Little Rock, Arkansas 2008 Saline County Lifestyles, Nov/Dec Issue, Benton, AR; KATV Channel7 Arkansan of the Week