As a child, Todd C. Smith climbed trees no more than the average kid. Mostly, he enjoyed drawing and painting. When it came time for college, he chose a small liberal arts school in Massachusetts where he majored in Fine Art. During the day he went to class and refined his drawing and painting skills. At night, however, Smith climbed the trees and buildings on and around campus. In his junior year, Todd decided to create artworks that presented the world-from-the-trees perspective that he had experienced on his nightly climbs.
In 2007, Smith was awarded the Work Exchange Fellowship position at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Floyds Knobs, Ind. In this 400-acre nature sanctuary, Smith began his Dailyclimb project, through which he has climbed a tree every day since April 5, 2007.
Cicadas, who must climb trees to exist, have directly influenced Smith’s Exuvia series, which include the four sculptures in Dublin’s Coffman Park. Cicadas molt their exoskeletons, leaving their shells in the trees, something that Smith, a LaGrange, Ky. artist, explores as a physical manifestation of his artistry.
Smith is wrapped in cellophane and packing tape to create a cast, which is covered in fiberglass cloth and resin to form his own exoskeleton, purposely creating shells (Exuvia) that play with reality.
The installations were brought to Dublin through Titration2: Park Fiction, the second phase of Dublin Arts Council’s on-loan outdoor sculpture exhibition series, which was installed in Dublin’s Coffman Park in 2008. The Park Fiction theme illustrates the whimsy and human connection to the outdoor recreational spaces in our midst. The exhibition was brought to life through four groupings, each ranging in size from three to more than 50 sculptural elements.
Titration is a common laboratory method used to add a measured quantity of a reagent, called a titrant, into an unknown reagent, called a reactant, to produce a chemical reaction. The exhibition series reflected the fluid properties of its name in the figurative sense: Dublin as a dynamic community, Dublin’s growing collection of public art and Dublin’s sense of cultural identity. The exhibition was co-curated by Dublin Arts Council Executive Director David S. Guion and public art curator Jesse Levesque Bishop of Louisville, Ky.