RIT artists to receive Visionary Awards from Smithsonian

Albert Paley and Wendell Castle will be honored at an April 9 dinner in Washington

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A. Sue Weisler

Wendell Castle gave students feedback on their glass work in the RIT “hotshop” last February.

Sculptors Albert Paley and Wendell Castle will be honored with the first-ever Visionary Awards from the Smithsonian on April 9 for their work in their respective industries.

The award is part of the Smithsonian Craft Show, which runs from April 10-13 at the National Building Museum in Washington and celebrates artists who have risen to the pinnacle of sculptural arts and design. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough will present the awards to Paley and Castle.

Paley is known for his site-specific metal works, commissioned by both public and private corporations. He was the first metal sculptor to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Castle has been active since the 1960s as a sculptor, designer and educator and is considered a leader of the American studio furniture movement.

Paley and Castle are represented in the permanent collections of more than 100 museums worldwide and both hold faculty positions and are artists in residence in the School for American Crafts at RIT.

“We are so fortunate in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences to be associated with these two creative visionaries; they have a great deal to offer our students,” said Robin Cass, associate dean of CIAS.

A moderated conversation with Paley and Castle will also be held at the Smithsonian 6 p.m. on April 10. For more information or to reserve a seat, go to http://www.smithsoniancraftshow.org.