Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk Art+Design

29 Sep

I’m so excited to post about something that is really cool regarding my art. I’ve already made comments and posted some links on Facebook, and this will wind up being posted there too, but this is the first I’m blogging about it.

A couple months ago, I got a phone call from a man named Art Donovan who said he was curating a steampunk exhibit in a museum in Southampton, New York. This exhibit, called Odd Beauty: The Techno-Eccentric World of Steampunk Art+Design, was to include “20 of the most renowned and influential steampunk artists, hailing from seven different countries – Japan, UK, US, France, Canada, Australia & Switzerland.” Art said that he felt that airships/dirigibles were iconic in the steampunk world and that he desperately wanted airships in this exhibit. He had searched online and in his repertoire of steampunk connections (he himself is a steampunk lighting designer), and I was the one he found who was creating airship sculpture that he said embodied the genre and was doing the level of work he was looking for!

Photo of a skull against a black background with a radiating structure of brass wires and hoops symbolizing steampunk art

Needless to say, I was flattered and immediately excited. He said if I was interested in participating, he was looking for a 2-3 piece representation of my work, and that it could be for sale if someone was interested and inquired about it. He asked if I could have work in Southampton by September 20, as that was the load-in date for the exhibit, which would then run until November 12. Long story short, I agreed and said that I would move some pieces from other galleries and finish a new piece I was working on so that I had 4 pieces to bring!

Rather than package and ship them and risk damage, my wife and I loaded all 4 airships, secured in weighted cradles and headed for the Hamptons! When we arrived late the next day, Art was thrilled with the pieces and kept looking and looking at them and said several times that he knew he had made the right decision in calling me. What a great feeling! Because of prior commitments the following weekend when the exhibit opened, I was unable to be there, however, the exhibit will feature several famous artist who will perform and lecture, including singer, songwriter and performer, Thomas Dolby (of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame)! Thomas has been a favorite of mine for 35 years and was arguably steampunk before it was even “a thing.”

I’ll keep you informed as to developments as they happen and post photos of the exhibit as soon as I get them. For now, here’s a link to the Facebook page Art Donovan has put together on the exhibit.

This exhibit promises to make a huge splash, not only locally in the Hamptons, but in the steampunk world at large and I am truly grateful to be a part of it!

Stephan J. Smith is the artist and sculptor at Artsmith Craftworks in Swartz Creek, MI. Using recycled and re-purposed materials, Stephan builds a myriad of sculpted wonders, including fantastic and whimsical steampunk airships that have amazed and delighted fans for years. A passion for reusing and up-cycling found items into beautiful and amazing art is what drives Stephan to make art that both teaches and inspires. Stephan also does commissioned work and is available to do talks and classes on re-purposing/up-cycling and may be reached at or at 810-516-7381.


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