South Orange, NJ. The Lennie Pierro Memorial Arts Foundation (LPMAF) has been awarded a 2012 Local Arts Program grant from the Essex County and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The grant, in the amount of $3,400, will be used toward the creation of a dynamic web site that would further LPMAF’s goal of increasing awareness and furthering education about the work of one of New Jersey’s most famous artists, Tony Smith.
“We’re so honored that the Council recognizes the importance of this project to the arts in our state. We want more people to know about Tony Smith. Here in South Orange, his hometown, we’re especially proud of the impact his work has had on contemporary art and design,” says Judy Wukitsch, president of LPMAF and the former Cultural Affairs Director for South Orange.
Smith (1912-1980) was an internationally celebrated painter, sculptor and architect who apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright and whose work has been exhibited in dozens of museums and institutions around the globe. He was born, raised, and spent most of his adult life in South Orange, where he created models for many of his monumental sculptures in his back yard. His children, Kiki, Seton, and Beatrice, attended school in the SOMA district.
The Lennie Pierro Memorial Arts Foundation, named in honor of the late Lennie Pierro, an artist, professor, and co-founder of The Pierro Gallery in South Orange, was created in 2002. It was Pierro’s dream to bring a Tony Smith sculpture to his hometown. With the collaboration of the local community, the Village Board of Trustees, and with the support of Smith’s widow Jane and other private donors, LPMAF was able to raise sufficient funds to fabricate and install the sculpture TAU in Meadowland Park in 2008.
The web site proposed by LPMAF would initially focus on Smith, offering innovative, interactive content on the artist and his work, while allowing young people to recognize that their own potential begins ‘at home.’ In the future, the site might be expanded to feature content on other noteworthy New Jersey artists, renowned and emerging.
For more information on the project or for contact information, go to www.tonysmithsouthorange.org.