Helen Smith, a woman with a passion for stone sculptures from the Tampa Bay area, recently turned 97 years old. At her surprise birthday, which took place at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, friends and relatives stood up and spoke of her artistic abilities and exuberance for life. The artist who has sculpted many contemporary sculptures of realism, accepted the praise from her loved ones with charm.
When asked about her secret to successful aging, Smith explained how doing things herself and facing any situation independently has kept her young. One of those things includes sculpting stone. Whether she is working on representational sculptures or abstract sculptures, Smith takes her time and tries to be extremely precise. She believes that stone sculpting is more about releasing something that is already in there, rather than creating something new. It is this perspective on her craft that has led to countless amounts of modern sculptures for many years. In fact, her love for sculpting is said to have been a motivating factor for her recovery from a hip injury at the age of 92.
To see someone continue working on sculptures well into her ninth decade of life, it is a testament to the power that this art form possesses. It is a way to express yourself in a unique way, and it’s also a way to connect to those around you. At the rate that Helen Smith is going at, you can almost guarantee that she will be sculpting for as long as she possibly can.