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Canby artist's first public commission will be unveiled Friday at the Canby Public Library

Cathy Rae Smith will have her work unveiled Friday at the library.

The City of Canby will hold an unveiling of the public art installation on the exterior wall of the Canby Public Library on Friday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m.

A public art commission of sculpture to occupy the exterior wall, an area 15-feet tall and 45-feet wide.

The original call to artists suggested dividing the wall into three 15' by 15' sections with one sculpture per section.

"Several months ago I submitted a proposal for a landscape concept in cut metal materials to occupy the full span of the wall," said Cathy Rae Smith.

She described her concept as a collaboration with two Canby companies, Hot Rod DreamWorks and Canby Signs and Graphics. Additionally, the Canby Public Library set up a drawing table for three weeks during August where kids (and kids at heart) could produce colorful drawings for possible inclusion in the design.

"The intention of the design concept is a celebration of the community of Canby," said Smith.

A long-time artist, Cathy Rae Smith has expanded her works.

About Cathy Rae Smith:

"I've always had my hand in art, from winning family groceries from holiday drawings as a child to garnering an internship in graduate school (juried and administered by the French Heritage Society) with artist Isabelle Arpagian for a summer in France in which works were created for regional grand maisons and chateaux," said Smith.

She earned her degree from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in association with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Her undergraduate degree was in art and communication (Interdisciplinary Studies) with Marylhurst University, at which point she sought out an internship with Portland artist Christine Bourdette.

"Prior to returning to school after decades, I had worked in advertising, been a society columnist, then launched the magazine Culture, serving as founding editor-in-chief," she said. "During the magazine years, I also did commissioned portraiture, featuring gold leaf on the high facial planes.

"The Canby Public Library exterior wall is my very first public art commission. I'm both honored and excited at the opportunity," she added. "I had read an article in the Canby Herald many months ago that explained the project and was a 'call to artists.' I responded, indicating that I felt the 45-foot by 15-foot wall was worthy of a site specific design versus dividing it in three sections and having three potentially disparate pieces. I was encouraged to submit my concept. I gave it some thought and decided to jump in with both feet. I was fortunate to be selected to submit my concept along with other artists under consideration. After several presentations as the pool winnowed down, I was happy to be told I was awarded the commission."

Smith has been an active member of the Canby Garden Club (president this year) and has been involved with several Canby beautification projects.

"As Canby is 'The Garden Spot,' I feel passionate about transforming Canby into a visual delight. This fueled my concept for the public art project on the exterior wall of the library. My intention was to celebrate our community and provide a visual landscape depicting that," she said.

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