The 2017 Master Metalsmith is David Secrest, a sculptor and blacksmith well known for his incorporation of textures and patterns in forged iron, fabricated steel and bronze sculptures and furniture. Born in Rochester, NY, Secrest gained his appreciation of craftsmanship from his experience as a son of a potter and painter, as opposed to through a formal arts education. Moving to rural Montana after high school, Secrest built his home and studio in an isolated environment to experiment and problem solve away from the influence of other mainstream artists. Drawn predominantly to iron as a material, Secrest uses forging and casting processes to create his sculptures and benches that are featured in the exhibition. While Secrest’s works may seem to reference a multitude of historic cultural aesthetics, he prefers those references to be abstract. Labels are purposefully not provided in the gallery, giving viewers the opportunity for an authentic personal experience with the artwork, informed by their own reactions and emotional responses and not burdened by outside information.