An OMAA docent remembers Gary Haven Smith

by Joan Sinisi

Photo: Larry Hayden

While working on an assignment for OMAA’s Docent Education Committee, I had the privilege of visiting Gary Haven Smith at his home and studio in Northwood, NH. He was the most open, honest professional artist and gracious host that anyone could have wished to meet. He was also a consummate teacher. Early in his career, he made this space amidst trees and rough “granite state” rocks into a place where, for the rest of his adult life, he could take these rocks from his and his neighbors’ yards and transform them into magnificent works of art. They were almost always undulating abstract formations of stone that sprang from the natural world that he loved so much. Twisted ribbons of granite and at least a hundred larger pieces of stone with the marks and cuts of a sculptor lay all around the land and buildings like fossilized bones. Gary told me he had already made about 800 sculptures and still seemed to collect more interesting stone and wood than he would ever use in a lifetime. Just as these layers of glacial granite hold the marks of earth’s ancient history, this artist’s carvings, cut-outs, edges and patterns were all very modern looking but seemed as if they were his petroglyphs and undecipherable script that he had left on our earth. How fortunate we are at OMAA to have had his work in our sculpture garden all year to study and enjoy! He was so very pleased to have this installation and told me so.




Audrey Grumbling

Joan – Thank you for sharing your personal insight into the late Gary Haven Smith and his amazing sculpture installations we were privileged to have on the Museum grounds this year. It must have been a pleasure to have met with him. And Larry, thank you for your fine photographic documentation of Gary at the OMAA. His inspiring work lives on.

Susan Huppi

I do love his work and enjoyed seeing some of it at the Ogunquit museum of art. I remember turning and seeing the sunset sending bright rays right through the gold gap in one of pieces…took my breath away!

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