David Secrest

Born in Rochester, NY, David Secrest gained his appreciation of craftsmanship from his experience as the son of a potter and painter. 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. “Natural objects provide the basis for my sense of design,” says Secrest. “However, it is the conceptualization of structure and the intentional manipulation of materials that hold my interest.”

While Secrest’s works may seem to reference a multitude of historic cultural aesthetics, he prefers those references go unnamed. Viewers, he believes, should be allowed to experience the artwork informed only (or, at minimum, first) by their own reactions and emotional responses, without the burden of outside information.

Secrest has taught blacksmithing at the prominent Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, as well as the historic Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina. In 2017 Secrest was named "Master Metalsmith" by the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, which curates a retrospective solo exhibition each year for an artist whose work is widely recognized for its excellence and influence.