An accomplished artist with both professional and academic accolades to his credit, Rick Smith (West High 1978) is an associate professor specializing in blacksmithing and forge welding techniques at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, the only program of its kind in the country.
Smith has been a practicing blacksmith/sculptor for over 20 years. His work has been shown both nationally and internationally in over 72 exhibitions. He has pieces in the permanent collections of several museums.
Smithsonian Magazine and Southern Living have featured his work, among other magazines. Most recently he was been a guest on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels as a historical consultant.
Smith currently resides in Murphysboro, IL.