Fay Stevenson-Smith is a native of the American south, growing up in Mississippi, Kentucky and eventually Indiana, where she finished high school as class valedictorian. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. After graduation Fay traveled to Liberia West Africa where she taught chemistry and physics at Cuttington College for two years. Upon returning to the United States she taught high school science before completing a master’s degree in psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. This led to a short career in television production, first with PBS on Channel 13 in New York City where she was associate producer on the Documentary series “Black Journal.” This was followed by a position as associate producer on a talk-entertainment show “Black Book” which was syndicated out of the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. Fay moved to St Paul Minnesota where she worked as a counselor/ administrator at Macalester College. Returning to Philadelphia, she took a similar position at Temple University School of Medicine before enrolling as a medical student and graduating with the class of 1978. After a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Fay started a solo private practice. Within a year she relocated to Connecticut where she practiced her profession for 18 years at Norwalk Hospital. It was during this time that Fay was a contributor to Parent’s Magazine and where she discovered her talent as a figurative sculptor in the studio of Steffi Friedman in Westport.
As I look back on the fortune of discovering my gift as a sculptor after many wonderful career opportunities, I recognize the uniqueness of having a medium through which to share my journey as an African American woman who has viewed the world through many lenses. My representational work, primarily in clay, enables me to express both tactilely and visually what I am inspired to communicate about our history, culture, the enduring strength of the human spirit and the joy and beauty of life itself. It has allowed me to bridge the connection between my childhood Self who spent hours soothing my mind shaping the rain-soaked Kentucky mud at the edge of the yard, and the creative artist I discovered who believes that she has a message to share with all of humanity. In the struggle for self-expression, I found inspiration in the sculptures of Michelangelo, Rodin and Elizabeth Catlett. This allowed me to tap into my own passion and hone the skills that hopefully translate into art that speaks to those with whom I have been privileged to share my work. With no formal training, I am humbled by the support and encouragement I have received through local and regional exhibitions with the Society of Connecticut Sculptors, The Westport Arts Center, The Rowayton Arts Center, The Rosenthal Gallery of the Stamford Center for the Arts, The National Black Fine Arts Show in New York City, among others. I have completed commissions for Harvard Medical School, Knox College and St. Mary’s High School in New Orleans Louisiana.