‘Altars and Urns' currently on exhibit in Fine Arts Center gallery

December 3, 2003
Karen B. Eldridge, Director of News and Public Information
865.981.8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

“Altars and Urns,” a mixed media exhibition of artwork produced for area churches by local woodworker Scott DeWaard, will be on display in the Maryville College Fine Arts Center art gallery through Dec. 19.

DeWaard is a studio furniture maker whose primary commissions over the past five years have been ecclesiastical. These commissions have included full sets of altar furnishings, adult immersion baptismal fonts and statuary. “Altars and Urns” features several pieces from these churches, many images from the installations as well as numerous scale models developed during the design process.

In addition to the ecclesiastical work, DeWaard has begun to make sculptural vessels intended for use as cremation urns. Using a variety of techniques such as stacked laminated turned pieces and dovetail box joinery, he is producing diverse expressions in wooden vessels.

While it may seem that altars and urns are not at all connected, DeWaard said he sees very little difference in the approach for creating them.

“ Artwork designed for church settings is intended to function in both a practical as well as a symbolic way. The same is true of cremation urns. People see both of these objects with their own personal but predisposed perceptions,” the artist said. “Altars and cremation urns have what I call embedded weight. The challenge for me is to both match and enrich a person’s experience with these objects.”

Located in the College’s Fine Arts Center, the gallery is open daily, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, call 865.981.8150.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.