Gay Smith: Animating the Clay
Gertrude Graham Smith, better known as Gay, settled in rural North Carolina, not far from the Penland School of Crafts, in the early 1990s. Smith was born to a privileged background in Philadelphia in 1953. Her father was an obstetrician/gynecologist who also taught the subject; her mother was a college graduate who in her later years was ordained an Episcopalian minister. Although Episcopalians are generally associated with upper or upper middle class WASP society, which is where I come from, they also have a very strong good works/service orientation, so there’s actually some pretty liberal, socially oriented Episcopalians out there. Her mother was the assistant priest at a church serving a poor African-American community in North Philadelphia.