Samuel Rothobort's granite "Smiling Face" is one of the pieces included in "Samuel Rothbort," which the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Art will open at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, in Griffith Gallery.

NACOGDCOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts and School of Art will open an exhibition of sculptures and paintings by renowned artist Samuel Rothbort at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, in Griffith Gallery on the SFA campus. The show will run through Saturday, April 17.

The exhibition marks the first time SFA has displayed the collection of Rothbort's works recently acquired for its permanent collection, which includes pieces that have never before been exhibited publicly.

Rothbort's granddaughter, Janice Caban, will be present for the opening, and Dr. David A. Lewis, SFA associate professor of art history, will speak about Rothbort and SFA's collection.

Rothbort, who immigrated with his family to the United States in 1904 when he was 6 or 7, taught himself to paint and sculpt. He was widely exhibited in New York City between 1915 and 1968, but remained an outsider who combed beaches for carving wood and collected stone from construction sites for his sculptures, explained Christian Cutler,
director of SFA galleries.

His work is included in permanent collections from the Smithsonian to the Federal Reserve Board.

"We are excited to share our recent acquisitions with East Texas," Cutler said. "Ours is now the largest public collection of Rothbort's work. I hope to create a catalog and make the collection available to other galleries and museums."

The exhibition is sponsored in part by SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

Griffith Gallery is located in Room 208 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr. Its regular hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, please call (936) 468-1131.