Born to German immigrant parents who settled in Wisconsin, Fred Smith’s early education included an abundance of north woods experiences, but no formal schooling, working in lumber camps for about 50 years and retiring in 1948. At that point he embarked on a sustained and energetic 15-year sculpture project with his earliest sculptures being free-standing, two dimensional bas-relief forms. As Smith evolved from building in low-relief to creating three-dimensional sculpture, his focus shifted to recording local history and ways of life that were rapidly changing around him. Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park outlived its builder; in 1976, the site was purchased by the Kohler Foundation, Inc., a restoration project was begun in the spring of 1977, and in 1978, the site was gifted to Price County, for use as a county park and outdoor museum. Today, it is one of the finest artist environments in the United States.
Works by Fred Smith