Pietro Smith '67, an artist from Princeton Junction, N.J., recently helped several hundred Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree in Virginia create a sculpture.
Smith, who earned a degree in American History from Hobart College as Peter Smith and had a career in investments, was commissioned by the National Forest Service to make a sculpture. Such pieces have been created to mark the federal agency's participation at the last three National Scout Jamborees, also held at Fort A.P. Hill, near Fredericksburg, Va.
After four adult volunteer Scout leaders from Alaska were electrocuted while erecting a tent on the first day of this year's Jamboree, Smith decided to turn the sculpture into a memorial to them. The design was revised to include a forget-me-not, the Alaska state flower; and more than 200 stars, because the Alaska state flag includes the Big Dipper and the North Star.
Four of the stars were carved on the front of the 42-inch tall block of Indiana limestone, and filled with gold leaf to honor the Scout leaders.
Smith's workshop was under a large tent in a holly and pine forest near the end of the Conservation Trail, which 20,000 Scouts and leaders visited each day, he said.
Five Scouts, including First Class Scout Brett Finkler, Andrew Hull and Eagle Scout William Sutphin, all of Troop 1013 of Chicago, devoted much of their time at the 10-day Jamboree to the sculpture.
Smith, who has also painted as Pietro del Fabro, called Indiana limestone the “best to work with,” because it has no veins and is consistent. In addition to the Pyramids of Egypt, he said, many government buildings include it.
The 42-inch tall block, 12 inches wide and 7 inches deep, was recycled from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where it had been replaced after a corner was broken off.
After the Jamboree closed, the sculpture was installed in the lobby of the Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Smith and his wife, psychotherapist Maria del Fabro, have been involved in the HWS Arts Scholars program.