About / Resume

dean smith dancing bear

Dean Smith aka “Dancing Bear” is a Melbourne/ Ballarat based practising Sculptor/performer who loves to indulge in many forms of art. He has a BA in Fine Art Sculpture and has lived extensively in the United States and Europe. Deans grounding inspiration comes from his life experience and the connection with animals and the earth. His passion to create drives him to be known and respected within his lifetime.


Recently Dean has progressed into his most favoured medium of bronze and continues to keep up with his public large scaled commissions.


After “going bush” for an extensive spiritual period representing animal totems carved in wood, Dean Smith Dancing Bear returns to the city, returns to bronze, returns to figurative study, and rather than dwelling on the melancholy realities of the human world, he presents a series of romantic portraits with a narrative of joyful antics, flamboyant moments and intimate expressions.
The intention is to demonstrate the solidity and sensuality of flesh, along with the physical mass of bronze, he then subverts both with hyperactive energy. Through detailed textures, composition, sculptural technique and scaling emerges a powerful emotional resonance.


Studied under: Dale Eldred, Stelarc, Bruce Armstrong, Mark Stoner, David Wilson.

Worked Under: Kuniyasu Takamasa, Stelarc, Dale Eldred, Jeff Stretch Rumaner

Influences: Rodin, Willem de Kooning, William Tucker, David Smith, Jackson Pollock, Frank Sinatra, Gene Davis, Barry Flanagan, Alberto Giacometti.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture) VCA 1993 Exchange Student Kansas City Art Institute 1993 Cert II Art & Design, Victoria College 1990


Beaufort Memorial Gardens,  2017 -2018- 2019 ANZAC Soldiers/ Bronze Vietnam Veteran

Smythesdale Gardens, January 2016 – Ship tree
Niddrie Valley Council, Sept 2012 Valley Lakes Walk – peregrine falcon totems
Kingston City Council Grant, Feb 2006 Attenborough Park – Aboriginal Totems
Poowong Council, June 2004 – Swagman and dog


Major Commissions:
Elmhurst Festival, May 2009 – Platypus
Bacchus Marsh Primary School, March 2009 – Bird totems
Seaford Primary School, Sept 2008 – Seahorse totem
Boulia Camel Committee Queensland, July 2007 – Camel
Forrest Primary School, June 2007 – Platypus totem
Iluka Mining commission, Dec 2005 – Kookaburra
West Indies Cricket Association, Jan 2005 Brian Lara portrait
Good Morning Australia, July 2004 – Bert Newton portrait
Churchill Island Working Horse Festival, Feb 2004 – Draft Horse

BackSpace Gallery, Ballarat Aug 2014 – Birds, Beasts and Blossoms

Convent Gallery, Dalesford 2012

Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Oct 2007 – Solo Exhibition : Animal totems
Dancing Bear Gallery Dunkeld, Nov 2005 – Bear and Eagle Monuments
McClelland Gallery, Oct 2004 – Sculptures in the bush
Span Gallery, July 2002 – Group Exhibition

Galleries curated by the artist:
Taggerty Pioneer Settlement Gallery, Taggerty Victoria
Dancing Bear Gallery, Dunkeld Victoria
Slug Temple, Kansas City, USA
Zone Gallery, Kansas City, USA


Email: deansmithdancingbear@gmail.com

7 Comments Add yours

  1. robert (sausageking ) deli man says:

    hi dean,really dig ur work man,keep it up and catch up with ya soon . 🙂

    1. thanks man…keeping up the dream….Ill raise my glass to ya sausage

    2. Hi robert.hope your living the dream in sausage land.im well and still sculpting…wish you well

  2. Smitty says:

    Yo dean its smitty still got my sculptures thumbs up on the work gotta catch up next weerama haha

    1. I finally checked my messages after 4 years.You were my best beneficiary. thanks brother.are you still in the same joint in werribee

  3. Gretchen says:

    Hey there Dean, Gretchen here. Selling my house and still have the Koi by the pool. Kills me to leave it but I’m moving to Canada. Such good memories, great summer.

    1. I finally checked my messages 3 years later…Good times we had .you are a wonderful woman.hows canada..i have some land now in oz.and a 5 year old.im a single dad. and living the dream.hope you are too..love deano.

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