For over 15 years, Schmidt has turned his sketches of sweeping arcs and sleek curvilinear lines into fine stainless steel sculptures. His polished mirror-finished creates a brilliant and complex image with a surface that reflects the organic transformation between existence and illusion. He uses one of the highest grades of stainless steel, type 316, which is very resilient for all weather conditions; resulting in a surface that can be maintained with minimal effort.
Schmidt’s creative interest started at the early age of five in Origami and Constructs (predecessor to legos). Later during his school years, he explored into painting and photography; excelling in both set a definite artistic direction. Throughout his childhood years, he spent the weekends and summers learning to work with wood, metal, and plastic in his father’s business of custom remodeling, landscaping, and handcrafted playgrounds. Transitioning into college, he furthered his studies in photography, painting, drawing, color, and design, printmaking, ceramics, and finally transitioned into sculpture. Schmidt began working in cast aluminum, later in bronze, and ultimately found the everlasting properties of stainless steel with its brilliant reflection to be most satisfying. In 2002, he established Rykan Expedition, Inc. and started combining landscaping, water fountains and outdoor sculpture. Later, he moved to Los Angeles and spent 5 years to focus more on producing sculptures while establishing his gallery connections. Schmidt returned to his hometown in Bryant, Arkansas in 2015 to expand the production of sculptures.
In recent years, Schmidt has exhibited throughout California, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, and Taiwan. He won “First Place” at the Hot Springs 4th Annual Sculpture Showcase in Arkansas (2009), “First Place” at the 11th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival in California (2013), placed in the “Top 25” at Art Prize in Michigan (2015, 2017), “Third Place” Sculpture category at the 54th Annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival (2017), and recipient of Proskauer Prize at the National Sculpture Society’s 85th Annual Awards Exhibition for his Rain of Faith Sculpture (2018). Schmidt’s corporate installations can be found at the Taiwan International Contemporary Artist Association in World Trade Center Taipei, BankUnited Building at the Financial District Downtown Miami, Florida, and Amway Botanical R&D Center in Wuxi/Shanghai, China; and his public works in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Northglenn, Colorado, Little Rock, and Hot Springs, Arkansas. He is represented by galleries in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Aspen, Miami Beach, Dubai, San Antonio, and Bridgehampton, New York.