Block party: Ponte Vedra couple’s holiday request creates wall of personalized art


Judi and Fuller Tresca held a “block party” of sorts at their Ponte Vedra Boulevard home recently to unveil a work of art that was nearly a year in the making.

The party marked the “unveiling” of a wall in the Tresca’s home decorated with 104 wooden blocks, each of which was personally decorated by the couple’s friends and family members.

“It was our ‘gallery opening,’ Judi Tresca quipped. “It was a lot of fun. Nobody had seen the wall.”

The project began a year ago, when Judi Tresca distributed five-inch wooden blocks to family and friends during the holidays and invited them to decorate and return them.

“I got the idea after visiting the downtown library and seeing its ‘Imagination Wall,’” she said. “I asked people to decorate the blocks in a way that related to them, so when I looked at it I would immediately associate it with them. They could do anything.”

The Trescas’ friends took Judi at her word, returning a colorful collection of blocks as distinctive and unique as their creators, who include everyone from childhood friends and fashion designers to two-star generals. Throughout the year, the blocks trickled in and were added to the wall; in November, the block party gave all of the contributing artists a chance to see how their block added to the overall display.

“They’re basically from all over,” Fuller Tresca noted, pointing to blocks that depict desert visits, beach scenes and even two blocks from Liverpool, England that include references to the Beatles.

Some of the blocks include historical references personal to the Trescas: In addition to a block from Judi’s oldest friend that shows a photograph of the them when they were 5 years old, one block depicts Capt. Frederick Tresca, a 19th-century ancestor of Fuller, who is a sixth-generation Floridian. Another block bears a PLAYERS Championship logo and the dates 1983 and 2007, commemorating the years that Fuller and later his son served as chairman of the golf tournament.

Other blocks reflect the interests and talents of the creator.

“Jennie (Veal) is an avid cross-stitcher, so her block features cross stitch,” Judi said, pointing to the block. “Some of my bridge club friends did blocks related to that. It’s a little bit of everything.”

Some contributors turned the blocks over and created miniature dioramas, she added, while others decorated the front and included objects hidden in the back. And with each block comes a story of family and friendship for the Trescas.

“It’s really come together better than I ever expected,” said Judi, noting that she continues to receive and add blocks to the display honoring a lifetime of friendship and memories. “It’s never too late to be added to the wall.”