Artists from across the nation came to Ponte Vedra Beach last week, as Cutter & Cutter Fine Art hosted a joint exhibition of three-dimensional art.
Held April 28 at Cutter & Cutter’s Sawgrass Village gallery, “3D: Art in the Third Dimension” gave attendees a chance to view works created in bronze, acrylic, ceramic, marble glass and wood. Guests also had an opportunity to meet the artists’ themselves and gain insights into their works and techniques. Participating artists included local artists Mark Wood and Worley Faver as well as visiting sculptors Paige Bradley, Toni DeLisa and Márton Váró.
“To have all of these artists here is amazing,” Owner Len Cutter said.
Váró mingled with guests, answering questions about his marble sculptures on display.
“I like working in marble,” he said. “It has the consistency and a really nice structure that allows you to make fine details.”Váró noted that he sculpts his pieces from Italian Carrara marble taken from Michelangelo’s quarry in northwest Tuscany. Some of his pieces feature figures that appear to be emerging from the uncut, unpolished marble.
“I try to leave some of the original marble, because it gives the identity of the stone,” he explained.
Artist Toni DeLisa, meanwhile, explained how she creates her sculptural ceramic pieces using Raku, a 400-year-old Japanese firing technique whereby pieces are fired in a kiln at 1820 degrees before being put in a pit in which the atmosphere is then reduced.“It smokes the pieces,” said DeLisa, a Florida native who now lives and works in North Carolina. “I spray cold water on it, which results in these beautiful cracks. The glazes are designed to crack.”
Among the local artists featured at the “3D” exhibition were wood turner Mark Wood and potter Worley Faver. Wood noted that he had been creating hand-crafted wooden bowls and vessels as a hobby when Cutter’s sons and partners, Matthew and Mark Cutter, came to his home to hang a painting he had purchased from the gallery.
“They saw my work there,” Wood said, “and later called and asked if they could feature them in the gallery.”
While each bowl or piece takes approximately 15 to 20 hours of work, Wood said, the entire process can take up to six months as he waits patiently for the wood to dry completely before finishing it. All of his works are created from local wood, he said, pointing to one bowl crafted from wood he found lying on the road near the intersection of A1A and Mickler Road.
“I call it my ‘Guana River Oak Bowl,’” Wood said.
Ponte Vedra Beach resident Jim Van Horn, who attended the exhibition, noted that he and Wood had been in a business group together for several years when Wood told the group he was retiring and planned to focus on his art.
“We laughed at him!” Van Horn admitted. “We thought he was kidding.”
Van Horn later received one of Wood’s bowls as a gift.
“It came with a letter saying that Mark’s bowls were ‘magical,’” he recalled. “In the letter, Mark wrote that when we faced troubles in our lives, we should put them in the bowl.”Faver, meanwhile, has been crafting pottery for years using the Pueblo pottery techniques of the American Southwest. Yet his roots in the Ponte Vedra area run deep: Faver’s grandfather moved to northeast Florida as a child in 1873 and later bought land in what is now Palm Valley.
A special highlight of the exhibition was the debut of a public sculpture outside the Cutter & Cutter gallery. The sculpture by Connecticut artist Paige Bradley is now permanently mounted on a pedestal outside the gallery for the enjoyment of visitors to Sawgrass Village.