A towering metal outdoor sculpture project of his design for permanent display in Gulf Breeze has been an ideal opportunity for Kevin Marchetti and the Renaissance Man studio to combine visionary, artistic and industrial talents.
Our story begins with a casual artists guild – as in local artists getting together to drink and talk about art. Well, two of the artists were Lyn Gentry of Hot Sands Glass and Lou Mitchell of Element Art Forms and a third was Kevin Marchetti and although the artists guild hasn’t really been “meeting” recently, the friendship and working relationships of these three have continued to develop and Kevin’s forthcoming Gulf Breeze sculpture is testament to the value of those relationships.
Some time ago Lou Mitchell Courtney, who works in sculptural and architectural ceramics, mentioned to Kevin that the City of Gulf Breeze were looking to commission some large outdoor sculptures and that the project’s director, Gulf Breeze Artist in Residence Dr. Steve Zieman was looking for artists. Not long afterward Dr. Zieman attended a Gallery Night show at Pensacola’s Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille in which Kevin’s work was displayed, and they made plans for a visit to Kevin’s Renaissance Man workshop and gallery.
As Kevin will tell you, “I’m an artist, so sometimes I make things for no apparent reason”, and consequently there was a small three dimensional metal sculpture about fourteen inches in height, which combined various geometric shapes on shifting planes, spiraling skyward. Zieman thought that scaling this piece up might be a perfect fit for the Gulf Breeze project and brought the idea before the committee. They approved what was to be a major sculpture project for Kevin, and the committee let him, “do it just how I wanted it”, allowing him to realize the complete vision including design of the lighting, base, decorative fencing and even the specific display location within Wayside Park – on the South side of Three Mile Bridge, just into Gulf Breeze on the East.
The sculpture is composed primarily of 1/2″ thick aluminum plate and stands seventeen feet high and five feet in diameter. It weighs about 1/2 a ton, or 1,000 pounds and Kevin worked with a local structural engineer named Roger Craft to insure the integrity of his design in such a large format. He also brought his old guild-mate Lyn Gentry on board to contribute the colored bulls-eye glass pieces. The base is circular tiered cement, which is shadowed by a circular fence which features round medallions that echo design elements from the sculpture itself, and for lighting Kevin chose programmable colored-LEDs.
The four other artists currently developing sculptures for the project are Peter King, Michael Boles, Lou Mitchell and Sam Nettles, and Kevin is collaborating in two of their sculptures, having developed the structural elements of the Michael Boles piece and working with Mitchell on structure and design. We’re all excited around here. You might say it’s a Renaissance Man renaissance.