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Longboat Key Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 8 years ago

Sculptors carve out new home at Rec Center

by: Dora Walters Senior Editor

The A.C. Sculptors LCC of Longboat Key are back home and delighted.

The group has just set up a studio on the ground-floor level of the Bayfront Park Recreation Center.
Organized about seven years ago, the group, called the Alta Carvers (old carvers), originally met at the Longboat Center for the Arts, a Division of Ringling College of Art and Design.

“Reorganization there led us to move to Sarasota, but we are so happy to be back on the Key,” said Irvin Leibowitz, group spokesman. “It’s wonderful … the ambience … everything.”

Town Manager Bruce St. Denis and Town Commissioner George Sproll made the suggestion for the move.
The group has seven members, and the space is more than enough for them.

“I think we have enough room to rent space to seven or eight more sculptors,” Leibowitz said. “They would not be members of our group, just renters.”

The studio will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and there will always be at least one member of group present.

Richard Diutsh was one of the sculptures working in the studio a couple of weeks ago with Leibowitz.

“Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?” Diutsh asks, pointing to the view of the bay seen through the screened area of the studio. “What a place to work!”

Diutsh is currently working on creating an abstract image from a long length of copper piping — most of the sculptors work in wood or stone.

Sculptor Sandy Marks began her sculpting study with the late Lillian Johnson at the Arts Center.

“She was such a wonderful teacher, so inspiring,” Marks said.

Her current work is of a kneeling man made from alabaster. On her worktable sits her inspiration — the same kneeling figure, which she had created years ago in clay.

Also working in alabaster was Diane Blanc. She was creating a sculpted base for a large glass ball.

Leibowitz, retired from a courier business in St. Louis, began sculpting in the 1980s when he took courses at Washington University.

He spends two months each summer with his daughter in Santa Rosa, Calif.

“I don’t get far from sculpting,” he laughs. “I’ve built a small studio in her home to use when I’m there.”

Sculptors interested in renting studio space can contact Leibowitz at 383-0099.

Contact Dora Walters at [email protected].

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