Sculptor, Dominice Gilbert, is ready to welcome you to her new self-curated slice of paradise located at 2341 1st Avenue South! The moment you arrive, you can tell that she is a meticulous designer and creator of all things metal. The studio is poised for a grand opening as soon as Covid-19 allows. Until then, please take a moment to read an interview with Dominice on what inspires her to create and how she decided to move her business from Chicago to St Petersburg. Aren't we lucky?!
How did you come by such a beautiful name, Dominice? It was my grandmother's middle name. She was from Lithuania.
How long have you been an artist? Forever. I have never had another job that was not art-related. Growing up in rural Indiana, I was a very driven kid and attended art programs at several schools to learn all types of art techniques. I graduated from high school early and attended Chicago Institute for Art and completed my artist residencies at CrabTree Farm in Lake Bluff , Illinois and The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
How did you decide on metal as your medium? I have worked with various mediums from plastic, paper, wood and fell in love with metal as it is the most forgiving medium and easily manipulated. It was suggested to me by a high school teacher that I should consider taking a class called Agricultural Welding as I was known to pull things out of dumpsters to use in my art. I knew from the first class that metal sculpture was what I was going to do with my art career.
What inspires you? Essentially, I am inspired by the elements and creating the best work I can is my primary focus, I am always pushing myself to the next level which causes my sculpture to be constantly evolving, as every new design works off the last. My work is about a feeling, I like to create tension between forms, mixing opposing textures and shapes in harmony, creating balance in opposition. My sculptures are a replication of my emotions, but also a reflection of the viewer."
Do you teach? Yes, before Covid-19 I offered classes but not sure going forward. I had a "safety first" education and managed a metal shop where I oversaw that safety rules were followed. It is hard to teach someone in a short amount of time how to use all of the tools and safely work with the equipment, not to mention the protective gear involved with the craft.
This is a fabulous studio! What's the story? My partner, JR and I bought the property 10 years ago. We saw an opportunity to own commercial property in an art-friendly city zoned for creating 3-dimensional art, as well as have their home adjacent to the studio. The building is brand new but I designed it years ago. I followed JR to St Petersburg for the opportunity to have an on-premise live and work lifestyle which would be cost-prohibitive for Chicago. Also, I enjoy the warm weather and I make my living exhibiting at Florida craft and art festivals including the 2020 St Petersburg Mainsail show.
How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists? Besides being zone friendly as mentioned before, I have been very appreciative of the grants that were made available during this pandemic that helped me to continue to create and keep the studio running.
Why did you join WADA? Because I live and work in the Warehouse Arts District and I find that WADA appeals to working artists.
Is there anything that you would like for our readers to know? Yes, the studio is open by appointment, or I will go on-site for custom design consultations. I hope that everyone will check out my website and plan on stopping by the studio when artwalk resumes.