SOUTHINGTON - Famous sculptor and town native Dale Zarrella will do a presentation on his art Sept. 27 at the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center, where he will also sign his book and give guests a free print.
Zarrella, who now lives in Hawaii where he creates masterful wood sculptures and paintings, will be at the art center at 93 Main St. from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature a presentation on Zarrella’s sculpting process, a meet and greet and hors d’oeuvres reception and a book signing.
Guests will also receive a free print of one of Zarrella’s most popular paintings, “Follow Your Dreams”, which features baby turtles heading to water. It will be Zarella’s first visit to the art center.
Zarrella said that his interest in art began when he was very young and that he took to it right away. It was solidified when the late Father Thomas Garrity of St. Dominic Church asked him to create a crucifix to hang above the altar.
“That’s what made me realize that I had been given a gift from above,” he said. “Living a creative life is very important for everybody. I am 55 years old and part of me is still a little kid that wants to play.”
Zarrella moved to Maui after speaking to a family friend who was also the chief architect of the city of Kapolei in Hawaii convinced him to move. However, he still returns to Southington to talk at DePaolo Middle School annually and he will be speaking next Tuesday at Monroe High School.
Zarella now has four pieces on display in The Vatican, including a piece on The Resurrection of Christ that he made for Pope Francis. He has also created a piece for the King of Saudi Arabia as well as the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu, Maui, where his life-sized sculpture “The Conch Blower of Waikapu” stands.
“I would say that it is a dream come true but I never even dreamed that my artwork would be displayed in these places,” he said.
Zarrella described his process for sculpting as a stream of consciousness. He said that he does his best work when he can “keep my head out of it and allow it to happen.” He begins with large tools such as a chainsaw to create a rough shape and then gradually moves to smaller and smaller tools to work out fine details.
“The wood or stone speaks to me of what it wants to be; it is not something that happens in my head; it is something that is revealed to me,” he said.
The event is presented by Southington Community Cultural Arts with the generosity of Sign-Pro.
“It will give people a window into the creative process, which in most cases sparks the creativity inside themselves,” said Zarella. “One of my biggest hopes is that I can inspire people to be more creative in their lives.”
Admission is $15 or $5 with a student ID. Copies of Zarrella’s signed book are $30, where they are regularly $70 with shipping. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to register in advance by calling 860-276-1581 or visiting southingtonarts.org.
For more information on Dale Zarrella, visit dalezarrella.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.