If you drive around Tampa's outlying counties, you probably are already very familiar with the work of Charles Sharrod Partin III, the sculptor who jokingly refers to himself as "a recovering architect." He has designed some of this area's most distinctive structures, including: St. Michael's Church on State Road 52, a building Partin affectionately likens to "a great big Hershey's Kiss." St. Ignatius Catholic Church on Tarpon Avenue in Tarpon Springs, FL, the soaring structure just visible from US. 19 south of the Anclote River bridge. Seven Springs Elementary School, the red brick with Spanish tile roof building that the designer describes as "real homey."
A year or so ago, Partin sold his prosperous architectural firm and headed for his dream, a life in Turkey Creek Canyon, Colorado. He lived in a pop-top camper and crafted and artist's studio out of an old goat shed in a college pal's back yard.
"It had a dirt floor, no windows," Partin says with a chuckle. "It was great." He knocked holes in the walls for light, added a greenhouse like room for his work and got busy.
For four months, he created not buildings, but works of art.
The compelling alter pieces, plaques and totems he created seem to be of another place and time; an ancient spiritual world whose roots are deep within the earth. They speak of rocks and stones and deep inner power.
In describing his work Partin speaks more of process than of product. "Mainly" he says "I just try to stay out of my own way and let things happen. I will start a piece with an image in mind, usually envisioned during meditation. But as the work begins to unfold, if I have reached the right frame of mind, the piece begins to create itself. The result will usually capture the spirit of the original vision but will have much more connection the earth - a deeper content. This process, to me, is the seed metaphor for a spiritual life."
|Alexander's Fine Arts Gallery |
Ybor City, Tampa, FL 33609
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