The chance to witness marble-carving among the vines is back again this year, hosted by the Artida Cultural Center at two North Fork vineyards over the course of two weeks.
The Long Island Wine Council is again sponsoring the marble carving symposium, which drew crowds last year with a group of international sculptors shaping eloquent stone works. The work, made possible by the efforts of Sal Diliberto of Diliberto Winery in Jamesport, began Monday at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.
This year, center co-founders Jill Burkee and Giancarlo Biagi said they wanted to include local artists, from master sculptors to amateurs, providing demonstrations as well as hands-on instruction.
“I want to encourage more and more of the locals to be part of it,” Biagi said. “Marble carving is exciting, very exciting, and here [in the vineyards] is the ideal place to do it.”
The artists, who live part-time in Riverhead, will be carving white statuario marble brought in directly from the Apuan Alps in Carrara, Italy, using traditional, as well as contemporary, tools to bring their vision to life before the eyes of vineyard visitors.
“People when they come by find it so unusual to see stone being transformed into sculptures,” Burkee said. “People are used to seeing a final product — they have no idea how it gets there. Last year, it was swamped with people looking around and asking questions. It’s educational even for the average art lover.”
Artists featured this year include Burkee, Biagi, sculptor Paul Maus of Cutchogue, painter Andrea Rhude of Riverhead, German-native Elke Weiss, Domenico Posillico and his 14-year-old son, DJ, and Biagi and Burkee’s 16-year-old daughter, Michelle.
The first session will take place through Friday at Pindar and the second will take place at Jamesport Vineyards from August 12-16. Carving over the two weeks will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“The wedding of two ancient skills — winemaking and marble carving — brings these art forms together in the beautiful vineyards of our East End,” Burkee said.