The language of art: Carving Studio Members’ exhibit

Robert Layman / Staff Photo John Morris, “Sunset Egret,” white marble.

By Janelle Faignant

Some artists say that their work speaks to them. A personal, unspoken language develops mysteriously between artist and subject. In painter Rita Fuchsberg’s case, it hums.

“You can’t hear it,” Fuchsberg says. “But all the pieces go together, all the compositions within the major composition go together, and it hums.”

Sculptor Josie Dellenbaugh has a similar experience.

“It’s a dialogue between the stone and me,” she said.

Robert Layman / Staff Photo Josie Dellenbaugh, “Hands,” West Rutland marble.

Dellenbaugh and Fuchsberg are two of West Rutland Carving Studio & Sculpture Center’s artist members whose work will be on display in the Annual Members’ Exhibition, through July 9.

Dellenbaugh, a sculptor for 40 years, once had a piece of gray Vermont marble, and in the pattern of its grain she saw a squirrel. But as she began to mold it, her sense of the sculpture hiding inside the mass revealed itself to be a cat. She stays open to those kind of unexpected turns, and does all of her finished work by hand with a hammer and chisel, without the use of a model.

“I have a mental picture and that’s what I work to,” Dellenbaugh said.

Her carving in the Members Exhibition is called “Bound,” a sculpture of four hands roped together, trying to pull away from one another.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better political statement,” Dellenbaugh said, although that wasn’t the intention behind it when she made it years ago.

Rita Fuchsberg, 66, has two paintings in the exhibit, including a large mixed-media with acrylic called “The Cost of Living,” and an abstract called “Hereafter.”

Both paintings are spiritual in nature, and telling of her relationship with the work.

“I always think this is one side of me; that’s one side of me,” Fuchsberg said. “They’re kind of reflections of parts of me.”

And Mark Ferri’s work speaks to him in mathematic formulas.

His sculpture in white Danby marble depicts an abstract shape that he developed himself, based on the Golden Section, “a numerical sequence that creates an ongoing spiral that’s found in nature that’s very pleasing to the human eye,” Ferri, 38, explained.

“My plan is to do multiple media of that form and call it “Fibonacci Sequence,” he said, referring to the number sequence in which every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding ones.

“A lot of artistic principles are pleasing to the human eye and these actual formulas, the Golden Section and the Fibonacci sequence, inspired me to come up with the form that it is,” Ferri said. “It’s a take on organic form in a timeless material.”

“(There is) great variety in the show,” Dellenbaugh said of the exhibit, “variety of not only interpretation but of material.”

Now it will be up to you, the viewers, to come and see the work and see what it says to you.

Carving Studio & Sculpture Center

The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center will present its Annual Members’ Exhibition June 10-July 9 on its campus, 636 Marble St. in West Rutland. Gallery hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by appointment; call 802-438-2097, or go online to

Janelle Faignant

Janelle Faignant is a freelance writer living in Rutland.

More Posts