Artist Spotlight on sculpture art by Dominice Gilbert Studio

Of Might & Metal

To better get to know your community, meet the local artists who make up its tapestry of art and design. Each month, DESTINATION TAMPA BAY introduces readers to these talented and creative ambassadors in its monthly artist spotlight. This month, meet a St. Pete artist who has perfected the art of capturing mood, movement, and energy through her fine art and metal sculptures. The spotlight shines on Dominice Gilbert.


Dominice Gilbert showcases metal art sculptures and is our featured artist spotlight for July

When Dominice Gilbert moved to St. Petersburg in 2010, she couldn’t have predicted how deeply interwoven her art would be in the Tampa Bay art world and throughout the community, in general. Though she grew up in rural Indiana on a family farm, young Gilbert found herself immersed deeply into her love of drawing and was frequently rewarded by accolades and awards as a young artist. At seventeen, she enrolled in her first welding class, and it was love at first flame.

After graduating from high school, the aspiring artist jetted off to Chicago to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She fulfilled artist residencies elsewhere but was drawn back to Chicago returning to her alma mater to serve as metal shop manager onsite at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Five years later, she made the decision to pursue art full-time and relocated to St. Petersburg where over the next eight years, she set up her own sculpture studio as she created and sold her work online and to galleries taking part in juried fine art events and festivals along the way. Since that time, she has built a robust portfolio and her work can now be found publicly and privately at both a national and international level, as well as throughout the Bay area.

For Gilbert, the process of building a new piece of art is as much emotional as it is a physical labor of love, and incremental in its design. “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,” she notes on her website.

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.”

Artist Spotlight on sculpture art by Dominice Gilbert Studio
Dominice Gilbert‘s sculpture studio located in St. Petersburg/Also feature image above

In 2020, following two busy years of construction, she and lifelong partner JR Lodico opened an artist studio adjacent to their home, which she calls a lifetime dream of theirs. An avid gardener, Gilbert considers nature her main inspiration for her larger sculptures. She created an outdoor art gallery at her studio to put these larger pieces on display so visitors could get a sense of how the art might appear in their own outdoor space. She says she likes having people stop by the studio to experience her work in person. “I like that I can share my process with people and let them know how pieces are made. It gives my work more of a context, of where it’s coming from,” she said in a past online interview.

For the sculptor, art has provided not only a valuable means for expression but also an avenue to explore her skills in a safe and peaceful environment, without the pressures of high-stress social engagement which she acknowledges is not her preferred work environment. “I tend to live a pretty solitary lifestyle,” she writes on her website. “I have always been a bit quiet, except around the few people I am very close to. I have Prosopagnosia (face blindness) which tends to cause a lot of misinterpretation, in social situations. With time, I can memorize people, but with new acquaintances, I remember them by their voice, a defining feature, gesture, or their clothing. If I don’t recognize you, pleases understand I am trying my best.”

Clearly Collaborative in progress with Dominice Gilbert
Clearly Collaborative in progress with Dominice Gilbert photo by David Ramsey

The past few years have been productive and rewarding for the artist, who earlier this year was hand-selected along with eight other artists to take part in Clearly Collaborative, a unique, joint art exhibition between FloridaCraftArt and Duncan McClellan Gallery which will allow the artists to take part in an art residence with master glass artist Duncan McClellan. Final work from those collaborations will go on display in January 2023. (Click here to read more about the Clearly Collaborative multimedia art project.) Gilbert also received good news in April 2022 from the Mainsail Art Festival when her submitted work earned an Award of Merit.  She is an active part of the local art community and is both a member of the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) St. Pete as well as the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. She frequently takes part in the Alliance’s Second Saturday Art Walk events, to be next held July 9, August 13 and September 10.

Gilbert works with a variety of materials including bronze, copper, cast aluminum, and steel, including Cor-ten steel, a type of weathered steel. “My favorite part about creating art is that it’s always evolving, as I work through new concepts, techniques, forms, and finishes,” she said during a past WADA interview. “Creating work is about the only time when my head is clear, and I can just focus and put everything into my art. It’s something I feel like I have to do.”

This summer, the artist will be participating in the 5th Annual Fine Art at the Magnolia, a two-day indoor fine art show in downtown Lakeland, Florida, featuring the work of 19 Florida artists and crafters with work across a wide range of mediums, everything from painting and sculpture to fiber, jewelry and more. This year’s event runs August 21-22, 2022 and is open to the public.

Recent photos taken of Gilbert working on her Clearly Collaborative piece (photos by David Ramsey)
Recent photos taken of Gilbert working on her Clearly Collaborative piece (photos by David Ramsey)

Three of Gilbert’s newer works: at left, Treen – in bronze; at center, Lorica – in Cor-ten, bronze, and Copper; and at right, Aegis – in bronze


Three of Gilbert’s newer works: at left, Treen – in bronze; at center, Lorica – in Cor-ten, bronze, and Copper; and at right, Aegis – in bronze

To learn more about Dominice Gilbert and her sculpture work, visit her website by clicking here. Readers can also follow the artist at her studio’s social media pages including Facebook and Instagram.

by Chris Kuhn

All photos courtesy of artist Dominice Gilbert, unless otherwise noted

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