Orlando sculptor promotes art therapy on PBS

Staff writer

Orlando sculptor Steve Piscitelli will reach an audience beyond Central Florida when he shares his story on "Artisodes."

The program airs at 8 p.m. Thursday on WUCF-Channel 24, Orlando's PBS station.

Piscitelli, a Vietnam War veteran, draws on those memories to create art. He mixes those themes with dance to create a healing experience.

"Damage from the war lasts forever.  The beauty of dance is gone the moment it's done," says Piscitelli, 64. "So what I'm doing is, what these women work all their lives for. Putting it in bronze so it's frozen in time."

In a 2006 interview with the Sentinel, Piscitelli said, "I found a formula. For every war image, I had to do a creative image."

Piscitelli, who was a Marine, returned from Vietnam at 19 and suffered nightmares and war flashbacks for years. But in beginning sculpting at 35, he found a way to ease his pain and became an advocate for art therapy.

"I preach art therapy because art is my religion," he said in 2006.

This week's "Artisodes" also travels to Lakeland to one of the region's largest and oldest craft fairs. More than 400 artists gather each year at the MidFlorida Mayfaire by-the-Lake.

These segments will play in many other markets because "Artisodes" is a collaboration that allows large-market PBS stations to share their local arts and culture features. A national audience learns about the diversity of art in the country.

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