Italian-born sculptor, Frank DiVita credits his beginnings to his early exposure to Renaissance art and an intense love of nature. His family migrated to Canada, then Montana when he was still a child. At an early age, he showed a talent for both zoology and art, which led him to illustrate textbooks for medical students while attending the University of Montana.
After graduation, he declined career offers that would take him away from the wildlife and mountains of Montana. He took a job as an art teacher at Flathead High School, where he worked for seven years. Popular with his students, DiVita enjoyed his teaching but found himself yearning for more time to sculpt, particularly birds.
Why birds? Birds have always occupied a part of his life, DiVita explains. His pet sparrows frustrated his mother but allowed this future artist to closely study individual expressions, characteristics, movements … everything about birds. A college professor said, "Life is short. Concentrate on one avenue and in the end you’ll be the best in that avenue."
DiVita has taken his advice. For him, art is a "creative process, a real phenomenon", who feels he gets closer to the mind’s eye with sculpture than through painting.
From his studio near Kalispell in Northwestern Montana, DiVita designs and molds each original creation in clay. With a vantage point that looks south across the Flathead Valley, DiVita gains inspiration from the beauty of the area. His philosophy that environment needs to be compatible with work is evident.
Many of DiVita’s former students now work for him, providing the craftsmanship he insists on to insure the finite detail of his work. Because bronze is a destructive process, the slightest variation can change the whole attitude of a piece. For this reason, DiVita maintains involvement in each casting throughout its entire production.
DiVita describes himself as a very mental person, one who loves to solve things, intrigued with concepts and solutions. He freely admits to being introverted, uncomfortable in front of crowds, preferring to remain in the background, letting his art speak for itself.
The statements those works make have attracted the interest of an international and impressive list of collectors. From individuals, to corporate collections such as Perrier in France, Beatrice foods and Wrigley’s in Chicago to NBC in New York. Equally important to the artist is the fact the pieces stand on their own, yet are in collections from the White House to China.
Though galleries plead for more pieces, DiVita refuses to sacrifice quality for mass production. Frank has found the ultimate satisfaction in a demanding art form, with creations that border on perfection.
Kalispell, MT 59903