Breck artist blends realism and abstraction |

Breck artist blends realism and abstraction

Caitlin Row
Vail CO, Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” The Tin Shop is covered in a fine layer of dust. An earthy smell permeates the air and classical music plays from a portable boom box. Hand and electric stone tools, as well as wood chisels, are strewn haphazardly over a table.

Chaz della Porta, current artist-in-residence, is muscling a large stone onto his work board in the outside courtyard. It’s late in the day and he hopes to catch the last strong rays of afternoon sun.

Covered in dust from his toes to his eyelashes, he works his hands through his powdered brown hair standing straight on end. Della Porta, it appears, has been hard at work.

“My inspiration is my feelings, my senses, my emotion …,” he says.

His work, blending realism with abstraction, focuses on using found stone and marble. Before arriving at the Tin Shop, della Porta hiked for stones near his home in Fairplay and Alma. While residing in Breckenridge, he will put them together in any way that’s pleasing to him.

Other materials used in his sculptures include bronze, metals, wood and glass.

“Different materials lend themselves to different circumstances,” della Porta said.

His art is sculpted with a 360-degree perspective, encouraging the viewer to experience the sculptures from every angle.

Born and educated in England, della Porta came to the United States in the mid-1980s and he worked as an apprentice to sculptor Ed Dwight in Denver. Over the years, he’s participated in juried shows and exhibitions, as well as the production of commissioned pieces. An experienced artist, della Porta sees art as a release and revels in pure self-expression.

“For me, it’s in the making,” he said.

Open studio hours are scheduled on Wednesdays through Sundays through Jan. 20, from noon to 3 p.m.

His lecture and studio hours are held at the Tin Shop, located at 117 E. Washington Ave.

For more information on della Porta’s work, visit his Web site,

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