Saturday, September 22, 2018
Things To Do

Actor Paul Sorvino and St. Petersburg artist Jon Hair shape a friendship through bronze sculpture

Years ago around 4 a.m., Paul Sorvino and his friend Jon Hair sat in the actor's dining room, where the Goodfellas star served an opinion.

"Paul said, 'I think two of the best sculptors in America are sitting at this table,' " Hair, 66, recalled. "And I would say the same thing back to him."

Yes, an actor whose characters might be fitted for cement shoes actually works in bronze and clay. Sorvino is a respected sculptor who recently presented a bust of baseball legend Jackie Robinson in New York's Times Square. Visit his website, paulsorvino.com, to view examples of his work, vaguely Rodin in its figurative impressions.

"He's good," Hair said. "If he had more time to devote to it he could be a tremendous sculptor."

These longtime friends will reunite Thursday in St. Petersburg, when Sorvino attends the opening of Hair's workspace and display studio in his childhood hometown, adding to his locations in Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C.

During his visit, Sorvino will also attend the 11th annual Sunscreen Film Festival, at Saturday's 6 p.m. screening of Detours, a road trip dramedy in which he plays a small role.

But make no mistake — helping Hair is the main reason Sorvino's here.

"Jon said, 'Can you make it?' I said, 'Sure.' So, that was that," Sorvino, 77, said by telephone from Los Angeles. "I like to support artists who are sincere and talented, who have good rules for themselves and their work."

Hair's website, jonhair.com, features dozens of his commissioned works, from U.S. Olympic Committee and university monuments to desktop figures and busts. Shanghai and Beijing hired Hair to create signature sculptures for their cities. His St. Petersburg gallery includes nearly 100 clay masters and bronze sculptures. Currently he's working on a sculpture of children's television star Fred Rogers, and a piece for a South Carolina university he isn't allowed to announce yet.

The artists met nearly 15 years ago in Los Angeles, at a foundry where Hair created clay molds for shaping figures.

"He was working on a project and wanted my input on it," Hair said. "We hit it off and stayed friends ever since."

Sculpting is their bond, and for Sorvino, much more than an avocation.

"We don't do this because we like to do it; we do this because we have to do it," the actor said. "It's something we are compelled to do, and it's a great joy to do it.

"Sculpture is not a hobby for anybody because it's an expensive thing to produce. A painter can get $10 worth of materials and make something he can sell. A sculptor, if he's a bronze sculptor, even with something very small, he's into thousands (of dollars).

"Real, professional artists like me or like Jon, we do it to make a living."

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, September 22

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Federated Auto Parts 4007:30 p.m.NBCSN; 102.5-FMBaseballGiants at Cardinals1 p.m.FoxRays at Blue Jays4 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMOrioles at Yankees4 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Indians7 p.m.MLBReds at Marlins7 p.m.FSFPadres at Dodgers (i...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Published: 09/21/18
Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

RIVEVIEW – Amy Lin knows that her newest Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea store is in a location where previous businesses have not lasted.The short-lived Tap’s Brewhouse & Deli and even shorter-lived Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grill tried to r...
Published: 09/21/18
SoundBytes: The Midnight Hour, Dead Prez, Derez De’Shon, nothing,nowhere. and more

SoundBytes: The Midnight Hour, Dead Prez, Derez De’Shon, nothing,nowhere. and more

— Rising emo-rap artist nothing,nowhere., who opened for Fall Out Boy last fall at Amalie Arena, will headline the Orpheum on Nov. 24, alongside Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Smrtdeath and St. Panther. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.— ...
Published: 09/21/18
Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

TAMPA — A southern white rhinoceros gave birth to a calf at ZooTampa on Sept. 12, marking the sixth successful birth of the species in the zoo's history. In a news release, ZooTampa said southern white rhinoceroses are a nearly threatened spec...
Published: 09/21/18
At 50, Clearwater's real-life superhero is hanging up his super suit

At 50, Clearwater's real-life superhero is hanging up his super suit

CLEARWATER — For two decades, Dale Pople patrolled the streets feeding the homeless, helping old people carry groceries, extinguishing a car fire. He wore a red, yellow and blue Spandex outfit with an SH emblem: "Super Hero." Now, Clearwater&...
Published: 09/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday, Sept. 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday, Sept. 23

Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest: The kicks off the hockey season with this free event including player autograph sessions, team scrimmages, selfie stations with players, food and beverage discounts, merchandise specials, hockey equipment sale and activi...
Published: 09/21/18
All the celebs arrested, married and sued this week from Plies to Bieber-Baldwin rumors

All the celebs arrested, married and sued this week from Plies to Bieber-Baldwin rumors

Here's a guide to some entertainment news you might've missed this week.ARRESTED: Rapper Plies was arrested at Tampa International Airport on Wednesday after authorities say a gun was found in his carry-on bag. The 42-year-old Wesley Chapel resident ...
Published: 09/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, Sept. 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, Sept. 22

Niall Horan: The One Direction singer-songwriter on his own tour brings along country’s Maren Morris. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50-$107. (813) 740-2446.MegaCon Tampa Bay: The multi-genre convention brin...
Published: 09/21/18
Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

On a fall night in 1915, an American reporter sips Chartreuse at a sidewalk table as German Zeppelins patrol the perimeter of Paris. As he plans how to finagle his way to the front lines of World War I, a bomb explodes at another cafe nearby, and he ...
Published: 09/21/18