By Cari Holland
Think back to the year of 1971. For most current Flagler students that is impossible, although fun to imagine. For others it is a colorful recollection.
Since that year, Enzo Torcoletti has been sharing his artistic expertise with Flagler College students. With a career spanning more than 35 years, current students, Alumni, friends and fellow faculty of Torcoletti speak glowingly of him.
Born in Fano, Marche, Italy, in May of 1943, Torcoletti received his B.A. in English Literature and a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Printmaking in 1969 from the University of Windsor in Canada. After completing his M.F.A. at Florida State University for Sculpture in 1971, Torcoletti relocated to the town he calls home: St. Augustine. But he still speaks with an audible Italian accent.
Students who are currently enrolled in Torcoletti’s classes are grasping every opportunity to pay extra attention now that the word “retirement” has been spoken.
Tom Hoban, a senior art student, has had Torcoletti as his academic advisor all four years at Flagler. Hoban refers to the professor by his first name and said that he often goes to Torcoletti for advice. Hoban admitted that everything he knows about sculpture is thanks to the professor and it is sad to see him leave.
“He has done so much for the school,” Hoban said. “He’s been here so long, he has taught so many students all of what they know.”
Throughout Torcoletti’s tenure, students have had an in-house inspiration as their visual art professor of drawing, sculpture, and art history. He has almost 30 major public commissions and corporate collections, his work has been in over 15 exhibitions since 1990 and he has been mentioned in over a dozen publications, including The Sculpture Reference Book. Most recently, Torcoletti’s work was exhibited at the University Gallery at the University of North Florida. As a result, the college is remembering him in a special way.
“The college is honoring Professor Torcoletti’s long-lived commitment to the Arts and Flagler College students by dedicating a sculpture garden outside of the art building,” said Dr. John Stewart, Flagler College’s vice president for institutional advancement.
Although plans for the sculpture garden are still in the works, Stewart imagines the garden as an “aesthetically and artistically appropriate home for a commissioned piece” by Torcoletti that would “reflect the boundless creativity” of a person and professor who has “meant a great deal to the Flagler family.”
“We will engage in the sculpture garden in the spirit of [the] kind contributions [Torcoletti has made] to the livelihood of our college,” Stewart said.
The development of the sculpture garden is in the early stages and can expect to be completed toward the end of the renovation stage of the art building. An anonymous donor gave some of the funds necessary to complete the project as gifts to the college.
Having a professor on staff for 35 years with this kind of passion for what he teaches has had a strong impact on Flagler College and its art students. But Torcoletti has felt the impact as well.
“I think that doing art is possibly the most rewarding long-term experience the human soul can have,” he said.