Dario Rossi is a prominent sculptor who left his home in Carrara, Italy to work in Elberton. Rossi learned his skills as an apprentice in studios in Carrara where white marble religious statues were carved. He moved to Elberton with his wife and son in the mid-1960s. Rossi designs and carves primarily on grave markers, embellishing them with images of Jesus, the Star of David, or angels. With a twinkle in his eye, he states that granite is an unforgiving stone. There are no ways to fix a carving mistake according to Rossi. He explains the inspiration for the massive sculpture “Tornado Hurricane” that is displayed in his studio. The 21,000 pound statue was carved from one piece of granite and depicts a tornado with a man’s face blowing winds that are twisting around his body. Rossi has been devoted to his art and worries that classical sculpture is dying out. He fears that in ten years there will be very few true sculptors left because young people want to make money the easy way. As for his own memorial, Rossi wants a simple but beautiful monument that will be a tribute to stonecutters rather than to himself. It will, of course, be made of Elberton blue granite.
Teacher tip: Ask the class to create a table that lists the monuments in their community. The table should include a description of the monument, its location, its composition such as granite, marble, or bronze, and a copy of its inscription. Monuments may be located on the town square, near a public building, in a park, or at a church or school.