You may not know Steven Dickey, but you've probably seen his work. His sculptures are icons that have helped shape the history and culture of the Bay area.
"I've always had a good feeling for the arts growing up," Dickey said.
Some of his favorites include the bronze statue of Al Lopez.
"He's pulling off his catcher's mask, he's going after a ball, and there's a lot of movement in that piece, so I loved doing that piece," Dickey explained.
"There's also Roland Montego, who's reading the newspaper in Ybor City, and I get a lot of comments on that, and I like that because whenever I'm in Ybor, there's people standing there taking pictures," Dickey said.
His other works include Tampa Bay Lightning Co-founder Phil Esposito and Tampa's youngest Mayor, Dick Greco.
"I've lived here most of my life, not knowing the history of Tampa. Now I'm working on individuals and I'm reading about them and kind of discovering what created Tampa," he said.
The process for making these bronze bodies of art is quite complex and can take up to a year. It starts with molding clay over the Styrofoam.
"You're looking at bone structure, you're looking at muscle structure, and it's very loose in the initial stages," Dickey explained.
From the rubber mold, a wax duplicate is created and covered with ceramic which is then chipped off piece by piece, and finally covered with bronze. His latest project included creating busts for the Riverwalk.
"These are all figures, these are all people that had some important reference to the Tampa Bay area and the development in Tampa," he said.
He's also working on a piece for St. Leo University.
"It's a full two-figured piece commemorating the first black student that had ever been taken in as a student in St. Leo," Dickey said.
Dickey's works are symbols of the city's diverse history, and he's proud of his role in preserving it.
"The Tampa Bay area and Ybor City have been very good to me, and I can only hope that I've been able to kinda give some of that back to them in the work I've been doing," he said.
Dickey says his Riverwalk pieces will be completed by the end of this year.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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