Nick Fillari is a sculptor from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, who is known for his abstract wooden sculptures. A skilled woodworker, Nick has a background in exhibit design and fabrication and has worked on children’s museums around the world.

Nick loves to create strange sculptures that make a visual impact and he discussed these skills and more via a exclusive interview on August 18, 2018.

Woodworking, art, and sculptures

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you first get interested in becoming a woodworker and how did that lead you to fine add?

Nick Fillari (NF): I grew up watching my father and grandfather; everything they did, I wanted to know how, I needed to be a part of the process.

As a child, it was magic to see what these men created with their own hands, how they fixed things and seemed to know everything there was to know about the world. As I grew older, I realized none of it was magic; my father was not a magician, he was an artist. One day I found a wonderful job working in a shop with a few brilliant minds, which just allowed me to develop a passion for woodworking. I had people to bounce ideas off of and I wasn’t just living and creating inside my head anymore, I was processing emotions and feelings and displaying them for people to see. I believe that’s when I made a distinction between my work and art.

MM: What is it about wood and abstract forms that most fascinates you?

NF: Wood has character without my involvement. Grain, color, texture, smell, are all things that excite some kind of emotion from some neglected or forgotten place in my soul. If you look closely at a piece of wood, any wood, there is movement within the grain, suggestions that are either ignored or worked upon. With abstract art, I can listen to these suggestions and work towards a finished piece of art without taking too much away from the wood.

MM: What sorts of feedback have you gotten from people who have seen your sculptures?

NF: The feedback that I receive is positive. No one has told me yet (to my face) that my work sucks. I welcome all feedback especially from other artists. Any feedback is better than no feedback. If I can awaken some feeling within a person, whether positive or negative, I’ve done something.

Of course, I’d rather everyone look at what I’ve done and smile or cry, but not in disgust.

MM: How did you break into the art and/sculptural art world and get your sculptures exhibited in a variety of locations?

NF: I don’t think I’ve “broken into” the sculpture world or art world. I have exhibited my work in local galleries and art walks but outside of the people I speak to and see personally, the world doesn’t know my art exists.

Mint Art Haus, career, and the future

MM: How did you first get involved with Mint Art Haus and how did they come to represent you?

NF: A fellow artist recommended their services. I don’t actively promote my art and I thought it would be a good idea if someone did. Mint Art Haus came to represent me after I signed the check.

MM: What are your greatest hopes and goals for the future of your sculptures, career, and professional relationship with Mint Art Haus?

NF: I hope that my art inspires people from all over the world, from all different backgrounds, with their own unique stories to tell. I want to continue to discover and learn, I want to thrive instead of merely surviving, and if my art can be a means to self-actualization, then I will never stop creating. If Art Haus can get on board with this mission and make it their own, then I can’t ask for much else, can I?