HOME

TO ADVERTISE

TO SUBSCRIBE

JOBS WITH US

  

The METAL ARTIST



Pete Koza

Pete Koza holds two pieces of the metal art he creates in his Port St. Lucie shop. Koza sells his artwork at the Fort Pierce Jazz and Farmer’s Market, Jammin’ Jensen, and Friday Fests in Fort Pierce and Vero Beach.
JOHN BIONDO PHOTO

BY PATTIE DURHAM

When he was a child, Pete Koza always felt best when creating a piece of art. Now in his early 40s, this family man has seen the childhood dreams float into his grasp.

It all began a few years ago while Koza was employed by a metal fabrication company. As he was working, he dropped a grinder on a piece of sheet metal and it skittered across the sheet leaving an interesting mark. Looking at the result, he said, “This looks like a really neat feather.”

The idea fascinated him and he started playing around with small pieces of aluminum and tools in his garage after work. As he practiced, feathers morphed into palm fronds, then into graceful palm trees and, voila, a career was born.

Koza, a Port St. Lucie resident since age 13, has always aspired to be an artist and support his family, wife Chrissy, and children Jordan, Madison and Tyler. He says he feels fulfilled now that he has been able to flourish as an artist. One glance at his Facebook page shows his love for the tropical South Florida themes that are the basis for his art work.

A 1994 graduate of Fort Pierce Central High, Koza says art class was his favorite time in school.

“My grades were never that good in school, but I would always point out the A in art class,” Koza says. “That class was where I felt successful. In elementary and middle school in Palm Beach County, the teachers always remarked on my ability and creativity. I especially liked ceramics, where I could let my creative ideas out.”

His previous job ventures include a number of years working for the Postal Service (a job he says with a laugh that he might one day regret leaving), cooking in restaurants, working with metal fabrication and 10 years servicing swimming pools. While these helped to support his family, he missed the satisfaction that art brought to his life.

“I guess you could say I went from a full-time pool service entrepreneur and part-time artist to a full-time artist and part-time pool service entrepreneur,” he says.

Now, he says, he is happy creating art in his shop along Port St. Lucie Boulevard and providing for his family. He devotes one day to the pool service work and the rest of the week to art. His schedule is quite full as he sets up sales/display booths every Thursday night at Jammin’ Jensen on Jensen Beach Boulevard and every Saturday morning at the Fort Pierce Jazz and Farmer’s Market in downtown Fort Pierce.

He also sets up his wares at the monthly Main Street Friday Fests in Fort Pierce and Vero Beach. He sometimes attends the Food Truck Invasion at Tradition Square in Port St. Lucie. He has been working some of these gatherings of artists and vendors for the past five years, hoping to get his artwork recognized.

Aside from all of the packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, Koza enjoys the customer contact of the booth, knowing he will have plenty of solitary time in his shop, working to perfect various sea creatures, as well as creating abstracts and working on other themes.

“I have to have the time in the shop to create pieces for the booth,” Koza says, lamenting a sore knee that has slowed his production recently. “I need to get to work,” he says, dabbing paint onto a piece of art as he talks.

Koza works on pieces of all sizes, but tries to do a lot of the smaller ones. He says they fit easily into a suitcase and are good for tourists who want to take a piece of Florida home with them. He also is developing a sort of triptych featuring a large center panel accompanied by two smaller side panels. Some are framed, but Koza says his customers seem to prefer the artwork without frames. His pieces are reasonably priced and sales are increasing.

He works on the aluminum with and without touches of color. The silvery designs etched into the metal are quite beautiful in their simplicity, much like the starkness of a snow scene. Mainly, his work focuses on palm trees and ocean scenes, branching out to oceanic creatures both natural and imaginative (think mermaids). He has done some marvelous pieces with snook, a great fish to catch in local waters, and various sharks. His mind continues to explore these art forms.

Koza is venturing into custom work, such as backsplashes for countertops, large sheets of metal art for the front of kitchen islands or bars and triptychs for home entranceways or large rooms. He hopes to get into creating tabletops for restaurants and bars. Some of these custom pieces feature his tropical/marine designs, but he has created artwork with designs provided by the client.

To view Koza’s work, visit his Facebook page: Pete Koza Metal Art, or visit his booth at one of the local events he works.



PETE KOZA

Age: 41
Lives In: Port St. Lucie
Occupation: Artist
Family: Wife, Chrissy; children, Jordan, 15; Madison, 13; and Tyler, 5
Education: Fort Pierce Central High School
Hobbies: Family life
What Inspires Me: “Having this fulfilling opportunity to provide for my family.”
Something Most People Don’t Know About Me: “I am a big Miami Hurricanes fan.”

LIZ TAYLOR'S THIS & THAT

Address: 261 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 772.879.1868