“In Defense of the Human Spirit” is an imaginative reaction to the fortresses that were built on Governors Island in the early 1800s, to protect New York City’s harbor from any foreign invasion. Each sculptural work conveys movement like a dancer, twisting and bending their materials of steel, bronze, stone, inward and out, stretching towards and facing a world — a city that’s always evolving.

First contact between Native people and Europeans was flawed. And our nation still struggles with our various contacts today. Nonetheless, to create a more perfect union, we must continue to reach out to each other and tell a more complete narrative that says America.

Inspired by the panoramic views on the island facing New York City and the new World Trade Center, it shows we can rebuild, we can create as a united people and that spirit is worth fighting for.

The West Harlem Art Fund and Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds will develop additional programming for the general public so they can enjoy our outdoor exhibition.


Domenico Belli was born in Patrica, a small town in the hill country approximately forty miles southeast from Rome. He started his work as metal worker at the age of sixteen and showed an early interest and talent for his job. At the age of eighteen, his parents decided to emigrated to America where he found employment as metal workers and welder and also developed his skills as an artist and designer. He started to create primitive sculptures from reclaimed steel for several years. He started about 10 years ago to discover his passion for the abstract and contemporary sculpture and it was love at first sight. Today he builds only large sculptures  using stainless, Cor-Ten steel and Bronze.

My technique is brute force, decide at moment. The interesting shapes of metal, the patterns, textures and grains; all entice me. I am fascinated with form. My aspiration is to create sculptures that is completely unique, that no one has done before. I resist conformity and mass production.

My art is individual as I am.

Gilbert Boro is a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant. He was born in New York City and has been involved in the arts since his boyhood. He has had a distinguished career, spanning more than fifty years.

His sculpture is concerned with the interplay of space, place and scale.  He uses various materials, including steel, stone, aluminum, and wood.  He believes the challenge and joys of creation are equally related to visualization and execution.  What art should do is help us regain the creativity we all had as children.

Boro is an active member of the New England Sculptor’s Association, The New York Sculptor’s Guild, Elected Member of Mystic Museum of Art, Silvermine Guild of Artists, and the International Sculpture Cent


Joe Gitterman is an American sculptor. Born in New York, Joe attended the Dalton School and Westminster School, University of Virginia, and Columbia University. He continued his studies at the New School, The Art Students League, and the Pratt Institute. Joe’s 30-year career on Wall Street included private banking internships in London, Cologne, and Paris and brokerage training in Brussels and New York. Joe started sculpting as a hobby in 1969 yet it wasn’t until he retired from Wall Street that he dedicated himself to the full-time pursuit of making art.

Since his first exhibition at a local Connecticut gallery in 2011, Joe’s career has catapulted. He has received commissions from Robert Couturier, Norwegian Cruise Lines, The Riverside Building in London, the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, and the Robert A.M. Stern-designed Arris building in Washington, D.C., among others. Joe’s sculptures are in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States, Europe, and Australia.


West Harlem Art Fund (WHAF) is a twenty-four year old, public art and new media organization. Like explorers from the past, who searched for new lands and people, WHAF seek opportunities for artists and creative professionals throughout NYC and beyond wishing to showcase and share their talent. The West Harlem Art Fund presents art and culture in open and public spaces to add aesthetic interest; promote historical and cultural heritage; and support community involvement in local development. Our heritage symbol Afuntummireku-denkyemmtreku: is the double crocodile from West Africa Ghana which means unity in diversity.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds is a vibrant community environment dedicated to arts education and appreciation on the Connecticut shoreline. Our mission is to create a bond between art, nature & community by inspiring and promoting participation in the arts.

With over 100 sculptures woven throughout different gardens and courtyards, this en plein air art experience allows visitors to enjoy incredible large-scale contemporary sculpture on 4.5 beautifully landscaped acres. Visitors are encouraged to explore the grounds and interact with the works, perhaps turning kinetic elements or wandering through open pieces. On the property sits the home of artist Gilbert Boro and although the residence is not open to the public, Boro welcomes visitors to the “cafe” outside the house to take a rest, picnic, and take in the sights. 

Sculpture Works



By Domenico Belli
Open Sky
Dimensions 138″ H x 30″ x 30″






By Joe Gitterman
On Point 8
Dimensions 36 x 20 x 6 in.








By Gilbert Boro
Flat Bar Knot III, 2022
8’x5’x4′ with 5’circular base