Mary Beth Chuto
Mary Beth Chuto might owe her artistic creativity to a very unlikely source. First moving to Florida at 19 years old, she originally resided near Miami with her husband, Michael, where they spent most of their spare time sailing. After the devastation from 1992’s Hurricane Andrew forced them to move to Merritt Island, she decided, on a whim, to take a pottery class. Hurricane Andrew may have been the catalyst, but the relentless journey toward creative expression was all Chuto. Studying under Melvin Casper for seven years, she worked exclusively with red clay creating figures, busts, animals, flora, and many other varied pieces. After Mr. Casper passed away in 2002, Chuto moved on to acrylic paint, creating portraits, sea life, florals, and landscapes. Today, she only paints, creating an array of colorful aquatic and terrestrial gems that would typically require a personal invitation to view. And while she misses sculpting, she has closed that chapter, at least for now, while she focuses on painting. While a few lucky friends and family members have been gifted with her pieces, Chuto had never intended to show her work. She finds the creative process therapeutic and displays her art in and around the breathtaking Merritt Island home that she shares with Michael. This year’s Florida Deaf Art Show is the first time Chuto’s work has been publicly displayed.