Carmela Casuccio

Artist Biography

Carmela Casuccio was born in the United States and has lived most of her adult life in Thornhill, Ontario. She has taken art courses and workshops over the years but is mainly a self-taught experimental artist. Her influences range from the chiaroscuro techniques of Rembrandt and the late work of J.M.W. Turner to the American Abstract Expressionists. Carmela’s goal has always been to create works that are original and true to her inner vision. She has created a body of work that shows a world of her own making.

Over the years Carmela’s work has changed as her life circumstances have changed. Her earlier work in watercolour and mixed-media consisted of abstract and non-objective works in strong colours with no brushstrokes or discernible “marks” defining shapes and images. She was painting full-time, a partner in the Group of Ten Artists’ Gallery at Queen’s Quay Terminal and exhibiting in many shows in the 1990’s. Things changed dramatically for Carmela just before the new millennium and as she began to create a new life for herself, her work changed dramatically too. She began painting in fluid acrylics and now her “mark” could be seen in her work. There was a need to use strong vertical lines and control the outcome when painting and these experiments developed into the cityscapes which became her passion. What captured her imagination was the knowledge that what one sees on the exterior is not all there is. Her cityscapes are not representations of real-world places, but rather visions of imagined cities at various stages of their existence. At first glance, the cities seem to float in space with a mirror reflection below the horizon line. A closer look reveals the city sits on a dimensional plane that reflects a deeper reality. The struggles and joys of the city’s people are the unseen dimension that is the truer reflection. These paintings cause the viewer to pause and reflect. A recent trip to Sicily, the birthplace of her grandparents, has influenced a different view in Carmela’s latest evolution of city paintings. She has delved more deeply into the cities for a closer view. Layered in time and space, disjointed buildings hold years of memories and existence.

Carmela’s technique involves pouring fluid acrylic paint on canvas and using a plastic credit card to create the initial design. Colours are chosen depending on her mood and mixed directly on the canvas. The energy and movement in this application form the basis of the work. Layers of glazing and line work using brushes and palette knives are then applied over a period of many days or weeks. Carmela has exhibited her work widely in the Toronto area over many years and in selected galleries in the United States and Europe. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections internationally. 

Artist Statement

For decades I painted land and seascapes. The wild spoke to me, and I was artistically inspired by the movement, texture and colour of the natural world. And then that changed suddenly, and my canvases were filled with cityscapes. Buildings and bridges, iron, stone and metal textures. I was stunned and unable to comprehend why my creative force had taken me into such a foreign environment, but it had, and I followed. Over the past few years I have watched as my cityscapes expanded and contracted; formed, evolved, shattered and disintegrated. I have watched the lights in the buildings turn on and

go out, and the cities grow in complexity and contrast. As was the case with my previous path, this one was largely fed by the nonverbal drives within me to express something of our collective truth. This path has given me buildings as vocabulary, and with this vocabulary I have attempted to tell both internal and external city stories. The colour, texture and shapes add depth to these stories and the scope and state of growth provide the narrative. Viewers have seen deep inside the buildings I create and find worlds all their own. They are the interpreters of this language I every day try to share. 

Selected Exhibitions

2016            “Land & City”, “Summer-scapes”, “Summer Residents                                            Exhibition”, Arta Gallery, Toronto, Ont.

2016            “Urban Icons”, Steam Whistle Gallery, Toronto, Ont.

2016            “Timeless Collision”, Yellow House Gallery, Toronto,  Ont.                2016            “Celebrating The Arts”, Gilda’s Club Auction

2015            “Spark of Hope”, Art Auction, Aga Khan Museum

2015            “Celebrating the Arts” Gilda’s Club Auction

2014-2015     iCandy Original Art Gallery, Toronto Ont.

2013             Artique Gallery, Hamilton, Ont.

2013             p|m Gallery, Toronto, Ont.

2011-2012    Crimson Feather Gallery, Alton Mill Art Centre

2011             22 Kings Gallery, Cobourg, Ont.

2006-2011    Toronto Art Expo, Metro Convention Centre

2006-2010    Heintzman House Invitational Art Show

2009             Mayor’s Art Showcase Invitational, Markham Civic Centre               2009             Art for All Canada Art Exhibition and Conference

2009             Riverdale Art Walk Show-Hang Man Gallery

2007             District Lofts Gallery, Toronto, Ont. (Solo)

2007            “Viewpoints II”, Crescent School, Toronto, Ont.

2004-2006    Colour & Form, Todmordon Mills, Toronto, Ont.

2005            “Wide Paths”, Belgrade, Serbia

2005             University of Toronto Faculty Club(Solo)

2002            “Viewpoints”, Crescent School, Toronto, Ont.

1990-2004    Toronto Watercolour Society Shows

1999-2000    Colour and Form Annual Juried Exhibit

1997-2000    Thornhill Visual Artists Annual Tour

1994-1998    Group of Ten Artists’ Gallery Shows

1997-1998    Mafalda Gallery, Toronto, Ont.

1995             Colour and Form Annual Juried Exhibit

1994            “The Works”, Etobicoke Arts Fest feature exhibit

1994             Latcham Gallery 15th Anniversary & Juried Shows

1994            “Energy”, John B. Aird Gallery - S.C.A.

1994             McMichael Canadian Art Gallery Fall Show

1994             Gallery 306 Annual Show

1994             Rivercrest Gallery Annual Show


Toronto Watercolour Society

2004       Award of Merit
2000       Juror’s Choice
1997       Award of Merit
1995       Best Personal Expression 1994 Award of Merit

1991       Alternative Media, Hon. Mention Art Aurora

1990       Abstract, Hon. Mention



1986—Present       Art Instructor

1999—2000        President,Thornhill Visual Artists

1994—1998        Partner,Group of Ten Artists’ Gallery

1994—1997        Exhibition Chair,Toronto Watercolour Society

1989—1991        Publicity Chair,Willowdale Group of Artists 

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