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.
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.
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