The spring of 2014 will usher in a new phase of collaborative art installation at the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton.  The A.P.E. Gallery is committed to preserving "working space" for the arts in the center of Northampton, easily accessible to the public, and determined to support the expansion of experimental and distinguished work.   Along with artists Katie Richardson and Carolyn Clayton, I will be installing several paintings and one sculptural piece in a show called “Beneath the Surface.” There will be a public opening, and the space will be free for admission throughout the month (TBA).  

Financial assistance from Valley Arts Mutual Aid grant, combined with the opportunity to show at A.P.E. Gallery, will enable me to expand theoretically and practically upon my glass paintings.  I hope to broaden the traditional limits of painting, while staying within the boundaries of painting, in order to simulate sculpture.  To achieve a sculptural effect, I will be painting an intricately woven, layered composition on multiple panes of stacked glass.  Viewers will be able to engage with shifting perspectives of the work based upon their vantage point in the art space.  This will create an effect much like a hologram for the viewer.

Sketch of painting sculpture Measures 6' x 3.5'

I plan to evoke an underwater theme in my three-dimensional glass painting, a continuation thematically from my primary body of work called “Submerged.”  "Submerged" consists of paintings that engage with the chimerical qualities of water and require several thick coats of resin to achieve a layering effect.  My interest is combining the figural with the abstract; capturing the human figure in water allows me to play with light, color, and impressionism.   

There are several artists who have taken on this process to push painting into the three dimensional realm. Xia Xiaowan is one artist from china whose spatial paintings on panes of stacked glass inspired this idea.  His work pushes figurative painting past two-dimensional space.  His intricate drawing skills bring his artwork into life, as though floating and captured in a glass confinement.  

While painting on glass is not uniquely my idea, I hope to expand upon my predecessors by using the glass panes to bring painting into space and motion.  My paintings already lean toward the sculptural: by alternating layers of acrylic paint and epoxy, my work exceeds the bounds of the canvas, while the layered epoxy yields a glistening effect that simulates water. The figure appears frozen in time and space beneath the surface of many layers of hardened resin.  I would like to push my figures' engagement and articulation with the physical viewing space.  I want my figures to be forms immersed in color, movement and expression and to push the layered resin technique further with this dimensional glass painting method. My use of multiple panes of glass, combined with multiple layers of paint, will imbue dynamism and fluidity into the figures where it is not as pronounced in my previous work.

Example of current work  to be made into 3-D sculpture

In The Midst of Myself: Acrylic and Resin Painting 20" x 20"

The Mutual Aid Grant would help me cover most of the material costs for the project.  I will be enlisting several local artisans to assist in the making of the base and glass-cutting of this project, so the money is also committed to the employment of others.  The monetary assistance of this grant will encourage me to push the artistic boundaries of painting and will support some of our local heroes such as Ben Westbrook of Hammer On Steel in Easthampton, MA.  

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share with you all.

WWW.SCOUTRCUOMO.COM

About the Artist

Originally from Dallas, Texas – Scout Cuomo relocated to Western Massachusetts in 2002 to attend Smith College. Since graduating with a B.F.A. in Studio Arts in 2006, Cuomo has been on a journey to carve out a place for herself in the art world and is currently in her first years as a full-time professional visual artist. She has worked in a variety of visual art media, from graphic design to tattoo art. Her primary areas of focus are painting and sculpture.  She is currently working on three bodies of work in painting, drawing, and sculpture.  The strongest compilation of works is called “Submerged” - a large collection of over 200 paintings completed in the past two years.  At first, the paintings explored creatures of the water, but the project evolved into taking pictures of people in water.  From these underwater photos – taken while exploring summer swimming holes around Western Massachusetts and Vermont - Cuomo creates paintings.  At its root, “Submerged” explores the dichotomy in the human experience: the balance of taking risks while simultaneously searching for refuge.

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Ooo! I would like to see you realize these in Xiaowan style. :)

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