Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Art In the Boutique: AMY PUCCIO: Knock On Wood" reception this Friday, October 30

"Sugar and Spice"
Wood, Enamel, Acrylic and mixed media
17" x 13.5" x 2"

Gallery U in Westfield is pleased to exhibit “Knock On Wood”—the work of artist Amy Puccio from October 9 - November 2, 2015, as part of their “Art In the Boutique” series. Amy Puccio creates wood mosaic sculptures by cutting down left-over and unusable lengths of decorative picture frame moulding into many small pieces. She is able to engage this material in a novel way, creating her own ‘puzzle pieces’ that together create beautiful multi-dimensional wall reliefs. Her approach melds the masculine with the feminine  with astonishingly beautiful results.   

"Avant Gourd"
Wood, mixed media and acrylic
16" x 24" x 2"

"Bagel with Locks"
Wood with mixed media, enamel and acrylic
12" x 12" x 2"

Exposure to her father’s creative carpentry as a child, combined with a background in science and an understanding of ecology, has led to a form of wood sculpture that is unusual, compelling, and eco-friendly. “These sculptures have been compared to a jigsaw puzzle, but like the puzzle that is life, the pieces don’t always fit together so perfectly,” explains Puccio. “But we make them fit, and, inherent in the imperfection, we find something  beautiful.”

"The Art of the Mix Tape"
Wood and electric cable
11.5" x 18" x 2"

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2015, from 6-8 PM. All are welcome. Artwork will be exhibited October 9 - November 2, 2015. Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Artwork Celebrating the Gothic & Beautifully Macabre will be on exhibit in the main gallery. Masquerade is encouraged!

"Fender Bender"
Wood and Mixed Media
38" x 14" x 3"

"Jumbo Toothbrush"
Wood and Acrylic
36" x 6" x 4"

About AMY PUCCIO: Amy Puccio graduated from Kean University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. She was a product development chemist for nine years and briefly, a portrait photographer.  After becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started working part-time as a picture framer, learning on the job.  Amy began creating art while working in frame shops and in a contemporary art gallery. She built her first recycled-wood sculpture in 2006. Amy Puccio is a self-taught artist. 


I was lucky to be introduced to the work of Amy Puccio in 2013 during Gallery U’s time in Red Bank. I had included Amy’s piece, “One Step Backward Taken” in our white themed exhibition Bianco. I was enthralled with this abstract piece inspired by the Robert Frost poem of the same name. It included a hallowed out lightbulb with it’s inner workings replaced with a candle. I was astonished at the very idea that she was able to take apart something so fragile (the light bulb), add a new element (the candle) and create something even more delicate. Not to mention the fact that she assembled scrap pieces of frame into a piece of art. This was the first that I experienced the juxtaposition between the old and new, tradition with modernism, and a feminist approach that exemplifies Amy’s work. I was hooked.

I have followed Amy’s career ever since and I am always excited to see the new work that she creates. Amy was on the top of my list to invite to exhibit in our solo series “Art in the Boutique” at our new Westfield location. I was pleased that she accepted my invitation and especially pleased that she created some new pieces specifically for this exhibition. 

Amy creates objects familiar to almost everyone, but with a twist, wether it be a super sized toothbrush or a play on words (and objects) where she literally interprets a bagel and lox by using locks. Her whimsy abounds in these pieces as well as in “Art of the Mixtape” that immediately takes me back to the passiveness/agressiveness of creating mix tapes with a hidden message. 

Amy’s work takes me somewhere exciting. I’m astounded at the work and creativity involved in looking at scrap pieces of frames in a pile and envisioning a pitcher of milk with donuts, or a large scale set of handcuffs. What is even more astonishing is the process involved in putting pieces together like a puzzle and creating an image without even looking at a box cover for reference. 

This is the thought process involved in creating art: seeing something that doesn’t yet exist except in one’s mind, coaxing that idea out into the world and breathing life into it so that everyone can enjoy art. It’s a special quality that Amy Puccio has mastered. I imagine all of these pieces swimming around in her head, trying connections until they find the perfect fit and spilling out fully formed. Of course it is not this easy, but the behind the scenes preparation is the true brilliance that makes Amy Puccio and her work so special and unique. I hope you delight in her work as much as I do.  

Robert P. Langdon
October 2015


I create wood mosaic sculptures in the form of multi-dimensional wall reliefs. By cutting down left-over and unusable lengths of decorative picture frame moulding into many small pieces, I am able to engage this material in a novel way, creating my own ‘puzzle pieces.’
After planning and sketching are completed, construction begins with a single wood piece, selected for its size and shape and glued into place.  Small sections are glued down at a time and then once dry, are shaped and contoured with a hammer and chisel, like an eraser.  I glue and chisel the way some artists draw and erase, sometimes ‘drawing and erasing’ the same area multiple times. After repeated cycles of addition and subtraction, the desired image begins to emerge. A completed sculpture may incorporate anywhere from 300 to 2000 pieces, depending on the final dimensions.

My artistic expression resides in that place between rough-hewn and polished; between masculine and feminine; between whimsy and reality.  Much of my work is inspired by food, music, and everyday objects - a zipper, pea pod, toothbrush – where detail is highlighted by ‘supersizing,’ hopefully transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Amy Puccio
October, 2015

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES masquerade party this Friday, October 30th

Masquerade Reception this Friday, October 30 from 6-8 PM. All are welcome and encouraged to come in costume. 

Gallery U is pleased to host their annual Halloween exhibition, "Something Wicked This Way Comes: Artwork Celebrating the Gothic and Beautifully Macabre." This year’s exhibition will include images from New York based artist Krys Fox’s annual series “The 31 Days of Halloween.” Since 2012 Fox has been using his camera to recreate scenes from classic horror films. Gallery U will be exhibiting highlights of the series from the past three years. In addition, they will also be exhibiting images from French artist and Maplewood resident, Elisabeth Antoine’s series “Scary Tales.” The series depicts classic tales in stark black and reds on wood.

Krys Fox
"31 Days Of Halloween: The Shining"
Photograph: Digital C Print
14" x 18"

Elisabeth Antoine
"Scary Tales 2: Alice In Wonderland"
Mixed media on Wood Board
9" x 12"

Additional artists participating in “Something Wicked This Way Comes” include Virginia Carroll (Westfield), Lauren Curtis (Franklin Park), Teresa DeFabrizio  (Montclair), Brooke Gardiner (Mountainside), Janice Gossman (Garwood), Cathleen McCoy Bristol (Maplewood), Winston Mitlo, Kathy Nademus (Fords), David Nicolato (Verona), Brian O’Boyle (Bergenfield), Christy O’Connor (Atlantic Highlands), Nancy Ori (Berkeley Heights), Vicki Parker (Scotch Plains), Phyllis Raffelson (Cliffside Park), Lynn Ronan (Midland Park), Beth Ferris-Sale (Berkeley Heights), Takenya (Livingston), and Kristen Zachares (Montclair). Curated by Robert P. Langdon.

Beth Ferris-Sale
"Morbid Beauty"
8" x 14"

Janice Gossman
"Queen Bee"
Digital Photograph
19" x 23"

Winston Mitlo
"Cigarette Smoker"
Watercolor and Ink
9" x 12"

Monday, October 19, 2015

CALL FOR ART: Primar(il)y Red: Artwork Celebrating the Color Red

Gallery U is pleased to host our annual December exhibition celebrating the color red. We are currently accepting submissions through November 13, 2015. All mediums and styles will be considered. Please see guidelines to the right.