Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Bucci McCoy.
Mary, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. My family moved to the greater Philadelphia area, where I grew up, when I was three. Through much of elementary school I took open studio-format art classes on Saturday mornings, and then in my early teens began taking ceramics classes and fell in love with the material and process. I came to Boston for the five year Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts BA/BFA program; my BFA studies were concentrated on ceramic sculpture, and my BA was in English. A travel scholarship allowed me to spend a self-created post-bac year at L’École des Arts Decoratifs in Geneva, Switzerland (now Haute École d’Art et de Design Genève) studying ceramic sculpture and glaze technology, with all classes taught in French. After returning to Boston I gradually shifted from clay and sculpture towards two-dimensional work; for several years I fabricated and painted on shaped and constructed plywood and mdf supports, but over time the paint became more interesting to me than the physical structure and my work has developed from there.
Since 2001 my home and studio have been in the town of Beverly on the North Shore, about a half hour from downtown Boston. I have exhibited my work throughout New England and the United States as well as in Europe.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I work with acrylic paint in a direct, spontaneous way on gessoed plywood or plywood panels. The intimate scale and formats of these panels echo the human head and obliquely reference mirrors — as in my “Speculation” series of gray ovals — and portraiture, especially the art historical format of the cameo portrait. Iridescent paint and geological materials such as marble dust, granite dust and sand are often visual as well as structural components of the work. Each painting largely occurs in the timeframe of one painting session, rather than building in layers over time. A certain amount of chance is involved, as the painting may change appearance as it dries, parallel to — if not as dramatic as — the changes that ceramics undergo in the firing process. That each painting is to a certain extent an experiment keeps it interesting for me.
In addition to my early experiences with ceramic sculpture, my approach to painting is informed by daily life by the ocean and open sky, weekly hikes through post-glacial woodlands, and a long-term embodied yoga practice. The color, marks and materiality of the work poetically reference and integrate the forms, processes, and fluidity of the natural landscape, the human body, and the plant world as a means to consider human identity in the context of the earth and universe. A sentence from M.C. Richards’ book “Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person”, which I first read when I was a student at the Museum School, continues to resonate with me: “The innerness of the so-called outer world is nowhere so evident as in the life of our body.”
How can artists connect with other artists?
There are so many ways to find your community. School, studio buildings, teaching, writing, attending openings, artist talks and other events, involvement with artist groups, and social media have all been helpful to me at different times.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
So far this year my work has been exhibited in New York City and Heidelberg, Germany. I am represented by Gray Contemporary in Houston, TX (http://www.graycontemporary.com) and my next solo show there will be during the 2018–19 season.
My work can be viewed online at my website, http://www.buccimccoy.com, and I invite people to sign up there to receive quarterly updates about my exhibitions and other art activities.
- Website: www.buccimccoy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buccimccoystudio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marybuccimccoy
Portrait photo by David McCoy