Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dancing's loss is the art world's gain with artist Carol Fucci

     Carol Fucci studied art at LSU but spent her working career in another artistic medium, the dance. She taught dancing in her own studio, Dance with Carol, for thirty-five years. When the youngest of her five children left the nest for college, she found herself with time on her hands.

Carol Fucci with a work in progress in her back yard
     “We had a lot of wall space in here that didn’t have any art on it,” she says of her Northshore home. She and her husband Eddie visited some friends who had decorated their home with several big, beautiful paintings. Carol and Eddie decided to do the same.

     “Then I looked at the price of big pieces of art,” she laughs. “I thought maybe I should paint my own big pieces of art.” Reasoning that the results would be in her own home and not subject to public scrutiny, she began recalling her college classes. When Carol returned to painting five years ago, she found the lessons coming back as clearly as if the classes had been only weeks ago instead of decades. Family and friends gave her kudos for her work. Her topics were people in her life, favorite places and things and subjects suggested by loved ones. Soon people were requesting art for their homes.

     “The very first time that a piece of art left my home and went to someone else, it was very traumatic for me,” she remembers, “because your art becomes like one of your children…It was very tough to do.” She overcame the feeling and now regularly paints beautiful portraits and scenes on commission, to the delight of satisfied clients everywhere. 

     About a year ago, Eddie suggested she try to sell some of her paintings. Her earliest sales were paintings of the world of ballet, a world she knows well. She sold them at her dance studio and gained the confidence to approach galleries with her work. Her art hangs in several galleries, including Artists’ Galleries de Juneau, where she is the Artist of the Month for October 2016. The gallery, in Historic Olde Towne Slidell, displays several of her works.

     Carol might still be dancing full time and painting for a hobby had a hip injury not sidelined her in the last year. A total hip replacement surgery led her to sell her dance studio and focus on the visual arts side of her art. 

     Responsive to the public’s desires, she has paintings hanging in restaurants throughout the Northshore as well as the galleries. She participates in the Mandeville Arts and Crafts Farmers Market on Saturday mornings in Mandeville. In addition to the “big, beautiful pieces” she initially set out to paint, Carol also paints smaller pieces of iconic local images. Another popular item is her souvenir state road maps, typical maps with the addition of a pertinent image over a special location. 

     Dearest to her heart though are the commission paintings of children. Based on photos provided by the person ordering the image, she brings the child to pulsating life with the perfection of aspect and setting only a painting can provide.

     To contact Carol, visit her website or visit Artists’ Galleries de Juneau, 2143 First Street, Slidell, LA. She will be featured at the October Third Thursday celebration at the gallery on October 20 between 5 and 7 p.m.

© 2016 Mary Beth Magee