DEAL, NJ - The art of Amy Puccio is about renewal.   She renews fragments of old picture frames and turns them into sculptures to give them a sense of place and function.

The same can be said for Puccio’s career in the art world. In a way, she has renewed herself by transitioning from chemist to stay-at-home mom to artist, a transformation that has sparked a purpose and a passion she never knew existed.

Puccio will exhibit her creative work in a show entitled "A Sense of Relief" at the Gallery on Grant at the Jewish Community Center, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ.

The public is welcome to meet the artist at a free artist’s reception on Saturday, March 3 from 6:30- 8 pm at the gallery. Immediately following the reception is an 8 p.m. performance of “Oklahoma” in the adjacent Axelrod Performing Arts Center.

Puccio’s exhibit opens February 15 and runs through April 1, 2012, and her pieces are available for sale.

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Puccio states: “I am driven to create art that falls outside peoples’ expectations. Exposure to my 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 for me inventive, compelling, and eco-friendly.   

The wall-hung, relief constructions displayed at the “Gallery on Grant” incorporate left-over scraps of picture frame moulding. While working as a framer, the original concept behind my artwork was born out of my unwillingness to accept these wood scraps as useless trash. After further cutting, the resultant wood pieces are glued together in an exploration of depth, scale, and negative space. They are very tactile and the viewer is tempted to touch…

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. But we make them fit, and, inherent in the imperfection, we find something beautiful.

Inspired by 20th Century Art Masters, math, science, pop culture, or even a verbal pun, each project presents unique building challenges; a ‘why-not’ experiment.

 “I enjoy the irony that this wood was intended only to support and showcase the art of others, and now, it is the art...truly an amalgam from a framer and artist.”

While Puccio is still in the early stages of her art career, she has received positive feedback. She appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of MCAC’s X.it Artzine and was recently selected to have her own solo show at the Monmouth Museum in June of 2011 through the Emerging Artist Series. Also in 2011, Puccio was inducted into the National Association of Women Artists in New York.

However, Puccio’s favorite part of her new career is not the recognition; it’s the practice of creating her pieces.“I love the process, the building of it,” she says. “There’s always a desire to express and now, creating art is a part of me.  It’s just something that I have to do. 

For more information about Amy Puccio and her art, visit www.amypuccio.com.