Mike Cacioppo & Lamar Legends

Mike Cacioppo received his B.S. of Fine Arts from Lamar University in 1977. His story is familiar to many who walked the atrium of the Art Department at Lamar: inspired by inveterate professors like Dr. Lynne Lokensgard and Jerry Newman, Cacioppo learned to express himself with oil and brush. Lokensgard’s encyclopedic knowledge of art history initiated him into the aesthetic languages of art movements and he found his niche in the visual dialects of the Impressionists and Abstract Expressionists.

Then he got his Master’s degree in something completely unrelated. The brush was laid down and spoke nothing at all for forty years. Cacioppo encountered that question which everyone faces eventually; pursue this thing, that thing, or the other? There aren’t any wrong answers per se, but sometimes the choice of one is the burial of the others.

Art is not so fragile. After retirement Cacioppo found his brush waiting for him, no worse for the decades of wear.

Lacking the space for oil paints, he decided to pick up watercolors for their mobility. The change in mediums has had an interesting effect. Cacioppo paints with watercolors as though they were oils, resulting in works that have the impasto appearance of thickly applied paint while keeping the flowing edges of watercolor. The canvases are very bright and saturated.

Cacioppo is well traveled. He has seen in person the work of artists who have inspired him, Van Gogh and the impressionists, Emile Nolde and the expressionists. Yet his subject matter are the places and sights that formed his core memories: the landscapes of Southeast Texas. On his canvases, the mundane sights so familiar to Southeast Texans glow with the filter of dreams, lit by both nostalgia and anticipation.

Mike Cacioppo & Lamar Legends is a class reunion of sorts. The exhibition includes artists and professors who learned, taught, and created art in the Lamar Art Department in the 70’s. For Cacioppo and the all the participating artists, the art they discovered in that era shines through their work today.

Participating Artists

Curtis Black
Linins Blanton
Joey Blazek
Greg Busceme
Sam Daleo
Albert Faggard
Jamie Paul Kessler
Sandy Laurette
Dr. Lynne Lokensgard
Robert Madden
Rosemary Mathis
Jeff McManus
Ignatius Mills
Art Nations
Jerry Newman
Robert O’Neill
Dr. Robert Rogan
Conn Trussell

Mike Cacioppo & Lamar Legends
Sunday, December 10, 2 – 4 p.m.

The Beaumont Art League
2675 Gulf Ave, Beaumont, TX 77703

Art Nations
Jerry Newman
Robert O'Neill
Robert Madden