Artist Feature “Adam Colangelo: Copper on Fire”

Many thanks to Lisa Scheid and the Copper Development Association Inc. for publishing this article in their June 2020 edition.

Adam Colangelo: Copper on Fire

By Lisa Scheid

There’s a sense of magic and destiny in the way Adam Colangelo describes how he began
working with copper. He found his first roll of copper in his grandfather’s
garage. It was as if it was waiting to be discovered, Colangelo recalls..
Somehow, he kept going back.

Artist Adam Colangelo with his work.

Maybe it was the opportunity to experiment and coax new
colors from metal. For this self-taught artist, learning is what fuels his art.

“I’ve always been a hands-on learner, and working with copper has been no
different,” says Colangelo. ”I’ve adopted an experimental, trial-by-error
approach over the years, and I’m still learning new things about the medium on
a regular basis. Not every experiment I conduct is a success, and this is what
helps me grow.” Colangelo grew up in Toronto, Canada, and currently lives and
works in Niagara’s wine country. With a mostly North American client base, he’s
exhibited internationally as well.

“Copper’s versatility always keeps me on my toes,” Colangelo says. “I often get
asked if I’m a painter, because I’m able to achieve patinas that look like they
came out of a paint tube. I like to think of copper as the underdog in the art
community, because its potential is endless.”

The Butterfly Effect, by Adam Colangelo.

Colangelo said he sees his art as therapy - for the client
or viewer and also for himself. “I’ve been fortunate to create site-specific
installations for hospitals in Canada and the U.S. It’s truly an honour that my
art can provide respite for people in need,” Colangelo says. “Whether art is
abstract or figurative, the beauty is that the user controls the narrative. In
this way, art is something for everyone. It can inspire, comfort, console, or
reawaken us.”

Colangelo’s discoveries aren’t limited to the medium. He has
also found insight into mental health through his work. 

“Working on one of my pieces includes a number of steps,
many of which are repetitive,” Colangel reveils.”When I first started my career
in art, the repetition could be tedious, but over the years I’ve found the
process meditative. A sense of calm emerges through the mindless, repetitive tasks.”
He said he challenges himself to create work that speaks to the viewer. 

My Heart to Yours by Adam Colangelo.

“This means being open to new ideas and re-inventing
myself,” Colangelo says. “It would be easy to create the same work year after
year, but trying new processes and styles keeps things interesting for me and
my clients.” In 2018, he was selected to take part in a public art project to
bring awareness to brain health. Called The Brain Project, it is an annual
initiative which funds research for dementia and Alzheimer’s at the Baycrest
Foundation, located in Toronto, Canada. “I was lucky to have been selected to
participate in the 2018 show,” Colangelo said. “Each artist is tasked with
interpreting themes like brain resilience and memory onto a blank,
brain-shaped, three-dimensional form using a medium of their choice. The brains
are displayed in public places around Toronto, with the hopes of sparking
conversations about brain health.” 

Colangelo’s work will be exhibited in July in the Toronto
Online Art Fair
. He shows his work in Florida, Ontario, British
Columbia and New York.


Patina Perfection

What is a patina? This term is typically used to describe the greenish or brown film on the surface of various metals such as copper, brass, and bronze. The colour and texture is produced by exposure and oxidation over a long period of time. Common examples are the beautiful copper roofs of churches and government buildings which have slowly transformed from their shiny new copper finish to the aged, iconic green or “verdigris” colour.

A large part of my artistic process relies on the oxidative properties of copper to create colour and texture. However, instead of waiting years and years to observe these chemical changes, I use stronger patinas to expedite the process. Some of these chemical concoctions remain a trade secret, while others are as common as household vinegar, and other mild acids. 

The copper in the image above has been left to oxidize in a well ventilated room for about a week using various chemical formulas. When I’m happy with the results, I seal the copper with a few coats of clear lacquer in order to preserve the colour and texture.

The result is a very unique patina. Rich in various blue tones, with a bit of turqoiuse scattered throughout. Almost glacial-like. 


The Collectors Circle in Support of Baycrest

I am excited to announce my participation in the Collectors Circle, a new virtual art sale hosted by Baycrest. My copper art, as well as pieces from numerous other artists and galleries, will be available for purchase to online audiences, all in support of Baycrest’s work to help vulnerable older adults in our community. I am so pleased to be able to offer this rare opportunity for art lovers to add my copper art to their collection.

As part of the sale, I will be offering the pieces shown below. In combination with other participating artists and galleries, this sale is estimated to have over $2 million in art value. Proceeds from the event will be benefit Baycrest’s Safeguarding Our Seniors (SOS) Campaign, which helps safeguard seniors and strengthens programs to reduce social isolation and enhance lives as we navigate through the challenges of COVID-19.

JOIN US AT collectorscircle.baycrest.org on November 16.

Partner Galleries: Abbozzo Gallery, Angell Gallery, Art Interiors, Artworld Fine Art, Bau Xi, Brian Liss Gallery, Corkin Gallery, Daniel Faria Gallery, Gallery 133, Gina Godfrey Gallery, Lonsdale Gallery, Loch Gallery, Lumas, Marcia Rafleman Fine Arts, Melanie Siegel Collection, Nikola Rukaj Gallery, Pari Nadimi Gallery, Peter Triantos Art Galleries, Petroff Gallery, PI Fine Art, Sandra Ainsley Gallery, State of the Arts, Jerusalem, and Stephen Bulger Gallery

Partner Artists: Beverley Abramson, Deborah Bennett Kagan, birdO, Justin Blayney, Bill Boyko, Adam Colangelo, Barbara ColeMarc Cooper, Dani Cooperman, Neil Dankoff, Lindsi Hollend, Ron Kobrick, Corynn Kokolakis, Alex Kwong, Amey Lai, Ian Leventhal, Matt Pine, Melanie Siegel, Judy Singer, Gary Taxali, Tracy Thomson


Shine on Through (36in. x 36in.)

Solace (24in. x 36in.)

Copyright Adam Colangelo ©
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