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Beaumont native Mike Cacioppo embraces imperfections in Café Arts Series
News Release
Friday, January 11, 2019

Beaumont, Texas - The Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) will host Mike Cacioppo: Happy Accidents January 31 – April 14, 2019 in AMSET’s Café Arts Series for Local Artists.

On Sunday, February 10, 2-4 p.m., AMSET will host a free and open to the public opening reception, where the artist will be present.

A Beaumont native, Cacioppo graduated from Lamar University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art and attributes his former art history professor, Dr. Lynne Lokensgard, to helping him develop his aesthetic. He went on to attend the University of Southwestern Louisiana where he received his Master of Arts in Geography-Urban Planning in 1978. After graduation, Cacioppo worked in urban planning for a few years, eventually going into small family retail business for over thirty years until his retirement in 2014.

After retirement, Cacioppo returned to watercolor painting, focusing specifically on landscapes.

“Nature has a story to tell regardless of the season,” he said. “The color of trees constantly changes over the course of the year, transitioning with the new greens of spring or the chilling blue colds of winter. I appreciate the cloud shapes and colors that set the mood of a work. I love capturing the peaceful moments as dusk approaches with nature’s last intense burst of light and color.”

The series embodies Cacioppo’s attitude of welcoming mistakes as part of his composition.

“‘Happy accidents’ is a term used by my watercolor professor, Robert O’Neil,” Cacioppo said. “He knew that beginner watercolorists are afraid to make ‘mistakes.’ He made us realize that even though watercolor may be difficult to control, if accidents happen, they can enhance the work and therefore be ‘happy accidents.’”

Having originally learned oil painting, Cacioppo has a different approach with watercolor.

“Most of the works in this exhibition are products of a ‘happy accident,’ he said. “I normally start by wetting the paper and applying paint; I primarily use the ‘wet on wet’ technique. I like the fluid results it produces and the blending of colors on the paper. It is fast paced, immediate and exciting, resulting in an explosion of color.

“Many times, my first attempt does not achieve the results desired. I later wash off the top layer of paint, which yields wet paper and a patina of underlying colors. I then apply wet paints onto the surface. Sometimes this process is repeated as many as three times until I receive the desired results. The objectives of the painting may change, but it is the end result that is important.” 

For more information, visit or call (409) 832-3432.

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