Coco Dumez – Sotre’s Featured Artist, Art For Art’s Sake, October 3rd
Last spring, fourteen-year old Ben Franklin freshmen Coco Dumez found a way to put a new spin (pun intended) on her love of painting and music. The freshmen at Ben Franklin High School uses acrylic paint to create colorful, graphic, pop-inspired images on the surface of vintage records, nine of which will be featured at Sotre during Art For Art’s Sake, Saturday, October 3rd.
As a vinyl revival artist, Coco recycles and repurposes materials from other eras, giving them new contemporary value.
While exploring the area around her family’s country property, Coco and a cousin stumbled upon an abandoned house strewn with old albums by artists such as Pat Boone and Percy Faith, and from musicals such as The Sound of Music. (her own playlists are made up of artists from a variety of decades, including 1970s, 1980s and current). Rather than dusty, time-worn discs, she saw the cast-off recordings as canvases for color and began researching the art of painting on records.
“I’ve seen a lot of people with records [hung] on their walls, but I wanted to add something to them,” she says.
Coco’s love of art and artistic talent come in part from her family. Her father is an architect and her parents are avid art collectors. “Coco’s been going to gallery openings since she was in a stroller,” says her mother, Suzanne. Coco’s musical appreciation was recently enhanced by her late grandfather’s record collection as well. Half of the collection is made up of blues and ‘70s classics that the Dumez family kept and enjoys. The other half now belongs to Coco for her art.
So far, Coco’s paintings have included sunflowers, Japanese style waves, animal prints, and modernist abstraction. Framed or unframed, they bring a youthful edge to designing and serve as an inspired ode to music, painting and the importance of saving cultural artifacts rather than throwing them away.