Lucilda Dassardo-Cooper paints, designs and exhibits her art in the United States, the Caribbean, India, and places that traverse the cultural and geographic boundaries of her origin and ancestry.
Her layered style of painting reflects her own background as an immigrant whose consciousness retains images of her birthplace alongside those of her adopted country. This fusion of geographic and cultural consciousness in her art is discussed in the essay “Chutney, Metissage, and Other Mixed Metaphors” by Gita Rajan in the book Afro-Asian Encounters (New York University Press – 2006).
In India, she painted the Veiled Presence series of 15 portraits of subcontinental women mostly clad in colorful, traditional saris with either their backs turned or faces covered, reflecting gender issues in the region. Their dress and body language conveys identity despite the subjects seeming anonymity. Paintings from the series represented the U.S. in India’s 9th Triennale and were exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in New Delhi.
Her paintings from Egypt include images of contemporary Cairo overlaid with iconic pharaonic art. This nexus of contemporary concerns juxtaposed with the art of the ancient shows the human condition as universal and transcending time.
Lucilda was an instructor at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley and at Roxbury Community College in Boston. At Fillmore Arts Center, the nation’s only art school for elementary and middle school students, she helped to design the visual arts curriculum and directed students in the creation of Underwater World, a ceramic and glass mural. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the D.C. Commission on the Arts, the mural graces the facade of the Hyde School in the Georgetown section of the District of Columbia. Another set of murals, Faces of D.C., was created with faculty and students of Fillmore for the General Services Administration.
Lucilda works with the Military Museum of the Jamaica Defense Force as a design consultant and landscape designer for the Mary Seacole Healing Garden. She was MassArt’s Community Exhibitions Coordinator for the Center for Arts and Community Partnerships, curating and installing exhibitions in partner sites in Boston.
The search for meaning to the question of existence has led the artist to the study and practice of yoga. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and a yoga therapist certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Lucilda lives in Boston and retreats to the studio of her own design in Jamaica to paint
You can watch her interview on Dracut Access TV here.