Gene Toutsi’s focus is fine arts, art history, and art education. She attained a BFA and an MEd from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the 1970s. Gene retired from teaching art in Henrico County Public Schools after thirty-three years, and she now serves as adjunct faculty at VCU and creates artwork. In the 1980s, she participated in a workshop on Polish paper-cutting and was inspired by the possibility of the visual effects that can be achieved by papers, cutting, and gluing techniques. Since then, Gene has researched how various cultures have developed paper-cutting as art forms. She is also inspired by the works of Braque, Picasso, Matisse, and Romare Bearden. Her original work begins each with paper-cutting or collage with a drawing. Exacto knives and scissors are used to create the positive/negative image. Additional papers are often used to enhance the images or add color and texture. She searches for new approaches and loves finding solutions to creative puzzles. Her subject matter is usually people, places, history, or animals. She is inspired by nature; even in city scenes, nature and the environment are honored as elements. Her collective works of art are inspired by many sources, but her style and methodology are uniquely hers.
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