By James Gloria

In the 20th c. making art became more about the idea or end result than the process of making. 

There became a division between the end and the means of production.  A separation, for the artist, between how he made the work, and the meaning behind the completed work.

For me, the process of making the work, is the work.  The materials—the properties of their component parts—inform how work is made.  There is a dialogue, as the I reacts to the particular properties of pigment, binder or vehicle, changing and altering brush strokes in response to the rate of absorption, or texture of the surface.

Manufactured papers, charcoal sticks, canvas, all come in standard sizes.  This affects the choice of composition  and range of marks to be made.  By altering the proportion of the ground, using a stick as an implement, grinding a pigment to suit, one changes the options available, and the outcome.


Jim Gloria graduated from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1988 with a BFA in Design for Theater. After working as a professional scenic artist with the Santa Fe Opera, the Spoleto Festival, and other regional theaters, he opened his own decorative arts studio, specializing in murals and faux finishes. Over the course of a 20-year career he completed numerous public and private commissions including murals for the Newark Museum, The Columbus Citizens Foundation, and various projects from New Jersey to North Carolina.

In 1993 he studied fresco in New York at Parsons School of Design. He traveled to Rome in 1997 and Venice in 2003 to learn Scagliola, an ancient technique for the fabrication and inlay of marbled plaster. He later taught Scagliola technique in Rome, at the Newark Museum, for the Bard Center for Decorative Arts in New York and the American College of Building Arts. He has trained many professional plasterers from all over the world, most notably for restorers of the U.S. Capitol. He is writing a practical handbook for this lost art.

In 2006, he and his wife founded the Totts Gap Arts Institute (TGAI), a non-profit community arts center in UMBT where he serves as director. TGAI offers classes and workshops in fine and performing arts, showcases talent, and hosts events in professional techniques and practice. James teaches oil, fresco, watercolor and acrylic painting, drawing, perspective and mural design, with a focus on materials and processes. In 2012, after an allergic reaction while oil painting, he began researching solvent free painting.

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