BY CINDY SULLIVAN
Richard Schuchman’s cut-paper art exhibition opens at the Enterprise Museum, and runs through Sept. 30.
Cutting silhouette portraits at Walt Disney World starting in 1987, Richard Schuchman’s interest in graphic art took on a whole new medium. As a young graphic artist, inspired by classic pen-and-ink illustrators and medieval woodcut artists, he found that cut paper could offer a stylized “woodcut” look. Simple one-color scenes allowed him to expand his techniques and to cut larger sizes, eventually using muted toned colored papers.
In 1994, Schuchman left Disney to focus on a computer-graphics career, but his interest in cutting paper was eventually renewed when he decided to utilize computer-graphic programs like Illustrator and Photoshop to design even more elaborate and technically demanding pieces.
By manipulating his sketches and photographs in Photoshop, he clones out unwanted features or adds elements to make a visually pleasing composition. Redrawing at this stage, he makes templates, carefully aligning all layers properly, and cutting these with X-Acto blades.
Wanting to pursue paper-cutting as a true fine-art medium beyond folk art or crafts, Schuchman chose subject matter that demonstrates a variety of original designs, from wildlife and still lifes, to floral and even fantasy.
Living in Florida since 1978, he has focused on creating pieces that illustrate the state’s wildlife. He has recently begun to explore imagery using ever more experimental colors, attempting to capture a more loose and painterly effect.
Schuchman has displayed his artwork in solo and group shows from Orlando, Kissimmee, Mount Dora and Eustis, to Highfield Hall in Cape Cod and the Guild of American Papercutters National Museum in Somerset, Pennsylvania. He has won numerous first-place and best-of-show awards for his work.
The museum, at 360 Main St. in Enterprise, is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Private tours are available. Admission is free; however, donations are gladly accepted. Call 386-259-5900. For private tours, call Cindy Sullivan at 386-804-6987.