M Gallery of Fine Art in Charleston, SC, will present the exhibit, An American Collection: Works by Gene Costanza from West to East, on view from Apr. 1 - 30, 2011. A reception will be held on Apr. 1, from 5-8pm.

Costanza is a contemporary realist painter of traditional subject matter, focusing primarily on landscape and man’s interaction with it. Equally at home painting “en plein air” as well as the studio, Costanza orchestrates paintings that engage the viewer to enter the subject with him by capturing the light and atmosphere.

Over twenty-five years of Costanza’s life were in Law Enforcement in such specialties as SWAT, K9 Handler, K9 Supervisor, Patrol Supervisor and Detective. About mid career, the desire to return to artistic endeavors surfaced after having been abandoned in his early twenties.

Though dormant, there was a constant underlying desire to again delve into the mysteries of paint, light, and subject matter. Costanza believes it took a decade and a half of discipline to mold his personal tendencies to study and work as hard as one needs to in the very difficult endeavor of making a good painting. Costanza retired from law enforcement to become a full-time painter.

Primarily “self-taught”, he has studied with a number of great contemporary artist/teachers including Kevin McPherson, Matt Smith, Jeffery Watt, and has a long standing close personal as well as professional friendship with Scott L. Christensen. It is Christensen whom Costanza credits with most of his growth. Frequently these two can be found painting, fishing, hunting or just enjoying the fellowship of intimate friendship.

Costanza’s work is in collections from coast to coast and is included in the permanent collection of the Academy Museum in Easton, MD. He currently lives in Eugene, OR, with his wife and two sons.

“I am always humbled when someone trades the fruits of their hard labors for the outcome of mine,” says Costanza.

A portion of sales from the show will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listing, 843/727-4500 or visit (www.mgalleryoffineart.com).