Rhea Cutillo

Rhea Cutillo

She / her
Collegeville, United States


Rhea Cutillo is a contemporary artist concerned with the human-nature relationship and wide open spaces both in the physical, ecological world and in the internal, cerebral realm. She has exhibited across the United States and internationally, including the Alexandria Museum of Art, Yellowstone Art Museum and the award-winning festival List í Ljósi. Her work is in private collections across North America and the U.K. She is a graduate of The Barnes Foundation Museum Barnes-de Mazia Program, Philadelphia PA; Mills College, Oakland, CA (B.A. 2011); and attended the Leroy E. Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

 Rhea Cutillo is both an artist and herbalist. Her studies at The School of Evolutionary Herbalism, Oregon, and the East West School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, California have informed her worldview of natural reciprocity and the need for ecological and cultural reconciliation. Currently a Dean's Merit Scholar at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, her projects focus on the importance of embodied knowledge to understand space and place. 

 In 2022, her work was published in New American Paintings Magazine #138 and PXV Art Mag #5. In Spring 2023 she lectures and exhibits with Philadelphia Water Works on the impacts of climate change.

Artist Statement

My work is a search for open space both internally and externally. I am captivated by the freedom of vast landscapes; venturing into the unknown is my greatest pleasure. At the crux of my creative process is an ambiguity of identity. Absence and presence coexist. My paintings are meant to be expansions of space into the immaterial, cerebral, and emotional realms. 

My works, too, explore our unique position coined as the Anthropocene. Where in the world does open space still exist without political or industrial control? In our contemporary, man-made, environmental crisis it is not just the biosphere that is disappearing, but our history, heritage, and communion with the land in question as well. 

I experience painting as an intellectual activity but with the immediate act as intrinsic and intuitive. I paint from a space of internal submission, though with a decisive vision leading the image. There is a conversation between using the medium to my will and letting the medium lead me.

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