Candy Cummings was born Candace Carol Cummings on September 26, 1950, the youngest of two children. Her father was then stationed at the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center. Her mother was a first generation Italian-American, the fourteenth child of two Neapolitan immigrants. When Cummings' mother and older brother, Wayne, struggled with elements of bipolar disorder, art became her escape from household chaos and unhappiness. She credits her mother with taking the family on frequent trips to see museums and monuments in Washington, D.C.
Cummings' father retired after 13 years in the military to start his own business, which became one of the earliest television and appliance service shops. Many years later, the material legacy of his warehouse—filled with vacuum tubes, TV knobs, and all kinds of electrical spare parts—would find its way into his daughter's intricate sculptures.
Cummings attended a Catholic girls boarding school, then an art college in Philadelphia, where she dropped out after two years. She cites the 60s, the Age Of Aquarius, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Vincent Van Gogh as major influences. As a young adult, she began a career as a caterer, surviving both a major hurricane and a ruptured appendix while working as the Catering Director of the largest resort on Saint Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands. Candy died on November 4, 2014 at the age of 64, following a valiant battle with cancer.
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