Monday, July 04, 2011

Wild Ones and Wax!!

“Wild Ones & Wax”

A group show at 310 ART Gallery
191 Lyman Street, #310
Asheville, NC 28801
Call 828-776-2716 for more info

July 1st – August 31st 2011

Reception Saturday July 9th

Doors open at 11am with demos

Wine, cheese and music from 4:30-6:30

If you smell the sweet scent of honey when you enter 310 ART Gallery it means that artists are in the adjoining studio painting with wax. This year a group of dedicated painters have been meeting to share ideas and work together while creating works in encaustics. This ancient form of painting involves heating beeswax and pigments and painting while the wax is hot and movable. Gentle reheating with a torch or heat gun fuses the surface of the painting creating a durable surface that can last centuries.

Bet Kindley says of the process, "It can be very calming to work in encaustic as the scent of beeswax fills the studio and the hiss of the torch sounds like the ocean. But it can be wild. I've singed my hair and set things on fire."

Happily, no fires have occurred during the Fab Friday Encaustic Studios at 310 ART, but the spirit of fun sparked the concept of “Wild Ones & Wax,” a group show this July and August featuring the encaustic painters who work at the studio together. A “for artists by artists” gallery in the River Arts District of Asheville, 310 ART features work of both emerging and well known artists. The encaustic artists exhibiting are Fleta Monaghan (owner of the studios), Bet Kindley, Terri Monette, Desiree De Mars, Randy Siegel, Sandee Johnson and Marsha Balbier.

“We want this to be a fun and evolving show, where artists can put up newly completed work throughout the two months. Each time you visit you will see new pieces of art, perhaps just completed in our Fab Fridays. There are so many techniques; you will be amazed at the possibilities. If you drop in during one of our studios, you can see the process first hand. We also have beginning classes if you are interested in learning the medium,” says Monaghan.
Sandee Johnson, an artist who has recently moved to the River Arts District from Europe says, “In recent years, the resurgence of interest in encaustic art and new techniques that involve either hot or cold wax has swept the globe. Asheville’s art scene is no exception. When I watch the wax medium melt, puddle, harden and shine, it remains a sensual pleasure. Encasing objects or encapsulating collage materials with beeswax reminds me of the amber fossils found in the Baltic countries, capturing and preserving within nature’s subtle layers. So many other techniques such as printmaking, drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and other mediums can also be enhanced with the encaustic process, making the finished artwork even more intriguing.

The artists share, inspire one another and are constantly seeking new means of expression. Kindley notes, “Working with these encaustic artists is energizing and inspirational. We celebrate one another's successes and I feel very fortunate to consider them my friends as well as colleagues."

The personal connection with nature while working with the wax is compelling. Desiree De Mars talks about her personal and spiritual experiences. “ For me, the aroma of the beeswax is revitalizing and awakens personal memories of raising bees and life lived in harmony with nature. From my personal research in the practices of the ancient bee masters, I have learned there is energetic information transmitted through the healing properties of the beeswax. It is my hope that through my works you too may be touched by the grace and power of this understanding.”

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