New England Wax, a collective of artists who use wax and encaustic, is being showcased at the Sharon Arts Center Gallery in downtown Peterborough until November 1, 2014. I helped coordinate the exhibition, along with Pat Gerkin, Kellie Weeks, and Soosen Dunholter. I am delighted with the show, and want to thank Kate Lenahan and Camellia Sousa of the Sharon Arts Center for their extraordinary efforts to make this a marvelous exhibition.
The theme, Transformations, was chosen by the New England Wax membership as a motivating force for creating work that transcends medium and seeks message as the primary focus in a body of work. Pat Gerkin put it this way: ”
At its most fundamental level, art making is always about transformation—the transformation of raw materials into a cohesive, created work, the transformation from conceptual idea to concrete product, the personal transformation of the artist during the creative process. Transformation begins when the wax is spread across the substrate and a new ground is created, from primer, to beeswax, to color, to translucency, to layers of collage and textures, to patterns, to other materials to finished work. It occurs when the artist pulls back the wax or incises a line, or fills the crevices and holes, or introduces disparate materials or detritus to extend the range of possibilities of materiality.
And, on a deeper level, the artist is continually transforming herself—constructing, deconstructing, revealing, questioning, responding, forming and reforming. The artist is engaged in changing the materials from raw materials to an artwork that does not just make a statement but virtually sings its message to the viewer and cries out to be noticed. Materials that have been transformed into art have a voice, and the resulting artwork demands a response. This process also transforms the artist. Artists regularly experience the elation of bringing inert materials to life, a birthing of the concept through the manipulation of the raw materials.
Our juror for this show was the founder and and publisher of Artscope magazine, Kaveh Motjabai. He wrote: “The encaustic medium, wax, through the art form, comes across one’s path to challenge: visually liquid, yet chemically solid; structurally sound, yet physically impermanent; oil opacity, yet watercolor transparency; environmentally related to nature, yet transformational to reflect spirit.”
Here are a few images from the gallery:
Here’s a link to an article about the exhibition in Artscope: New England Wax at Sharon Arts Please stop by to see the show and let me know what you think.