Waxing Poetic: Five Oregon Artists Working with Encaustics

"Secured Strands" by Brenda Mallory

“Secured Strands” by Brenda Mallory

The Memorial Union Concourse Gallery is pleased to present Waxing Poetic: Five Oregon Artists Working with Encaustics, on display through May 8. A reception will be held April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Concourse to hear the artists discuss their work. This event is free and open to the public.

Encaustic, meaning “to burn into” is an ancient painting technique most known for its use on the Fayum Mummy portraits during the Greco-Roman Egypt. Beeswax is combined with dry pigment and damar varnish to create paint that is then kept molten using a heat plate and applied in layers to rigid and porous surfaces.

This exhibition highlights the work of Elise Wagner, Jef Gunn, Brenda Mallory, Chris Kelly and Andrea Schwartz-Feit, who demonstrate the medium’s versatility by combining it with a wide range of materials and techniques in their bold abstract pieces. Wagner and Gunn were among the first artists to use the encaustic medium in the Pacific Northwest and played an important role in bringing encaustic into contemporary practice.

In addition, work from the encaustic class taught at OSU by Professor Shelley Jordon is also on display.


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