Working with Wax 2019

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Working with Wax 2019

On Display From: Saturday, November 30 to Friday, January 3

The Rochester-based Working with Wax artist group announces an exhibit of new work in “Working with Wax 2019” at the Little Theater Cafe Gallery November 30, 2019 through January 3, 2020. The public is invited to an opening reception 2 p.m. tp 4 p.m. Sunday, December 8.

The Working with Wax group—led by founder, artist, and encaustic painting expert Kathryn Bevier—is an informal collection of Rochester area artists who choose to work with media based in beeswax as their primary studio practice. Members gather throughout the year to share ideas, best practices, and seek guidance from one another as they explore the medium of beeswax. In this exhibit, artists share their practice of making two- and three-dimensional art with materials created with “hot” and “cold” wax.

Hot wax is beeswax combined with pigments and resin—known as encaustic paint. Artists heat encaustic paint on a temperature-controlled work surface and paint with it in a molten state to develop layers and texture. Many encaustic artists create mixed media pieces that include collage with image transfers and embedded objects. Paintings “dry” as the wax cools, which is nearly immediate. Once cool, surfaces can be incised and further developed with inlays and oil paint.

Cold wax is beeswax combined with pigments, solvent, and resin—giving it a dense feel similar to vegetable shortening. It is mixed with oil paints to achieve an elegant, malleable surface that can be developed in thin transparent layers with brayers, built into thick frosting-like layers using palette knives, or used traditionally with a paint brush. Paintings have a matte finish and dry by evaporation. Artists who work with cold wax medium share an interest in experimenting with the physicality of the paint. Beeswax-based materials are also frequently included in 2-D and 3-D mixed media work. The beauty of all wax media is its versatility and potential for individual expression.

“Working with Wax 2019” is a one-stop primer on the possibilities of creative expression achieved using wax-based media. Show organizer Kathryn Bevier comments, “The Working with Wax group consists of more than 30 professional and emerging artists from the greater Rochester area. Our individual explorations using beeswax in our work shows the wide variety of expressions and many directions this media offers. The visual and tactile nature of wax is evident in our art and sure to intrigue the viewer.” 

In addition to founding the Working with Wax group, Kathryn Bevier is an art educator and Director of the Mill Art Center and Gallery in Honeoye Falls, NY. She has years of experience developing encaustic paint and color systems with Enkaustikos, an encaustic paint manufacturer in Rochester, New York (a Rochester Art Supply company). Kathryn has inspired artists in Rochester and internationally to include encaustic painting in their studio practices. Little Theater Cafe Gallery Director Zanne Brunner points out, “This exhibit is a reflection of the community of skilled wax-based artists that has emerged in the greater Rochester area due to Kathryn’s influence.”

Art in the exhibit may be purchased directly from each artist and must remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit.

Collaborative 3-D works recently created by Working with Wax members will be revealed and available for purchase at the December 8 reception.