Saturday, January 16, 2010

12 Voices and 255F: Encaustic Encounters

Yesterday my husband and I drove to Appalachian State College in Boone, N.C. to view two exhibitions at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. It was a trip worth taking as both shows were excellent.

12 Voices

12 Voices is a traveling exhibition organized by The Studio Art Quilt Association and the work was chosen by Penny McMorris from portfolio submissions. Each artist had several pieces and I was surprised as to the sizes of most of the work as they were larger pieces.

Artists whose work stood out were Susie Shie, Deidra Adams and Joan Schulz. I had never seen one of Susie's pieces in person so that was a treat. Susie 'honey', "you've got it goin on!" The work is bright, complex and rich and very fresh. The 'fresh' element is special because she has a very well defined style and sometimes artists get stale working in their own style but this is not happening with this work.

There were 3 works by Deidra Adams and the pieces were nicely displayed side-by-side. My favorite of the three was Composition I. If you have not seen Deidra's work, she pieces and then uses heavy quilting over which she applies paint. This makes the quilting lines pop out of the work and creates a very textured visual surface. I also found the color in this work to be very effective.

The printed information stated that each artists had 3-5 works in the show, however, we saw only 2 pieces by Joan Schulze. That may have been due to the size of her pieces as each was approximately 6-8 feet wide. Both works were constructed from paper laminated elements and most of the paper had been left on the piece rather than washed off as is often done. I felt very connected to both pieces but one had wonderful painted marks on the front which added color, texture and the hand of the artist which I felt made it a stronger piece.

Congratulations to everyone in the show. It now travels to the Lauren Roberts Museum of Art in Laurel, Ms.

225 F: Encaustic Encounters

This exhibition was curated by TCVA's Assistant Curator Brook Bower. The exhibition focused on encaustic painting exploring naturalistic themes from the work of fourteen artists. The group of works challenges the established traditions of the media with expressive and innovative uses of the media and really opened my eyes to what is going on with encaustics.

The work of five of the artists caught my eye. Jane Nodine, Tracey Adams, Molly Cliff-Hilts and Mary Black.

Jane Nodine is a friend and I wrote an Artist Profile on her last year. Her work is lean and elegant and utilizes subtle color with layers of delicate markings. The work appears spare until you approach closer to find beautiful images buried in the layers of wax. Jane is another artists who has worked in a very defined style for sometime but continues to keep a fresh eye.

The other 3 artists are all new to me. The work exhibited by Tracey Adams in this exhibition is subtle and very oriented toward lush surfaces with pearly color and wispy markings. There was a catalog of her work in the gallery and I was disappointed to find that these were not for sale as I would love to have added it to my library.

Molly Cliff-Hilts work was larger than many of the pieces and I will say they were approximately 40" square. The compositions created a large open area in which stalks of plants were floating dead center and there were details of a 'landscape' around the edges of the picture plane. Very handsome and strong.

Last but not least was Mary Black. Mary's works were very unique in this group as they were heavily encrusted with colored wax and a total expression of what the medium can do when applied in a painterly manner. The work was abstract but also included 'hidden' images of recognizable objects.

All in all two fine exhibitions in an amazing facility. The galleries are large, well lit and very new. My one complaint about the exhibition spaces is that like many gallery spaces I have visited, the fire alarms were out on the wall in usable exhibition space. Several works were hung right alongside these panels so close that there was no way to view the work without including the alarms.


  1. Terry, great post!! Thanks for your interest, and yes the Turchin is a marvelous facility with super staff!!. I will forward this to friends!!

  2. Nice post Terry. Fire alarm boxes are the bane of art on walls. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a pristine wall space ruined by light switches and alarms placed in seemingly erratic fashion. When I worked in new construction, I always felt lucky when I caught the architect or project manager before the box went in. Seriously, sometimes, it's not a building code issue. OK off my box.

  3. Two beautiful shows in one spot! Nice. Thanks you for commenting.

  4. Thanks for posting about these shows, Terry. I particularly liked looking up the work of Joan Schulze in the quilt show. I met Jane Nodine at last year's encaustic conference and she was very inspirational in speaking about her travels and art making in Italy. I had viewed Mary Black's work online before and was glad to see it again with your link. It's so vigorous and lively that it's just a pleasure to see. It must be fabulous in person. Thanks again!
    P.S. Congratulations on your Best in Show for Form Not Function!

  5. Thanks Terry! I really appreciate that you put a link to my site in the entry, and also am grateful for your words about my art. Made me feel so good!
    !2 Voices had more pieces from each of us, but they reduced the number of works, for the tour. I think we all got one piece back, after the opening venue.
    Thanks again, Susan

  6. Susie, It was a treat to see some of your work in person and link readers to see more of your work.

  7. Hi Terry!

    Jane Nodine sent me the link to your blog and I throughly enjoyed reading it. I was wondering if you would mind me posting a link to your latest entry on the TCVA's facebook page to share it with the other artists in the exhibitions?

    And thank you for your kind words (and constructive criticism-- I lothe those fire alarm boxes--we fought hard!)

    Brook Bower :)

  8. Hi Brook! I would be honored for you to add the link. As to the fire alarm boxes....I could make a long list of galleries and museum where I have seen this. I know it is important to be able to see the alarms but I just think the designers/architects take this too far and invade what is otherwise beautiful space. Thank you for visiting my blog and hope you will come again.