Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation gave viewers a chance to interact with some wax.

Daniella Woolf's "Turkish Delight" installation was a big hit, giving viewers a chance to interact with some of the art.

It’s hard to believe the Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic exhibit is over already, after all those months of planning, but I’m happy to report that it was a great success! We had steady, enthusiastic crowds who were ready to buy art, so both artists and patrons left happy.

Here’s a video of the exhibit along with some photos below. The video is a little shaky at times since I hadn’t slept much the week prior, but it will give you a good flavor of the work in the show.

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller gives an impromptu interview to a local TV station

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Jeff Schaller, Breathe, 36" x 36"

Our two featured artists illustrated the variety of ways in which the wax can be used for self expression. Jeff Schaller paints edgy pop inspired images that are provocative and whimsical, adding words and language to propel the viewer into scenes of seemingly unrelated subjects.

Cari Hernandez takes a different approach, where encaustic is the connective medium in her abstract, sculptural works which often rely on the use of shadow and light. For Hernandez, combining mediums such as wax, paper, resin and fiber serves as a way to explore themes of faith, courage, joy, and pleasure. I was pleased to also include an additional 60 talented artists who were either invited or juried into this comprehensive show. Look for video of the show to be added soon!

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

Cari Hernandez, Lovely Bed, 18" x 24"

We had a slide show running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the artists

We had slides running throughout the show with scenes of artist's studios to give the viewers a more personal connection to the work

In keeping with the educational mission of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, there was an extensive roster demonstrations throughout the event. Artists from across the United States shared their knowledge of encaustic, introducing this ancient art to a very appreciative audience.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how they works with wax.

Brenda Mallory was one of 15 artists who demonstrated how she works with wax.

We owe a big thanks to our demo sponsors, Muse Art + Design (who recently launched EncausticSupplies.com, R&F Handmade Paints and Enkaustikos! Wax Art. These companies are always generous supporters of the encaustic community, especially with educational events, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

We had standing room only for every demo, where many patrons had never heard of encaustic before

There were 167 works from 65 artists in the United States and Canada, including artists who were invited to participate and those who were juried into the show. Awards were presented in several categories:

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Curator Award, Gregory Wright, Beckoning, 20" x 16"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Mari Marks, Sedimentary Series, Terra X, 48" x36"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Dave Laubenthal, Gropious (mandala), 24" x 24"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Juror Award, Karen Frey, Richard, 14" x 18"

Co-Chair Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Chair's Choice Award, Kevin Frank, Oranges with Yellow Pitcher, 20" x 26"

Co-Chair Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Chair's Choice Award, Brenda Mallory, Explosion in Gold, 15" x 15"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Judith Williams, Endless Swirls, 26" x 20"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

Committee Award, Liz McDonald, Big Blue Ball, 12" x 9"

 Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Committee Award, Karl Kaiser, Red Petals, 18" x 18". This same work also won the Patron's Choice Award.

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two cultures within his work with wax

Panelist Kanaan Kanaan discusses how he brings together his two disparate cultures within his work with wax

As a special part of the show we enjoyed a panel discussion on “Why Wax? How Encaustic Informs Our Art,” featuring artists Jeff Schaller, Cari Hernandez, and Kanaan Kanaan with moderator Andrea Benson. They had a  lively discussion on the challenges and unique qualities of working in encaustic, and why they are drawn to the medium.

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

Cari Hernandez discusses the allure of working with wax during the panel discussion

As the show curator, I can confidently say that Luminous Layers achieved the goal we set out at the beginning — to show the wide variety of ways in which contemporary artists are using wax in their art today.

This show wouldn’t have happened if not for my very dedicated team who worked tirelessly to help me pull it all together: Kimberly Kent, Natasia Chan and Amy Stoner as well as numerous committee members from the Lake Oswego Festival including Lisa Strout, Marabee Bertelsen, Diane Englert and Andrew Edwards. Thank you everyone!

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