Working with Wax, a Rochester-based artist group, will exhibit new work from Nov. 30 to Jan. 3, 2020, at the Little Theater Cafe Gallery, 240 East Ave., Rochester. An opening reception will run from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8. Admission is free.
The group — led by founder, artist and encaustic painter 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.
In “Working with Wax 2019,” artists share their practice of making 2D and 3D 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 a 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.
“The Working with Wax group consists of more than 30 professional and emerging artists from Greater Rochester,” Bevier said. “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.”
Art in the exhibit may be purchased directly from each artist and must remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit. Collaborative 3D works recently created by Working with Wax members will be revealed and available for purchase at the Dec. 8 reception.
“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,” said Zanne Brunner, gallery director.