Shifts: approaching encaustic from all angles

Shifts: approaching encaustic from all angles

Fuller Crafts Museum, Brockton, MA

September 30 – November 26, 2017

Opening : October 28, 2017

Gallery Talk:

Artists exhibiting: Katrina Abbott, Jeanne Borofsky, Stephanie Roberts-Camello, Debra Claffey, Kimberly Curry, Camille Davidson, Angel Dean, Pamela DeJong, Joanne Desmond, Heather Douglas, Soosen Dunholter, Ken Eason, Helene Farrar, Dona Mara Friedman, Jeanne Griffin, Kay Hartung, Otty Merril, Susan Paladino, Ruth Sack, Donna Hamil Talman, Dietlind Vander Schaaf, Willa Vennema, Catherine Weber, Lelia Stokes Weinstein, Charyl Weissbach, Nancy Whitcomb. Juror: Ben Shattuck, Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA.

Video courtesy of Fuller Craft Museum:

Shifts is at the Fuller Craft Museum through November 26th, 2017. Juror Ben Shattuck chose works from twenty-six New England Wax artists to showcase the range within encaustic. “The exhibition is a thrilling example of what happens when many creative minds focus on one material.” (Ben Shattuck, juror statement)

A leafy pathway brings you into the museum entrance, at which point you descend the stairs, walk through a hallway and around the corner. The Shifts exhibition is revealed in a cosy, light-infused gallery with white and gray walls, highlighting thoughtful and multidimensional work.  The artists interpreted the theme of Shifts in many different contexts, including “shifts in the passage of time, meaning, shifts in the plane of view, interpretation, in light, and shifts in our climate.”

A good place to start is the large gray wall which displays three works including a luscious mix of blues and greens by Ken Eason titled Conversations 1.   Next to this is a playful piece by Otty Merrill, Primative Underling, which uses a variety of materials including metal and reclaimed wood along with black and incised white wax to depict a small dress- an actual shift.

Dis.Ease, Soosen Dunholter (left)           Conversations 1, Ken Eason (right)

Shadows cast from Dis.Ease by Soosen Dunholter’s 3-dimensional work are striking, as are those across the way in Morandi Relief by Ruth Sack,

Morandi Relief, Ruth Sack

which play with shadows in the space, depicting an unknown yet familiar biomorphic shape.

In the Beginning, Jeanne Griffin ( left)
The Normalcy of Beauty, Kimberly Curry (right)

The pairing of The Normalcy of Beauty by Kimberley Curry and In the Beginning by Jeanne Griffen is insightful, both for the similarity in look and the intention of the artists to explore the past and express hope for the future.

Shift: From Pattern to Edge, Deb Claffey
Echo 3, Dietlind Vander Schaaf

A number of the pieces connect humans with nature, from Deb Claffey’s fascinating frosty-looking plants (Shift: From Pattern to Edge) to Dietlind Vander Schaaf’s calm meditation on geese migration (Echo 3).

Climate change is in the thoughts of a number of artists including Pamela DeJong’s many-layered Thaw and Donna Hamil Talman’s translucent wax and paper work, Seducing Ourselves.

Thaw, Pamela DeJong

The range of the encaustic process is explored, whether sculpted by artist Stephanie Roberts-Camello in Primary Instinct, infused into origami boxes by Jeanne Borofsky in Alphabet Soup,

Alphabet Soup, Jeanne Borofsky

or smoothed to a reflective sheen by Lelia Stokes Weinstein with Troubled Waters.  Other works in the show cover topics ranging from microscopic images to human rights.

Those new, well-acquainted with encaustic, or anywhere in between will find this intimate yet varied show well worth the trip.