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The Center museum to feature a once obsolete medium in “Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics”



Reni Gower’s “Rhapsody” is one of the works that will be featured in in “Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics.”

Reni Gower’s “Rhapsody” is one of the works that will be featured in in “Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics.”

The Museum at the California Cen­ter for the Arts, Escondido will present the ancient art of encaustic (hot wax) in “Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics” from Saturday, Septem­ber 24 – Sunday, November 13.

The exhibition features this once obsolete medium that is now recog­nized both for its exquisite beauty and versatility.

The artists featured in “Heated Ex­change: Contemporary Encaustics” approach the process from their own distinct perspective that may incor­porate scraping, burning, burnishing, incising, dipping, dyeing, pouring, painting, printmaking, drawing, col­lage, sculpture, or installation.

With such a diverse approach, nu­merous conceptual links connect our interest in this malleable material. Encaustic truly resonates with con­temporary culture through its multi- dimensional surface, luminous color, and ethereal image laying. This art form exudes a physically poetic beau­ty through buried images, fragmented hybrids, and hidden codes of natural and industrial order.

Reni Gower, professor in the Paint­ing and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University and curator of the exhibition notes, “Representing nine artists from across the United States and Canada, Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics has been traveling coast to coast since 2012. As the curator, I am delighted the exhibition will be showcased at the California Center for the Arts Es­condido before traveling on to Cali­fornia State University-Dominguez Hills in 2017.

“No longer entombed with the mummies, Heated Exchange: Con­temporary Encaustics offers an unpar­alleled overview of painting with pig­mented hot wax being created today. The featured works in the exhibition offer a multi-sensory viewing experi­ence. The aromatic scent of honeyed beeswax is an intoxicating perfume. Tactile surfaces reveal slow work wrought by hand and gleaming color orchestrates striking visual chords. Heated Exchange: Contemporary En­caustics affirms this ancient art’s en­during legacy and appeal.”

The exhibit highlights the work of nine artists who are among those who have helped turn this legendary paint of the Fayum mummy portraits into a mainstream contemporary medium. The artists include: Kim Bernard, Kristy Deetz, Peter Dykhuis, Lorraine Glessner, Cheryl Goldsleger, Reni Gower, Jeffrey Hirst, Laura Moriarty, and Jane Allen Nodine.

The Center will also feature the encaustic works of three local art­ists: Angela Koenig, Jiela Rufeh, and Josie

The work of Kristy Deetz, whose “Mocking Desire” will be one of the encaustics showcased at the upcoming Center exhibit.

The work of Kristy Deetz, whose “Mocking Desire” will be one of the encaustics showcased at the upcoming Center exhibit.

Rodriguez. Angela Koenig cre­ates bright impressionistic landscapes and seascapes using wax and pigment. With a background in commercial photography, Jiela Rufeh experiments with encaustics to push the boundar­ies of photography. Josie Rodriguez is a mixed media artist who discovered that the addition of encaustics to her work brought dimension, forms of depth, and transparency that creates endless artistic possibilities.

An exclusive media and members- only Opening Reception will be held at The Museum on Friday, September 23, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. —the public is invited to celebrate the open­ing reception beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 23 for a fee of $10.

Additionally, in conjunction with Heated Exchange: Contemporary En­caustics, the Center will collaborate with local Distinction Gallery for the solo exhibition of artist Jon Jaylo, en­titled “All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way.” Showcasing 11 new paintings and several new drawings created specifically for dis­play at the Center, Jaylo’s work has received global acclaim for its con­temporary surrealist style. The artist’s pieces reflect a parallel dream world where everything floats and dances in a contained universe inspired by poetry. Jaylo will be in attendance at the Opening Reception for Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaus­tics, which also serves as a reception for “All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way” (media and members-only: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; public opening: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., $10). “All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way” runs from September 24 – November 13.

“Heated Exchange: Contemporary Encaustics” is sponsored in part by Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU arts, and the VCU Painting & Printmaking Department.

The Museum at the California Cen­ter for the Arts, is open Thursdays – Saturdays (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), and Sun­days (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.). Tickets are $8; members and children under 12 get in free. Senior (60+), military and stu­dent discounts are available.

The Second Saturday of each month, when an exhibition is open, is “Pay What You Can Day” at the mu­seum and will also feature a hands-on art activity. For more information, call 760-839-4138 or visit: artcenter.org.


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