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Material Matters

Saturday, November 22 - Sunday, November 23
10:00am - 5:00pm

Location: Sam L. Cohen Children’s Library
Audience: Kids & Families

Eighteen artists from the Greater New England Area will exhibit their work at the Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery.  The exhibition, titled “Material Matters”, highlights the versatility omaterial matters 2f this molten wax medium. By incorporating metal, fabric or both materials into their work with the encaustic medium, these artists have challenged themselves to explore new techniques for expressing their diverse artistic visions.

Visitors to the exhibition will be greeted by the 15-foot “Ozone” by Lelia Stokes Weinstein of Hingham, Massachusetts. Delicate wax-infused fabric pieces in the shapes of clothing hang from a laundry line, evoking summertime, childhood memories, and the passage of time. Weinstein is interested in conveying messages of hope and how small changes we can make such as drying clothing the “old fashioned way” can add up and make a difference to the health of the earth’s environment. material matters 1

Descending the stairs to the main gallery, viewers will be engaged by the rich variety of work and diverse modes of expressive visual language these New England Artists have developed.  Dawna Bemis, of Portland, Maine, uses rusted sheets of metal for the substrate of her intricate quilt-like pieces. She derives her inspiration from the quilts handed down in her family as well as mandalas and Islamic tiles. She is interested in the “contrast of the organic nature of the wax against the industrial harshness of the steel, and the technical starkness of the computer parts” she often incorporates into the encaustic medium.

Following on the heels of the Maurice Sendak exhibition, “Material Matters” is an exhibition that should once again draw crowds to the beautiful and spacious Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library. Encaustic painting is experiencing a renaissance in recent years, and many gallery visitors are interested in this intriguing and luminescent wax paint.  In keeping with the library’s educational mission, viewers will learn more about what it means to paint with molten wax.  A display of “tools of the trade” will be on view with explanations of various processes and techniques the artists have employed in their work.

Show runs November 1st through December 6th 2013.  Openings for First Friday Art Walk are November 1st and December 6th from 5:00-8:00pm.