There have been periods during its long history when the art of encaustic, a process of fusing layer upon layer of pigment mixed with hot beeswax, has almost died. Those familiar with first-century encaustics rescued from the walls of Pompeii were part painting and part sculpture.
Reni Gower, professor in Virginia Commonwealth University's Painting and Printmaking Department and herself an encaustic artist, has organized The Divas and Iron Chefs of Encaustic (Sept. 19-Dec. 7) as Anderson Gallery's first exhibition of its new season. The eight artists in the show — including Gower, Heather Harvey (a recent MFA student at the university and a Style contributor), Connecticut artist Timothy McDowell and Lorraine Glessner, who lives and teaches in Pennsylvania — capitalize most on the medium's potential for imagery embedded in golden depths of translucency.
'Tis also the season for street events. 1708's InLight event Sept. 5, which celebrates the gallery's 30th anniversary, brings together local and international artists to present interactive light installations at various Broad Street locations. Starting Oct. 3, Gallery5 presents Carnival of 5 Fires, a three-day event which brings street performers puppeteers, dancers and musicians to the Jackson Ward neighborhood.
For the holiday season Gallery5 presents Slight of Hand, a national exhibition of functional objects that also operate as works of art. If the gallery can attract enough entries, jurors Kathy Emerson of Quirk Gallery and Steven Glass, resident ceramic artist at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will select a show worth seeing.
In the spirit of Antoine de Saint Exupery's narrative and illustrations in “The Little Prince,” Richmond artist Chris Milk Hulburt's nearly sweet figurative paintings blast adulthood with the fantasy and invention he's cultivated over several years. His unique vision and style crosses over into graphic design, puppetry (he is slated to perform at “Carnival of 5 Fires”) and blogging, but his paintings at Ghostprint Gallery in October should tell their own story.
Speaking of different media, Reynolds Gallery's September exhibition is one big fragile Glass Show. Curated by Jack Wax, the works crawl over walls and range from transparent contortions to what appear to be bundles of thread.