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Flashpoints: Material, Intent, Fused

view of gallery with white paper panels hanging and colorful paintings in background left and installation pieces at right
purple, green and yellow text spelling "Flashpoints: Material, Intent, Fused" February 3 - March 31

Flashpoints: Material/Intent/Fused

February 3 - March 31, 2023 | Reception: Thursday, March 16, 6:00pm

The Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University will exhibit “Flashpoints: Material/Intent/Fused” from February 3 to March 31, 2023. With a shared focus on the medium of encaustic, or pigmented hot wax, four women artists show how materials can take on new textures and shapes when fused with wax. This exhibition of paintings, assemblage, and installation pieces, is free to the public and appropriate for all ages.

About the artists

“Flashpoints” Curator and artist Reni Gower was inspired by the similarities in geometric decorative patterns from around the globe, including motifs drawn from Islamic and Celtic traditions to create two grids of encaustic paintings. The thick arrangements of saturated colors invite meditation, as if looking at stained glass windows. Professor Gower retired from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018 and is a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Recipient.

Artist Kristy Deetz draws from elements of Renaissance paintings to create the illusion of moving cloth. Combining these elements with digital technology, Deetz plays with the motif of drapery to represent a fluctuating state of “transformation” or “becoming.” Deetz is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

In the installation piece “Obscurely Relevant,” artist Jane Nodine’s more than one hundred individual found objects coated in wax invite the viewer for a closer look. Embellished with crocheted fiber and natural materials, the works appear malleable and organic yet mysterious. Nodine is University Gallery Director and Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Personal objects such as family letters and repurposed tea bags, when fused with wax, take on different structures and qualities in Daniella Woolf’s creations. The letters have been shredded and loosely woven to form transparent drapes that hold the secrets of the letters without revealing them. Woolf holds an M.A. in Textile Structures from University of California Los Angeles and has produced books and instructional courses on the encaustic processes.

From the Gallery Director

Support for this exhibition comes from the Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Endowment Fund for the Modern Visual Arts. Sandra Maffei was a local artist and art patron based in Wilkes-Barre and Pittston. Her own oeuvre tended toward abstract impressionism. Through this endowment established by her husband Carmen Maffei following her passing, we are able to highlight the works of women artists and teach our students about the many art forms and techniques that incorporate abstraction. 

The colors and textures of this exhibition contribute to our celebration of Women’s History Month in March. The medium of wax invites discussion regarding the contributions of women in the arts as well as the influence of women on the wax industry, which pervades all aspects of modern daily life and generates billions of dollars per year globally, particularly in candles and cosmetics. I hope visitors come away with renewed appreciation for human creativity and innovation.

Lalaine Bangilan Little, Ph.D.
Gallery Director

Artist-led Encaustic Workshop, March 16, 3:30-5:30pm

"Flashpoints" logo w/detail of painting and encaustic workshop info that is repeated in above text
Curator and artist Reni Gower, MFA, will be leading a workshop on the encaustic process.
Cost: Free for students, faculty and staff, $20 for community. Space is limited, preregistration required. Ages 12 and up. No prior art experience necessary. Please wear a smock or apron and closed toe shoes, as you will be working with melted wax.  


Installation Photos

view of gallery with white paper panels hanging and colorful paintings in background left and installation pieces at right

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