Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Peek Inside New England Wax

Chair Kim Bernard standing at the head of the table to open the meeting

New England Wax (N.E.W.) is a networking group for artists who work in encaustic and live in the six New England states. It was founded three years ago last August by Kim Bernard, who has served as Chair of the group since its inception. I've been the Co-Chair for about a year and a half. The group has grown to nearly 100 members and volunteers handle all the administrative tasks of keeping the group running. We hold about six meetings a year and try to get a couple of juried shows organized every year for our members at venues that are located by a member or team of members.

A closeup of Kim at center of picture

The group is pretty informal and communicates through a Yahoo site and direct email. We have a website where each member has a page for images of their work and we post other public info about the group. Many of us have formed friendships, organized smaller shows and encouraged each other to give talks and demos at the annual encaustic conference.

Our Mission Statement:

N.E.W. provides opportunities
· to exhibit
· to share technical information and aesthetic ideas
· to build friendships with other artists

Our mission is
· to promote excellence in fine art made with encaustic
· to educate the general public about this medium
· to increase interest in encaustic in the art world

Looking across the room at the members attending

On Saturday, November 21st, we had one of our regular meetings that drew 30+ members. We are fortunate that Kim is a grad student at MassArt in Boston and able to get a large meeting room for us in the Graduate Student Center, complete with a digital projector that unfortunately was not working on Saturday.

Another view toward the end of the table

We usually have a delicious and colorful pot luck lunch to go along with meetings and this was no exception.

After discussing the future of our group and how we intend to maintain a high level of professionalism for it going forward, we discussed some other business and showed images of our work on a laptop in the darkened room - not a good way to see images but the best we could do with a broken projector.

After adjourning the four-hour-meeting, we walked across the street to the MassArt residence hall where Kim had an experimental installation of new work in the gallery there. The gallery had a very innovative door that was actually a sliding wall.

The wall that will become the entryway to the gallery

Kim sliding back the wall to open the gallery

Kim sets the balls moving in her new kinetic piece

This piece is composed of cement balls with long springs inserted in them that are hooked onto the ceiling. When the balls are pushed downward, they start bouncing, and Kim says they keep going for 20 minutes. She is planning a larger version of this work with some other additions for her solo show next year at the Boston Sculptors Gallery.

Viewers engage with the work

This was an fun cap to our meeting and an opportunity to see how Kim's work is developing as she pursues her master's in sculpture.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Thanks for showing Kim's cement pieces. They are very cool!