Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday at the Conference

We had a great official first day at the Fourth Annual Encaustic Conference yesterday.Watching the hallway show, Best Foot Forward, develop as conferees arrived and hung their work was just fascinating. I took a series of photos that showed the walls at various stages. Here are a few of them. (Note that you can click on any image to open it larger.)

I loved this 3D piece by Toby Sasson, an important new member of New England Wax. (Yes, all NEW members are important but I meant this in a particular way - see Comments on this post for my explanation.)

Sorry I don't have time to post more photos and to identify individual artists, but more later. Joanne Mattera is  to choose the Director's Award from this show, and I don't envy her. The quality and diversity of the work that has been hung is just fabulous. It's wonderful to see all in one place how wide-ranging the interests and excellence of the work of conferees. Everyone is raving about it.

 The day didn't officially start until the first talk began at 1:00 p.m., but the vendor tables opened at 10:00 and many conferees took the opportunity to get a jump on the crowd and go shopping. Of course I was among them and got some paint from Evans Encaustics, some paintsticks on sale at RandF paint and a signed copy of Daniella Woolf's new book, Encaustic With a Textile Sensibility. I went back in the afternoon to get four of the giant spatulas that Kama Pigments was selling and a bottle of Miles Conrad's new non-toxic wax solvent. Don't you just love shopping for art materials?

We had a superb talk last night about Jasper Johns by Dr. Roberta Bernstein, who is THE authority on his work and is completing the Catalogue Raisonne of the Paintings and Sculptures of Jasper Johns to be published in 2012. She has known Johns personally since the 1960s, wrote her Ph.D. dissertation about him and thoroughly understands the important role that the encaustic medium played in the development of his work. What a treat to her her talk from the perspective of encaustic! More about her talk later because I took photos of the slides she showed and despite the distance and low light situation, many of them came through clearly enough to post.

So there is much more to come. It's hard to tear myself away from real time to dabble in the virtual. I love blogging but reality is such a concept.


Leslie Avon Miller said...

Thanks Nancy for this series. I can tell its a fabulous time! I would love to read about the ways artists have patched together ways to support themselves and have ART in their lives. I looked up Tobby Sasson. I wonder if perhaps her name is spelled Toby Sisson? If it is, I found her blog - stunning! I also look forward to seeing the images of individual works. And hearing more about everything! Thanks Nancy for letting us attend vicariously!

Anonymous said...

I think we are all important members.........

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks so much for your comment, Leslie. I know that we (artists) all could benefit from reading how others have accomplished the goal of working in the studio while making a living and making the best of a full life. I think that this online recap will happen - and soon, I hope.

Yes, it is Toby Sasson and I have added the link to her website on her name.

Nancy Natale said...

Dear Anonymous,
You are right! All NEW members are important. What I meant and was unable to explain in the context of the image caption is that as a college-level art professor, Toby provides a link to the world of academia for NEW that I think we were lacking previously. I'm sorry if you felt dissed.

Toby Sisson said...

OK, I have to weight in on the spelling of my name. there is no A and only one B. But of course, I appreciate all the attention, how ever you spell it!

And I absolutely agree that we are ALL important members. I learned so much this weekend from attendees and vendors, as well as the presenters. I am deeply grateful to be in your company.

Nancy Natale said...

Toby, I'm very sorry for misspelling your name. I did not use two "B"s in it but I did write Sasson instead of Sisson because I actually work for a guy named Sasson. Sorry for my confusion. I can only ascribe it to too many late nights and early mornings!