Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Arts Center in Richmond Serves Community in Many Ways

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is expanding its gift shop. Yesterday, when I took new art pieces for the shop that will hold a grand opening on September 8, I was struck by the many ways this beautiful facility serves the community. Not only does it have a wide array of theatrical events, but it also offers art and writing classes and workshops for all age and ability groups. In addition, the Center has four art galleries featuring high quality exhibitions.

©Sondra Arkin from the Cultural Arts Center web site
"Where I've Been Where I'm Going" is the exhibit currently on view in the Gumenick Family Gallery there. I was thrilled to see this exquisite exhibition of encaustic paintings by Sondra Arkin. In recent years, I have fallen in love with this form of painting which incorporates colored pigments blended with melted beeswax combined with damar resin. The materials can be maneuvered with a heat gun.

In this show, Arkin has a brief history of the process and descriptions of how she works displayed on one wall. She tells about the dibond support she uses. I was not familiar with dibond and now want to investigate that material because the wooden support on which I often work makes large paintings quite heavy. Arkin also uses tinted shellac in her work--another method I long to try with the encaustics. Her large geometric pieces are especially beautiful and impressive.

"Threading color into these structures, without making the work about color, is the goal of this exhibition," Arkin says in a statement for the Glen Allen show.

"Field of Wild Poppies" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Coincidentally, two of the pieces (including the one on the right) I left for the gift shop at the Cultural Arts Center are small encaustic paintings. This is a medium I will continue to explore.

I am thankful that the Cultural Arts Center makes possible wonderful art exhibitions like this one with Sondra Arkin. What a special treat for the community.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And you get to be an active part of it, which is cool.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Alex. I had a show on the Slant Wall Gallery there a couple of years ago. It's a very unusual space.

Chuck said...

I had to go and watch some encaustic art being done on youtube...this is too cool!! I may even try some abstracts myself. Thanks Mary!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

I enjoy working with it, but it requires a special space for working--well-ventilated, etc. Glad you are inspired, Chuck!