Art professor to discuss encaustic painting at local exhibit

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Natalia Himmirska, assistant professor of visual arts at Bemidji State University, will give discuss encaustic paintings and the techniques used in their development during a Friday, March 6 presentation at the Bemidji Community Arts Center.

The presentation, which is part of an opening ceremony for an exhibition of encaustic paintings by Bemidji State students, alumni and other area artists entitled “The Palette,” will begin at 6 p.m. at the arts center, located at 426 Bemidji Ave. The opening ceremony itself begins at 5 p.m.

Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid is then applied to a surface, usually prepared wood, although canvas and other materials are often used.

The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil or other ingredients. The mixtures can use pure powders, oil paints or other forms of pigment.

Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Tools such as heat lamps and guns and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted, and other materials can be layered into the surface.

The exhibit will be on display at the Bemidji Community Art Center through the end of March. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from noon-5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon-4 p.m.

For more information, please contact the Department of Visual Arts at (218) 755-3735, or the Bemidji Community Arts Center at (218) 444-7570.

March 6
— 6 p.m. — Natalia Himmirska, assistant professor of visual arts at Bemidji State University; encaustic paintings and the techniques used in their development. Part of an opening ceremony for the exhibition,“The Palette,” which begins at 5 p.m. Location: Bemidji Community Arts Center, 426 Bemidji Ave.; Admission: free. Information: Department of Visual Arts, (218) 755-3735; Bemidji Community Arts Center, (218) 444-7570.