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Friday May 7th

Local artists featured in re-opened FRANK gallery

<p>One of Lew Graham's encaustic works featured in the newly re-opened gallery in the FRANK center. Photo courtesy of the Frank Center.</p>
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One of Lew Graham's encaustic works featured in the newly re-opened gallery in the FRANK center. Photo courtesy of the Frank Center.

In a time challenging for people to find themselves immersed in cultural experiences, a new exhibit at the FRANK gallery featuring local artists opened on Tuesday with COVID-19 precautions.

The exhibit features four local artists, each utilizing mediums in varying ways to create a fascinating, yet cohesive experience. 

Artist Peg Bachenheimer said as a member artist of the FRANK Gallery, she was given the opportunity to select artists' friends to be featured in a group alongside her. 

Bachenheimer said her paintings, ranging from oil to cold wax, were inspired by the idea of elements in the mind and body.

“They are a series called elements inspired by a leader in my virtual yoga class discussing the elements in yoga transition between mind and body,"  Bachenheimer said. "I thought, ‘Oh, that would be a cool series to do with cold wax because you can do abstraction and atmospheric effects.’ There are five elements and I added one more, space.”

Bachenheimer also included acrylic paintings in the works that are featured in the exhibit. 

“The other paintings I did are mostly acrylic because I had so much time to experiment," Bachenheimer said. "I became fascinated with the idea of trying to portray the light at different times of day in my garden through my work."

Like Bachenheimer, each of the other three artists have an authentic take on their use of medium, as well as their work’s message.

Paul Hrusovsky, a featured painter, said he used the time and distance the pandemic had left him with to explore his artistic style.

“I decided that since I was locked down and had a bigger studio than normal, I would try to get away from what I normally do, bold and bright. I wanted to do something simpler, I wanted it to just be color and texture,” Hrusovsky said. “So I did just that and created a message that I would use paint in such a way that it would catch the light and make it appear differently in one angle from another, so they look different in the morning than the evening.”

The gallery manager, Natalie Knox, spoke highly of the work of Lew Graham and Ronan Peterson, the other two artists featured in the exhibit. 

“Lew Graham has mixed media work and the latest series in the gallery is her encaustic work, a hot wax medium made of big chunks of beeswax mixed with a hardening agent,” Knox said. “When you melt it down you can melt it with oil pigments.”

Peterson does ceramic work, using clay from North Carolina.

“It has a red, really rich tone to it," Knox said. "All of his vessels are functional, meaning you can use them as mugs or teapots. He mixes textures and glazes and patterns to get really unique, whimsical pieces.” 

Although each of the artists come from different backgrounds and use varying mediums, the work they create is cohesive in a way that symbolizes unity through art.

“Though so different, all of their work really meshes well together and forms a really nice collection,” Knox said.

The gallery will post a virtual tour of the exhibit, featuring thoughts from each of the artists, and it will also have accommodations for in-person visitors. The gallery can be visited during its now-limited hours open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. If patrons prefer, they can contact the gallery manager to schedule an appointment.


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