Letters at Play: Text in Wax | Horace Williams House | Arts | Indy Week
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Letters at Play: Text in Wax 

When: Jan. 10-Feb. 1 2016

LETTERS AT PLAY: TEXT IN WAX

SUNDAY, JAN. 10, CHAPEL HILL

HORACE WILLIAMS HOUSE—Hot wax isn't just for record collectors. Visual artists have been using it to create encaustic paintings since before the Common Era, manipulating heated, pigmented beeswax to produce images of rich and lustrous depth. Preservation Chapel Hill's January exhibit features encaustic abstractions—complicated by oil paint, cold wax, collage and, especially, lettering—by three local artists. The striking preview works we saw included Carol Retsch-Bogart's Surrealist cut-up graffito, Lew Graham's gory explosion of stenciled letters and Peg Bachenheimer's cool, mantra-like oms. The gentle corrosion of the medium seems to cast the sedimentary nature of communication itself in relief. The exhibit should pair nicely with another that opens in Chapel Hill this week, Layer Upon Layer at FRANK Gallery (reception: Jan. 8, 69 p.m.), featuring Peter Filene's double-exposure photographs and Linda Prager's ceramics—both shows are concerned with exposing hidden layers. Make them some of your beeswax. 2–4 p.m., free, 610 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-7818, www.preservationchapelhill.org. —Brian Howe

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