Encaustic painter joins sculptors at free Walters Center reception

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF WALTERS CENTER - Artist Anne Mavor's encaustic paintings are inspired by her 'astro-archaeologist' father's photos of ancient Celtic monuments, which she recreates using colorful layers of hot wax.Anne Mavor was raised by an artist mother and an astro-archaelogist father and, after a long career as an artist, she has combined both maternal and paternal influences in her current work.

“I did my first finger painting at nine months,” said Mavor, who is sure her mother “rescued” what she deemed as finished works before her baby daughter overworked or “muddied” things up.

Now, inspired by her late father’s photographs of ancient Celtic monuments, the Portland artist has created 22 paintings using encaustic techniques that combine layers of wax and color. They will be exhibited together for the first time at the Walters Cultural Arts Center’s first show of 2013.

“Wax is such an elemental medium,” Mavor said recently. “The heated wax and pigment are very basic and it is watery like finger paint. It’s fun to work with.”

“It’s kind of like playing with melted candle wax,” said the artist, who has worked on the current encaustic series for about a year.

Each piece emphasizes themes of connection, place and family, she said, and she hopes to inspire viewers to consider their own past and people, and where and how they lived.

“I think Dad would have especially enjoyed what I’m doing now,” Mavor added. “I just follow and see what’s next.”

Mavor’s encaustic paintings will be displayed in the center’s downstairs gallery. Upstairs, 11 members of the Pacific Northwest Sculptors will show works ranging from cast bronze and carved stone to ceramic clay and found-object collages.

The nonprofit Pacific Northwest Sculptors was organized in 2000 to promote sculptural arts. It offers a range of educational, networking and exhibition opportunities for students and new sculptors as well as some of its internationally known members. Monthly meetings are held in members’ studios.

Wendy Dunder, shows-committee chair for PNS, said artists from as far away as Lake Stevens, Wash., and Lincoln City will participate in the show, though most are from the Portland metropolitan area and the Willamette Valley.

Dunder suggests visitors to the show view each piece from all sides. “It’s art in three dimensions,” she said. “That’s the challenge about doing sculpture.”

Viewers also should consider the varied materials used to make the pieces, said Dunder, whose work will be on display. “The medium can tell the artist what it wants them to do.

“For instance, when I make lamps, it is the medium that is in charge of the conversation,” she said. “It can be a battle of wills unless the artist accepts the input of the medium.”

In addition to Dunder, participating sculptors are Jill Perry Townsend, Jim Ayala, Carole Murphy, Linda Kliewer, Lee Hoelzle, Dave Gonzales, Robert H. Foster, Lance Carleton, Olinka Broadfood and Roberta Babcock.

Both shows will run through March 26.

The Walters Cultural Arts Center is at 527 East Main St., Hillsboro. Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For information about the center’s programs and classes, call 503-615-3485 or go to

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