Dates: January 1-30, 2017
Painting by Ashley Friend

“Weathering”, a series of encaustic and rust paintings by Ashley Friend , will hang in the Skinny Gallery for the month of January. Weathering is a continual process – as is painting. This show is an exploration of color and form. Ashley Friend discovered encaustic painting while pursuing a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree at the University of South Alabama and has been smitten with the medium ever since. With encaustic painting, the form changes as you heat the paint. The paint cools on the panel, and you apply heat to seal each layer. The process of heating versus cooling is a science – a form of experimentation that Friend finds particularly refreshing. She describes the versatile medium as an analogy for life – you never know what each day will bring. The artist weathers the paintings and creates science – for example, via oxidation and through exposure to air. This exploration of form and color are a self-portrait and expression of Friend. Ashley Friend has been inspired by microcosms ever since her youth – the moss growing on statues, the oxidation of metals, the diversity and complexity of the botanical world. Growing up, the constant of her life was the rising and setting of the sun – along with the changing of the seasons. The beautiful, natural contrasts involve uplifting splashes of colors. She would look to nature and see the various processes working together, and she would find comfort in the land, the sky, and the love of learning about anything and everything in the natural world. The artist’s love of science is reflected in her work. In her words, “Despite the trials in my life, growing up (and even now), welcoming the changing of the seasons has been a comforting constant in my life. This constant continues to embrace me from day to day. Weathering the elements and the storms of life, I looked to nature for inspiration and found it with the majestic landscapes and also through science.” Her exhibit will be on display at MAC through January 30th. Meet the artist on ArtWalk night, January 13th, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The gallery will be open from 9 – 5 on weekdays through the end of the month and will be open select Sundays from 12 – 5 during Sunday Fundays (the 8th and the 22nd).

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