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Alenov's encaustic photographs in The Phipps Galleries

“Flooded” encaustic photography, 25-inch-by-32-inch by Nadia Alenov. Photo courtesy of The Phipps

Work by more than 20 regional artists is on view in The Galleries of The Phipps Center for the Arts through Jan. 14. Featured are encaustic photographs by Nadia Alenov of St. Paul; wood-fired ceramics by Pat Barnick of St. Paul and James Smead of Minneapolis; digital prints on bamboo by Sarah Filipi of Blaine, Minn.; oil on linen panels by Wendy Lacska of Hudson; watercolor, ink and porcelain by Bri Larson of Hastings; photography by members of the Western Wisconsin Photo Club; as well as ceramics by Casey Beck of River Falls, Emily Romens of River Falls and Lisa Vang of Cottage Grove.

Alenov received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010. Her influences include Impressionism, Andrew Wyeth, Isaac Levitan, Kiki Smith, Vincent van Gogh and Ansel Adams. Alenov's first experience with encaustics was in 2004 while living in Russia.

"Encaustic medium is a mixture of beeswax and dammar resin, a sap from a tree in the East Indies. The word 'encaustics' means 'to burn in.' The Greeks first developed the process in the fifth century and artwork from the era still exists today — virtually unchanged! Its durability is due in large part to the preservative qualities of the wax. Photographic encaustics are a relatively new spin on this ancient technique," Alenov wrote.

"Painting over my photographs with wax medium brings me deep into an image. Melting down, dry brushing and carving allows me to examine the beauty and emotion of the land, its seasons and atmospheres, while enhancing the textural properties of the terrain. Encaustics helps seal in the intrinsic qualities of an image and elevates the piece to a state of timelessness," Alenov added.

Alenov has shown her work frequently, including at Hudson Hospital (2016); The Auction at MCAD (2016, 2013); Burnet Gallery, Minneapolis (2014, 2013); Birchwood Cafe, Minneapolis (solo, 2014); Covet Consign and Design, Minneapolis (solo, 2014); Ruckus Art, Minneapolis (2014, 2013); Gallery 360, Minneapolis (2014, 2013); and Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit, St. Paul (2012, 2010, 2009 [honorable mention], 2008, 2006, 2004).

Galleries hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, as well as one hour before and through intermission of all performances in The Phipps theaters. The Phipps will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1.

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