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For Immediate Release

IEA Contact:
Natasia Chan
Mobile: 503-593-7897
                                                                                                                                                        NEW contact: 

Nancy Natale                                                                                                                       Mobile: 413-320-8892                                                                                                     

Wax East - Wax West:  
Two Artist Organizations Join Forces for National Collaborative Show

PORTLAND, OR, Feb. 12 – International Encaustic Artists (IEA) and New England Wax (NEW) present parallel exhibitions of The Diptych Project - A Collaboration in Wax. The west coast launch of this touring exhibition opens at Brian Marki Fine Art, 2236 NE Broadway, Portland, OR, April 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and runs though April 30, 2008.  The corresponding east coast exhibition will begin at Whitney Art Works, 492 Congress Street, Portland, ME from April 4 – 26, 2008.

The tandem exhibitions are the first of their kind featuring collaborative work in encaustic media created by member artists paired from each organization.  Each artist in the 36 pairings created one half of a two-panel painting or “diptych” then sent the work to the partner artist to answer in visual dialogue and complete the piece.  Works completed by IEA artists will debut at the Brian Marki Fine Art in Oregon, and works completed by NEW artists will be introduced at Whitney Art Works in Maine.

The idea for the twin shows emerged from member discussions held during the first National Encaustic Conference at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in June 2007. Members of both NEW and IEA shared their enthusiasm for encaustic art and its vast possibilities. Rodney Thompson, an artist member of IEA expressed, “The exciting aspect of the project is how each artist must respond creatively to their partner’s style, technique and content to achieve a cohesive, balanced and unified work of art – the results will be compelling to see.”

Selected works of the project will tour nationally throughout 2008 - 2009 with upcoming 2008 exhibitions confirmed for Montserrat College (Beverly, MA) in June, Conrad Wilde Gallery (Tucson, AZ) in September and Steamboat Springs Arts Council (Steamboat Springs, CO) in November.

West coast based IEA and East coast based NEW are both professional artists associations that share in similar missions to further excellence in encaustic art.  Encaustic is an extremely durable and versatile medium containing beeswax and tree sap then applied to a rigid support with heat to create exquisite visual effects.  The medium has been experiencing a rediscovery by contemporary artists, although dating to the 5th century BC, only since the mid-20th century has it been explored and developed as a modern fine art medium. Artists credited with early uses of wax include Arthur Dove, Diego Rivera and Karl Zerbe – and in 1954 when Jasper Johns applied wax and pigment onto canvas, a true encaustic paint.

For more information about Brian Marki Fine Art, visit or call (503) 249-5659.  
For more information about Whitney Art Works go to or call (207) 774-7011.                       For more information about the project, including links to sponsoring organizations, participating artists and future exhibitions can be found at
For information about the Second National Encaustic Painting Conference at Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA, to be held June 6-8, 2998, go to

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The Diptych Project in the News