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Ft. Madison Area Arts Association continues with natural themes this year, going from July feature “A Bug's World” to August feature Encaustic oil painting by Maeve Young Erickson. Many bees were portrayed artistically last month. Maeve utilizes beeswax as her main ingredient for a historical art form in encaustic oil painting. FMAAA is always buzzing with activity. This feature should attract regional beekeepers like bees to pollen! Maeve has specialized in this medium for several decades and is an accomplished artist hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Her reception occurs August 5th from 5:00-7:00pm; perfect starter for the eve prior to heading to the river for Riverfest. Ft. Madison Community Hospital is the sponsor for this month's exhibition.

Encaustic is one of the oldest art forms, deriving from the Greek word enkaustikos, meaning “to burn in”. From the Greeks to the Egyptians to the Romans, this medium of utilizing transparent, flowing oils and wax to create a layering effect spontaneously for multi-textural imaging. The beeswax is heated until liquified form and than placed on any fire resistant surface. Time is of the essence for creation as the wax hardens rapidly, requiring reheating often when working the medium.

Maeve has been recognized in her region often for her skill level in encaustic and her placements in competitions. She began working in art at an early age and boasts an entire family of artists with her father, brother, sister, and many cousins working in some form of the arts....keeping that cultural DNA in the family spectrum! Maeve has developed many techniques that are all her own when creating in the encaustic medium. She uses small torches and differing heating elements to move paint and “bring life to her work and enjoyment to the eye”. She has shown and sold her work at Womens Works, Raue Gallery, Gallery in the Garden, Art in the Barn, Art in Soul in Elgin, and Jacksonville Illinois Art Guild. She has taken first place awards in many suburbs along Chicago including Batavia, Long Grove, Burr Ridge, and Oakbrook. Chicago Critic when writing about her style gave her encaustics a high level of praise. You need to see it for yourself. The medium has a serene, tranquil effect upon the viewer, with her pastel color assortment gliding over multilayer of textured wax. Ft. Madison thanks Jay and Kristi Schroeder for beckoning Chicago talent to our neck of the muddy Mississippi. Viewing available all month Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00am-5:00pm.