Made in NY Artist Demonstrations

Two Made in NY Artists will offer demonstrations that are free with paid admission. Demonstrations start at 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 27:
Stefan Zoller, Acrylic Painting and Image Transfer
Saturday, May 11: Sally Hootnick, Painting Using Hot and Cold Wax
Pre-registration is required, limited to 20 people. Please call the Art Center at 315-255-1553 to register. 
Zoller, who grew up in Houghton, NY, earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2016 after working as studio assistant for painter Thomas S. Buechner and at the Corning Museum of Glass.

His piece “Skeletal Trees” was accepted into “Made in NY 2019. The painting is a non-representational triptych with three distinct panels that each have an underlying diagram covered with transparent or semi-transparent layers of acrylic gels and fluids.

“These diagrams are taken from civil engineering drawings my paternal grandfather made in the mid-1940’s around the time he served in the Army Corps of Engineers at the end of World War II,” Zoller said. “I use the diagrams not only as a way to honor my grandfather’s memory, but also to communicate the more universal theme of loss or the ‘presence of absence.’”

Zoller envisioned each part of his triptych as an autonomous work until his wife came by and arranged them in the order on display at the Schweinfurth. “The piece locked into place,” he said. “They belong together.”

Hootnick had a solo exhibition of her encaustic paintings, made with both hot and cold wax, at the Schweinfurth Art Center in 2018. At its simplest, encaustic painting is painting with wax, traditionally beeswax. Artists buy wax already colored or mix wax with pigment to create their own colors, melt the wax, and affix it to substrate, often wood or stretched canvas.

Hot wax can be painted or poured on, and then Hootnick employs a bit of flash: It must be heated with a heat gun, encaustic iron, or blow torch to fuse it to the substrate. Once the first layer is cold, additional layers can be added one at a time.

“Whenever I pick up the blow torch, people back up like I have a loaded gun,” she said. “When I first learned encaustics, I used a heat gun. But heat guns get up to 1500 degrees, a lot hotter than a blow torch. I prefer the blow torch.”

Hootnick will also demonstrate cold encaustic painting, which entails creating thick layers of waxy paint that never completely dry through. “It’s a lot harder to catch a room on fire with cold wax,” she joked. And Hootnick will reveal her secret location for finding the best tools for working with encaustics. A hint: You won’t find them in an art supply store.