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Haines­—Sam Jackson and Rebecca Brewer stumbled onto their new medium by accident.
Haines duo to exhibit beach-themed encaustic art 011817 AE 1 Capital City Weekly Haines­—Sam Jackson and Rebecca Brewer stumbled onto their new medium by accident.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Story last updated at 1/18/2017 - 1:41 pm

Haines duo to exhibit beach-themed encaustic art

Haines­—Sam Jackson and Rebecca Brewer stumbled onto their new medium by accident. Walking along the Yukon River during July’s “Art on the Waterfront” festival in Whitehorse, the duo ran across Nicole Bergman conducting an encaustics demonstration in one of the many artist tents.

Encaustics is the use of hot wax in art.

“We watched her for a while and then we walked away,” Brewer said. “And as we were walking, Sam stopped in his tracks and looked at me and said, ‘I gotta do that.’”

The two have been creating their own encaustic pieces since October, and will debut their work on Feb. 3 as part of Haines’ First Friday event. The exhibit opening will run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Alaska Arts Confluence’s Art on Main Street Gallery, 217 Main Street, Gateway Building in Haines.

Brewer and Jackson are largely inspired by the beach, taking long walks during low tide to collect shells, rocks, and driftwood to affix to the cedar veneers they use for the base of their encaustics. The two apply pigmented wax to the cedar with paintbrushes, layering the colors before they heat and carve patterns into the malleable material.

The pair usually collaborates on more than one piece at a time, Brewer said.

“We work on them for a while and then we switch, and I might work on that one for a while and then I’ll work on his for awhile, and then we switch again,” she said. “What comes out of his brain mixes with what comes out of my brain. And then at some point either he or I will say, ‘Is it done?’ It’s a very playful process.”

Jackson trends toward maritime subjects in the less abstract pieces: boats, water, and birds can often be spotted in both his encaustic work and the acrylic paintings he is known for around Haines. Whatever the medium, though, the colors are always bright.

“It’s very colorful, very happy,” Brewer said. “It will be good for February.”

Haines began celebrating First Friday in February 2015, with local businesses and organizations holding arts and cultural events on the first Friday of each month, creating an Art Walk in downtown Haines that now extends from Jones Point to Historic Fort William H. Seward. AAC continues to accept proposals for both rotating and semi-permanent window, wall and floor art installations in Art on Main Street storefront gallery. The request for proposal application is available to download at http://www.alaskaartsconfluence.org.