'Art by Vesco' to showcase sculptural paintings in Art Alley beginning May 20

May 12, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — "Art by Vesco," a collection of sculptural encaustic paintings by Joe Vescovich, will be on display from May 20 through Sept. 18 in Art Alley, located on the first floor of the HUB-Robeson Center. A public reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

Painting and sculpture can be defined by their differences in viewer interaction; a sculpture is intended to be viewed from various different perspectives and angles, whereas a painting is intended to be viewed from one side. Vescovich’s work, however, can be truthfully referred to as sculptural paintings, as they do not exclusively fit either definition. Combining wood, metal and photography with encaustic, a form of painting that utilizes melted wax, allows Vescovich to create these dynamic wall sculptures that are intended to be viewed from a variety of perspectives.

To create his encaustics, Vescovich applies a mixture of heated beeswax, pigments and dammar resin to the sculptures. Beeswax is used specifically for its receptivity to oil paint and other pigments and its malleability; however, wax’s essential characteristic is to harden as soon as it leaves the heat source, so Vescovich must work quickly to make decisions and let the wax find its place. After the wax has cooled, he can manipulate its surface by scraping, carving or adding more layers. Vescovich compliments this layering process with lines, textures, geometric shapes and repetition to create dynamic patterns and an appearance of depth in order to draw the viewer’s eye into and around the surface of the piece. 

Vescovich’s education includes studies through the DeMazia Foundation of the Barnes Art Museum, the University of the Arts (UArts), and the International Encaustics Workshop. He has exhibited his encaustics at the Philadelphia Welcome Center, at Derek’s in Manayunk, and at Abstract Expressions Gallery in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

  • "Water Fall #1," encaustic and wood sculpture, by Joe Vescovich.

    "Water Fall #1," encaustic and wood sculpture, by Joe Vescovich.

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • A close-up of "Water Fall #1" demonstrating how Joe Vescovich combines wood and encaustic to create his sculptural paintings.

    Joe Vescovich's encaustics bridge the gap between sculpture and painting.

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated May 12, 2016