ECU alum opens campus art exhibit featuring new technique

GREENVILLE, N.C (WNCT) – A new exhibit opens Thursday at ECU’s art gallery.

David Dodge Lewis (MA, ’81, MFA, ’87), a graduate of ECU’s School of Art and Design, and collaborator Ephraim Rubenstein will show off a new art technique.

The Resist Technique in the wax drawings uses the incompatibility of two or more medium to create layered effects with color or texture.

“The Quickening Image” exhibition features wax-resist drawing, a drawing technique developed and refined by Lewis and Rubenstein. Wax-resist drawing is a complexly-layered, large-scale technique that uses a wide variety of art media, and uses wax to repel subsequent ink and charcoal washes.

Lewis will conduct a workshop in the technique for ECU students during the exhibition.

Adapting the techniques of 20th century English sculptor Henry Moore who used wax as a resist for ink washes in his sketchbooks on a small scale, Lewis began using wax in large-scale works for exhibition in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, Lewis was offering workshops on his wax-resist process, including at the University of Richmond, where Rubenstein first observed it.

Lewis credits his experiences as a graduate student at ECU for piquing his interest in developing the new process.

“Faculty members like Paul Hartley had created an environment of high expectations combined with innovation and independence,” said Lewis. “There was also a remarkable camaraderie among the graduate students, in part because critiques were design-based and did not pit one style against another. That let us share ideas and processes freely, and when I saw another grad student using wax in a drawing of hers, I tried it in my drawings.”

Gallery director Tom Braswell says it’s great to see a former student eager to make an impact on current students and the community.

”It’s a very exciting and engaging exhibition of art, which will hopefully reach people in a lot of different ways on a lot of different levels,” said Braswell. “It shows the community at large with the accomplishments of one of our alumnus’ art.”

After graduate school, Lewis started the visual arts program at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where he is the Barger-Barclay Professor of Fine Arts. His work has been in over 100 national juried exhibitions and solo shows — winning many awards — and appears in many public and private collections.

Rubenstein is a faculty member of the Art Students League of New York and Columbia University. His work is widely exhibited and represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exxon Corporation and Deloitte & Touche.

The exhibition tour and details of the wax-resist process were featured in the summer 2015 issue of Drawing Magazine.

The wax-resist drawings will be on display in Wellington B. Gray Art Gallery until February 19.

If you’d like to check it out the Gray Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

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