Body positive speaker comes to campus, feature by Cheyenne Lira

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The Ryniker-Morrison Gallery, located in Tech Hall, will be hosting an art exhibit from Oct. 5 until Nov. 3 featuring solo artist, Candace Forrette. The exhibit, “I, Thou” features a combination of wall pieces, three-dimensional installations, drawings, and other innovative techniques including encaustic work. The gallery is open to the public daily from 9a.m. until 4p.m.  

Candace Forrette grew up in South Dakota. Forette traveled and studied art in several places before earning a diploma in fine art from the Art Institute of Boston. She went on to get her Bachelors of Fine Arts and her Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture with a minor in drawing from Utah State University.  In 1992, Forrette moved to Billings, Montana with her family.  She continues her studio work, teaches, and works as executive director of a non-profit in Billings.

Photo by Kelsey Henscheid“My work is informed by my feelings for and observations of the land and the natural world. I am interested in smoke-fired ceramics, in using almost minimal form, and in the combining of materials – also of the earth and of fire, notably copper and muscovite (mica).  Additionally, almost in tandem, I have been exploring another natural medium, encaustic,” Forette said. The encaustic concept comes from the ancient Greek word “enkaustikos”, which means to heat or to burn. The technique dates back from the time of Homer (800 B.C.) to the acclaimed Fayum funerary portraits of ancient Egypt.

“I am enjoying working with encaustic at the moment, although I am always drawing with charcoal and paper. I have been interested in encaustic for a number of years, but began focusing on it a couple of years ago,” Forrette said.

Encaustic is the name for a medium, a colored wax, and a process. The process involves a heating technique that applies wax to a ground.  The solid ground must be somewhat porous to absorb the first layers of wax. Encaustic has been an artistic medium for centuries, but contemporary artists, like Forrette, are experimenting with its full range of technical and visual possibilities.

Artists get inspiration from a variety of different sources. Inspiration depends on the artist and their personal experience. Forette emphasizes the value of nature and individuals in her work.

“For the most part the natural world inspires me, as well as contemporary world events,” said Forrette.

The emotions artists feel frequently impact the art they create. The emotional state of the artists without a doubt affects the final product. Many artists enjoy the process of making art more than the final product.

Forrete added, “I feel lots of different emotions, although when work is going well, I experience a timelessness in which the world makes perfect sense,”

Forrette’s wall pieces use sawdust, raku, pit fire, and electric kiln fired.  Some of the artwork incorporate additional elements such as mica or copper.

“I like a wide range of art and art approaches.  Recent work has me focused on minimal forms and content which include suggestion of being handmade.” Forrette added.

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