The Massillon Museum’s Studio M will feature Mental Structures, encaustic paintings by Dawn Tekler. The scenes represent both the natural beauty and the industrial landscape along the shore of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.
Dawn Tekler, a native of South Bend, Indiana, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from The Cleveland Institute of Art with a major in photography and a minor in video and film history. She now resides in Cleveland and operates Dawn Tekler Studio, a working studio and art gallery located in the 78th Street Studio art complex in Cleveland.
The industrial series started as a concentrated look at Tekler’s morning commute. Her goal was to study the sunrise and sky, watch the changing weather patterns, and observe the colors and textures of the atmosphere reflecting off the buildings and scarred landscapes.
“This body of work is ever evolving, moving away from collage and focusing strictly on painting,” Tekler explained. She explores line and color, pushing the limits of how little information is needed to convey an idea. She uses encaustic wax, oil paint, and powdered pigments to represent the raw energy and forces created by nature. Through layering, fusing, and scraping the wax, she creates atmospheres, textures, and scapes to evoke emotions and express her inspiration.
The encaustic paintings are an experimental departure from the artist’s conventional photography. “I was initially drawn to document the scene or subject matter, but did not find the final presentation in traditional photographic form satisfactory,” Tekler said. “Wanting more out of the work, I started investigating the deconstruction of the photograph adding various collage material and encaustic wax. My more recent work is devoid of the photo and focuses on pushing the limits of the wax while exploring color and texture to covey the story.”
Through the layering of wax, adding color and texture, Tekler aims to create an environment which allows the viewer to interject his or her own story and, she hopes, enjoyment of that journey. She hopes her technique invites the viewer to return over and over again to find different elements not noticed in the original viewing.
In 2018, Tekler’s paintings were featured in January at the Intown Club, Cleveland, in a group show, and in the June/July CAN Triennial, Cleveland, as a solo exhibition. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions and corporate collections throughout the Cleveland area.
The Museum will host an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, January 12, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The event will be free and open to everyone. No reservations are required.
Dates: January 5 through February 24, 2019