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June 2011

FRANK in Chapel Hill, NC, Offers Several New Exhibits

FRANK, the Franklin Street arts collective, in Chapel Hill, NC, is presenting several exhibits including: Member Spotlight Show, on view through July 3; Elements, featuring works by Peg Bachenheimer, on view through June 12; Between the Lines, featuring a collaborative work by Peg Gignoux and young poets from Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County High Schools, on view from June 14 through July 11, 2011.

With the Member Spotlight Show, the curatorial staff has found a balance between variety and consolidation. FRANK always has a great variety of art on display, with many styles, mediums, and approaches to the visual represented. With the focus in this show on our member artists, those visiting the gallery will also get concentrated looks at a small body of work by each of our twenty-four member artists in this exhibit. The result is a treat to the eye.

The individual artist spots add a rhythm to one’s visual experience of the gallery, a cohesion that serves as a counterpoint to the great variety of work on display.

In this new series of paintings, Elements, Peg Bachenheimer explores painting the light and color of natural elements interacting. She uses the Chinese concept of the five elements of nature: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, as well as the Hindu elements: air, earth, fire, water and spirit. From that beginning, she has painted abstract landscapes that express a love of color and texture.

Saying, “I see painting as an act of faith,” Bachenheimer believes that her intuition and the painting itself will tell her where to go, resulting in a vibrant and highly textured abstract surface. As she builds up many layers of color, her intention is for her paintings to convey a rich visual and tactile experience connected to feelings evoked by the mystery and beauty of life.

Sometimes Bachenheimer paints with oils over a highly textured acrylic surface on canvas. In this process, she layers acrylic inks and mediums and then paints on top with oil paint using both brush and palette knife. Other times, she works in the encaustic medium in which beeswax, resin and pigment are heated and applied to a wood panel. Each layer of wax is fused with the heat of a torch or heat gun, making it one with the previous layer. In the encaustic process, color and texture are created with many layers of pigmented wax, oil paint, paper and other collage materials. The surface can be built up and scraped back.

Bachenheimer has been painting since 1998. After raising her children, and at the end of a long career teaching first and second grade in the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools, she took many classes at the Arts Center in Carrboro and spent time learning at Penland School of Crafts in the North Carolina mountains. Art has always been important in her life and was a part of her earliest experience as the daughter of a museum director. Now, she paints almost every day at the home studio she built. Bachenheimer has lived in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area for over 40 years and now lives in Carrboro with her husband, Steve.

The exhibit, Between the Lines, features a collaboration between youth poets and Peg Gignoux.

During the winter and spring of 2011, Gignoux has been leading a textile residency in her Carrboro studio with youth poets from Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County High Schools to create a collaborative poem in cloth. Gignoux’s role as facilitator of this public art project is to see that the participants generate words: words that reflect beliefs, ideas and dreams rooted in personal experience and embed them in cloth. Scribbled journal entries and poetry shards have found their way off of the page and into fabric by way of screen printing, hand dyed silk overlays and stitching layers together.

The Sacrificial Poets (C. J. Suitt, Kane Smego and Will Mcinerney) have been working with Gignoux and the teens to write a collaborative poem with the theme of “Voice in the Community.” Together they have built their group poem out of the screen printed and hand dyed fabrics, creating a large wall piece, approximately 10’ x 10’ in size.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call FRANK at 919/636-4135 or visit (

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