Editor’s note: Listen Up is a Q&A featuring locals in the arts and culture community.
This week: Local artist Denise Presnell, whose paintings are featured in Pablo Center at the Confluence’s upcoming exhibit, “A Seat at the Table: Women Artists of the Chippewa Valley.” The exhibit is on display Friday through Jan. 18 in the Graham Avenue Walking Gallery at Pablo Center, 128 Graham Ave. An artists’ reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the gallery.
What type of work did you submit for this show?
I submitted two recent paintings. “Bluer Pool” is an acrylic, oil, cold wax and oil pigment sticks on canvas. “Evergreen Reflections V” is acrylic and oil pigment sticks on canvas.
Both are 48 inches by 36 inches and display an abstraction of nature.
How did you get into painting?
I have been painting with both oil and acrylics throughout my career. Recently, I have begun to use more mixed media in all of my work.
I do a lot of work with soft pastels and realized oil pigment sticks would give me a similar linear quality on my canvases. I began using cold wax this year. I’ve always liked the look of encaustics (which is a hot wax medium) and was excited to find out there was a similar method — cold wax — that did not need to be heated up as you work. The cold wax adds a lot of opportunity for actual texture on the surface of a painting.
Why did you want to be a part of this show?
I’m very excited about the opening of the Pablo Center and was thrilled to be invited.
What do you think about doing a show focused on women in the Chippewa Valley?
I think it’s great. There are enough women artists in the Chippewa Valley that they could probably do this annually or biannually and choose a new group of artists for each show.
I am honored to be a part of an exhibit that highlights local art by women.
What do you hope viewers of this exhibit take with them?
I hope they are excited to see the high-quality artwork created by local women. I hope it provides an enriching experience for all who attend.
I also hope the exhibit gives a sense of pride to the local community, knowing the cultural scene is alive and kicking in the Chippewa Valley.
Would you like to add anything else?
I encourage everyone to take advantage of this new venue and explore what is going on in the arts right here in Eau Claire. I’m looking forward to not only seeing the work in this exhibition, but in the future planned exhibitions.
Also, if people would like to see more of my artwork, they can visit Riverwood Art and Frame Gallery (4639 Keystone Crossing).
— Katy Macek