“Making Known the Unknown”

Painting by Anita Winkler.

On Wednesday, July 2, Door County-based artists Anita Winkler and Kathy Stanaszek will open their new, joint exhibition, titled “Making Known the Unknown,” at the Fairfield Art Center in downtown Sturgeon Bay. The exhibit will be on display in the art center’s lower-level b1 Gallery, recently christened Gallery 242.

The artists will open the exhibition with a special reception on Friday, July 11 from 5 – 7 pm. The reception is free to the public, and refreshments will be served.

“Making Known the Unknown” comprises a series of paintings that illuminate the inner landscapes of Winkler and Stanaszek, who describe themselves as abstract naturalists with a mutual passion. In their own words, they seek to freeze the moment in motion, implying a sense of time and place, through the use of very different mediums and techniques.

Winkler incorporates an archaic art form known as encaustic, using materials developed by the Egyptians. Encaustic involves wax-based paint, handmade in a lush palette of colors. The wax serves as a preservative and as an adhesive, and can be layered and used as a transparentizer or as a three-dimensional medium.

“My images ‘play with’ these properties to produce luminous or textured or collaged compositions where the wax directs results almost as much as the hand,” Winkler stated. “When I discovered encaustic, I had found my medium!”

Painting by Kathy Stanaszek.

In contrast to Winkler’s work, Stanaszek uses slick plastic paper to capture the subtle gradations of granulating and sedimentary watercolor pigment to suggest surfaces of great age. Her overlapping layers are reminiscent of mountains, hollows, and geological formations that evoke the land’s grandeur.

Stanaszek’s Geo/Logos Series was inspired by ancient Chinese scholars’ stones. Like the stones, the paintings are meant to be meditative and calming, reuniting the viewer with the spiritual energies of nature.

“Finely ground pigments, suspended in water, embody the same energy that formed the geological phenomena of the planets, our earth and the bodies of all sentient beings,” Stanaszek explained. “Like the land that carries the story of its geological formation, my images freeze-frame the ‘moving spirit,’ the moment in motion.”

“Making Known the Unknown” will run through Friday, August 1. The Fairfield Art Center is open free to the public from 10 am – 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10 am – 8 pm Thursday, and 10 am – 4 pm Saturday. For more information call 920.746.0001, email [email protected] or visit