ProWax Journal Bios

Edited by Hylla Evans


Corina S. Alvarezdelugo
New Haven, Connecticut
Corina was born in Venezuela. After formal training with the Venezuelan painter and sculptor, Luis Alvarez de Lugo, she earned her BFA with Honors and Distinction from Albertus Magnus College, New Haven. Working with different materials and techniques in mixed media painting and sculpture, Corina has exhibited in galleries and museums in South America, the Caribbean, and in the United States, including the Salmagundi Club in New York City. She has won awards from organizations in Connecticut, Vermont, and New York. Her work is in private collections worldwide. She teaches regularly in Connecticut and as guest artist nationally.

Dawna Bemis
Portland, Maine
Dawna works in the abstract geometric tradition. She has studied at College of the Atlantic, University of Maine at Orono, and Maine College of Art. Her work has been included in many regional shows including R&F’s Print Biennial Encaustic Works 2012, and in such venues as the Saco Museum, Cape Cod Museum of Art, Hunterdon Art Museum, and Endicott College. Dawna was included  in “Nine for Our Ninth,” which celebrated Artscope Magazine’s ninth anniversary and Portland artists.

Debra Claffey
New Boston, New Hampshire
Debra uses encaustic, oil, and mixed media in her work. Raised in Connecticut and educated in Massachusetts, Debra holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University and an Associate Degree in Horticultural Technology from the University of New Hampshire. Debra has been exhibiting widely for more than 30 years and her work has won several awards. She received a 2011 Artist Entrepreneurial Grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Debra writes a blog, Making Something Out of Nothing, and enjoys curating exhibitions. She is a past president of New England Wax and is currently on the Board of the N.H. Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Hylla Evans
Hylla is owner and paint maker for Evans Encaustics. She has been a panelist and presenter at the International Encaustic Conferences and has taught classes there in both color theory and copyright law for visual artists. She was Copy Editor of ProWax Journal issues one through seven. After a career in broadcasting and music production, Hylla taught painting in New York City, Amsterdam, Connecticut, and California. She was Education Director for Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and a juror and board member of Sonoma Plein Air. In 2016, Hylla began making Evans Cold Wax Paints, an entirely new medium for painting and printmaking.

Paula Fava
Novato, California
Paula Fava has exhibited extensively throughout California since 2001, with solo shows concentrated in the Bay Area. She holds a BA in Broadcast Communications from San Francisco State University. Color and texture inform Paula’s work as she mirrors her infatuation with the natural and supernatural worlds. Though she is an accomplished photographer, Paula’s  current focus is on painting full time. Her artwork is in private collections across the U.S.

Jane Guthridge
Jane is known for her work in a variety of translucent materials exploring the transformative effects of light and nature. Her work is represented by galleries around the U.S. and is contained in numerous corporate collections here and abroad, including the U.S. Department of State. Her work was included in Swept Away: Translucence, Transparence, Transcendence in Contemporary Encaustic at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in 2013, which traveled to the Hunterdon Art Museum in 2014. In 2016 she received the Juror’s Award for her work in Pattern at the Attleboro Arts Museum and she participated in the exhibition Colorado Women in Abstraction, curated by arts writer Michael Paglia, as a companion exhibition to the Denver Art Museum’s Women of Abstract Expressionism.

Joanne Mattera
New York City
Joanne is responsible for two important firsts in the encaustic community: she is the author of The Art of Encaustic Painting (Watson Guptill, 2001), the first contemporary book on the topic; and founder of the The International Encaustic Conference, the longest-running professional event of its kind, from which she retired after Conference 10. She has assumed editorship of ProWax Journal. Beyond wax, Joanne is the author of The Joanne Mattera Art Blog, which reports on art and artists working in all mediums. She is gallery represented throughout the United States and shows internationally, most recently in Milan, Bonn, Berlin, and Paris with the exhibition, 10 Ways. She is a member of American Abstract Artists.

Cheryl D. McClure
Overton, Texas
Cheryl is an artist who lives and works in northeastern Texas. She works with several mediums, including encaustic. Cheryl is best known for her abstract landscape-inspired paintings. For more than 30 years she has shown her work in commercial galleries and art centers across the U.S. Her work is in private collections throughout the U.S. as well as Europe and Japan. She teaches occasionally in her studio and other regional locations.

Nancy Natale
Easthampton, Massachusetts
Originally from Boston, Nancy holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts. She intended to be a writer, then zigzagged to administration of an import/export business for 15 years and left to earn a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. She uses her diverse skills in writing three blogs, organizing artists, shows, and programs, and developing her career as an artist known for her constructed paintings made with mixed media and encaustic. Natale’s interests in history, biography, and culture have enriched her work and led to her fascination with found materials and objects that she transforms with the technique of bricolage. Nancy has received grants including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 1995 and an Artists’ Resource Trust grant in 2012. Her work is regularly exhibited nationally and is represented by Arden Gallery in Boston.

Joan Stuart Ross
Seattle and Nahcotta, Washington
Joan was educated at Connecticut College, Yale, and the Universities of Iowa and Washington. Recent exhibitions include Gwangju, Korea; Moses Lake; and the Tacoma Art Museums; and a solo show at RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. Joan’s artist residencies include the Centrum Foundation, Pilchuck Glass School, the Espy Foundation, and Playa. She was awarded a Rome Fellowship from the Civita Institute, a fellowship at Cooperhuset in Balestrand, Norway, and a Fulbright-Hays Travel Grant to Vietnam. Joan taught painting, drawing, and printmaking at Seattle colleges and universities for four decades and retired in 2009 from a tenured position at North Seattle College. She is a founding board member of Seattle Print Arts, and partner of BallardWorks, where she maintains her Seattle studio.

Maritza Ruiz-Kim
Martinez, California
Maritza is a San Francisco Bay Area artist. She received her BFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute and uses her artwork to examine social perceptions. In 2013 Maritza was a featured artist for R&F Handmade Paints. She also launched ProWax Journal, serving as Editor-in-Chief until June 2016. Maritza has shown her work in San Francisco, New York, Miami, Santa Fe, and Provincetown.

Deborah Winiarski
New York City
Deborah teaches mixed media classes and the encaustic workshops at The Art Students League of New York in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at Denise Bibro Fine Art and Kouros Gallery in New York City and at various venues across the United States. In 2015, Deborah curated the exhibition Casting Shadows–Work in Dimension and Relief at Julie Heller East Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts as part of the International Encaustic Conference Curatorial Program. Deborah moderates ProWax Forum, an online discussion group (membership by request on Facebook), where questions regarding encaustic materials, technique, and vision are answered. Her work is represented by Denise Bibro Fine Art, New York City; Broadhurst Gallery, Pinehurst, North Carolina; and Elizabeth Clement Fine Art, Boston and New York City.


Heidi F. Beal
Bakersfield, California
Heidi is an interdisciplinary artist best known for her mixed media paintings using encaustic and photography. Her work is narrative and often references nude studies, architecture, transparent forms, fertility symbols, and found objects. Introspective issues are explored, encouraging the viewer to be transformed to another place and time. At times her art becomes a personal religion, crossing lines between traditional art, other disciplines, and her connection to Spirit. She received her BFA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with additional graduate studies at California College of the Arts in Oakland.

Pamela Blum
Kingston, New York
Pamela makes sculptures and paintings with encaustic paint. She has exhibited her work throughout the U.S. and in France. She has a BA in studio art and art history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has professional experience in diverse visual disciplines including drawing, color theory, painting, sculptural installation, performance, architecture, physical planning, and graphic design. For three and a half decades she taught full time in colleges and universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has taught numerous workshops. She was formerly editor of F.A.T.E. in Review, Journal of Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, and was a member of the Mid-America College Art Association Board of Directors.

Elena De La Ville
Sarasota, Florida
Elena is an adjunct faculty member at Ringling College of Art & Design, and teaches at Wildacres Retreat,  Art Center Sarasota, and privately in her Sarasota studio.  She has been a presenter at seven International Encaustic Conferences. Her practice encompasses photography, textile design, metals, and encaustic. She has shown internationally and is part of the collection of the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas, and Museo Acarigua, Araure, Venezuela.

Patricia Dusman
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Originally from New York City and now residing in Pennsylvania, Patricia studied printmaking and photography at Bard College. After a successful 20 year career in medical research, she returned to pursue art making full time. She is currently focusing her work on encaustic painting and exploring working with wax in mixed media. She has participated in art fairs and group shows and has been published in international artist books, publications, and exhibition catalogues. She was a presenter at recent International Encaustic Conference with her talk on safety practices in the encaustic studio. In 2016, Patricia received Best of Show for her painting, Fleeting, at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, N.J. She also curated an exhibition, On Your Mark, at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in conjunction with the 10th International Encaustic Conference. Her work can be found in private collections in the U.S.

Shelley Gilchrist
Evanston, Illinois
Shelley loves to work with color, shape, and the moving line. Her sculptural paintings have received several jurors’ awards at exhibits in the Midwest and East Coast. She has juried exhibits in the Chicago area and held residencies at the Ragdale Foundation and the American Academy in Rome. Her work appears in 2015, 2016, and upcoming 2017 issues of Studio Visit as well as Encaustic Art in the 21st Century (2016). She is a member of Chicago Sculpture International, 3-D 12 Chicago Sculptors, and is the founder and president emerita of FusedChicago, a professional group of artists who use encaustic. She holds degrees in philosophy, law, and a BA in Studio Art from Northeastern Illinois University.

Raé Miller
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Raé is an American abstract artist who moved to San Miguel de Allende in 2007. She paints and teaches bilingual encaustic and mixed media workshops in her studio at the Fabrica La Aurora, a century-old former textile mill. Her experiences as an expat are a recurring theme in her work as she uses color and gesture to comment on home and dislocation. Her paintings and monotypes have been shown internationally in galleries and public installations. Raé was selected as an artist for Rosewood Mayakobá in Playa del Carmen and at another resort project in Cabo San Lucas. She was a board member of Indian Valley Artists, the group that laid the groundwork for the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California. Raé has taught at the International Encaustic Conference. Her solo exhibition, El Peso de la Luz, will run through January 26, 2017, at the Centro Cultural El Nigromante Bellas Artes in San Miguel.

Krista Svalbonas
Krista Svalbonas is a mixed-media artist. She holds a BFA degree in photography and design from Syracuse University and an interdisciplinary MFA degree in photography, sculpture, and design from SUNY New Paltz. She is heavily influenced by ideas of home and dislocation, stemming from a personal history as the child of parents who arrived in the United States as refugees. Krista was awarded a Bemis Fellowship in 2015. She has had solo, two person, and group exhibitions throughout the United States. She was included in a two year traveling group exhibition in Latvia, where her piece remains in the permanent collection at the Cesis Art Museum. She is a recipient of a Cooper Union artist residency as well as a New Arts Program residency and exhibition and has works in numerous private collections. Krista is currently a lecturer in Photography at Columbia College in Chicago.