Elise Wagner has been a working artist for thirty years and holds a B.S. degree in Painting from Portland State University. She is a 2015-16 recipient of The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and has received numerous scholarships and awards as well as grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, the City of Portland, Vermont Studio Center and the Regional Arts and Culture Council that span her career. Her work is among private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Wagner exhibits her work at Butters Gallery in Portland and at Frederick Holmes & Company in Seattle.
Her work has been published in several books and catalogues including, the most recent Encaustic Art in the 21st Century, Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing, The Painted Surface, Jean Pedersen, Northlight Books, 100 Artists of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing, Authentic Visual Voices: Contemporary Paper and Encaustic by Catherine Nash, A Decade in Painting, Elise Wagner Wilkes University, and Encaustic Art: A Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax Lissa Rankin, Watson-Gupthill.
Wagner developed Encaustic Collagraph printmaking, a unique way of using her textured encaustic surfaces to make monoprints using non-toxic inks. She also makes and formulates a Collagraph White wax used to create collagraphs. She teaches workshops at her home studio and has presented her technique nationally and internationally at ateliers throughout the U.S and Canada. Most recently, Wagner introduced her technique at the Southern Graphics Council International conference. Wagner lives and works at her home studio in Portland, Oregon with her dog Cleo and cat Ozlo.
Seeing the award-winning documentary on climate change, Chasing Ice, compelled me to respond and raise awareness of the current state of our world in the only way I know how; through my work. The concept for this body of work has been steeping for years and it is my number one world concern as we move into the future.
Elise Wagner talking about the Glacier Series
Two underlying concepts that have always dwelled in my creative consciousness and have motivated me to continue creating art, are the human impulse for order amidst the indifference of nature, and how we as humans have impacted nature and the environment.
The narrative that I take with my work combines existing contrasts found in nature and science in an attempt to distill the unknown, unseen and incomprehensible into visual art.
Art has the power to transcend and express a deep and profound understanding of society, nature, technology, culture, science, the climate and geo-politics. My hope with this current body of work is to elevate our awareness of the growing and critical crisis of climate change that our world faces.
Elise Wagner, 2017