“Harmonics” exhibit shares excitement of physics mysteries

Spherical Harmonics No. 9 by Michele Thrane is now in display in the Fermilab Art Gallery.

Spherical Harmonics No. 9 by Michele Thrane is now in display in the Fermilab Art Gallery.

“Harmonics,” a new art exhibit currently on display in the Fermilab Art Gallery, showcases the work of Chicagoland painter and mixed-media artist Michele Thrane.

An artist reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Thrane’s “Harmonics” series is about family, art and physics. Her artwork is influenced by her son’s research. A physicist, his current work involves the search for gravitational waves. As he tries to better understand the universe, she is trying to share the excitement and awe he finds in the mysteries beyond what the eye can see.

The work in the exhibit was created using the encaustic process. The encaustic medium consists of natural beeswax and damar resin combined with pigment. Heat is used throughout the process to keep the encaustic medium in a liquid state.

Equations and graphs taken from her son’s published papers are also used in some of the artwork. The encaustic process is especially effective in creating depths and layers of mystery along with luminous colors—a good medium to explore the many-layered mysteries of the universe.

Thrane’s artwork has been shown nationally and has been included in several exhibitions at the International Encaustic Conference. She is represented in the permanent collection of the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is one of the featured artists in the third edition of Linda Womack’s eBook, Embracing Encaustic, Volume 2.