The works of nine contemporary Maine artists will be featured in the exhibition "ENCAUSTIC – wax+heat" at the University of Maine's Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave./Route 3.

An opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition will run through Dec. 9.

The exhibit in the H. Alan and Sally Fernald Art Gallery highlights the ancient art medium of encaustic. Meaning “to burn in,” the term describes a technique that utilizes molten beeswax. Traditionally, the beeswax is mixed at 180 degrees Fahrenheit with resin and pigment that the artist applies in layers.

In the final step, the artist ”burns in” the mixture, fusing and bonding the work permanently to the surface. The result ranges from a complete, dense opacity to a delicate, revealing transparency, providing the artist with almost limitless possibility.

From the ancient Fayum mummy portraits of Roman Egypt to the iconic American flags painted by Jasper Johns in the 1950s, encaustic painting endured a long history. Its revival in the mid- to late 20th-century came with the advent of electric heating tools.

The Hutchinson Center exhibition includes the works of Kim Bernard, Camille Davidson, Kerstin Engman, George Mason, Otty Merrill, Dietland Vander Schaaf, Victoria Pittman, Willa Vennema and Diane Bowie Zaitlin.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.