Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Janice DeMarino, Allison Ciampi and Kim White describe their artistic journeys at Pelham Art Center event


The Pelham Art Center held its third Artist Club Lecture of the 2023-24 year on Feb. 17. These free public lectures are a way for people to learn about different styles of art and hear stories from artists who are members of the center’s Artist Club. The three speakers were Janice DeMarino, Allison Ciampi and Kim White. 

DeMarino is an abstract painter who has worked with two-dimensional acrylic paints, paper-making and encaustics. She focused on the latter in her lecture, explaining her creative process in the making of her encaustic pieces. Encaustic painting originated in Ancient Greece with the use of beeswax and was also applied to mummy casings in Ancient Egypt, said DeMarino. It involves a hot wax medium with colored pigments that are applied to a surface. A heat gun or blow torch is used to fuse the many layers of encaustic. DeMarino utilizes various materials including Chinese spirit papers, fabric scraps and rubbings from objects to collage into her compositions. 

When asked why she became involved in encaustics, she said she has always been interested in collaging and encaustics was a way she could incorporate the approach differently compared to the previous media she worked in.

“It feels like you’re not working on a 2D surface but a 3D because you’re building different levels of imagery,” she said.

Ciampi, who was born in Pelham, learned to paint in the Dominican Republic. In the beginning of her art journey when painting was more of a hobby, she focused on technique and capturing landscapes using earth tones. However, she said she now paints with a more freeing style with a bright, bold color palette that captures the rollercoaster of emotions she feels during her art process. Every piece she creates is a beautiful experience in itself, she said, and brings her a sense of happiness and peace.

“I love the feeling that I get,” Ciampi said. “I just know I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

White is a writer and visual and trans-media artist. She’s written short poems published on the back pages of the New York Press and collected in her book “Scratching for Something.” 

Currently, she is exploring the hybrid textual and visual storytelling found on scrimshaw and Renaissance emblems. Scrimshaw is what whalers in the 18th century carved out of whale bone to pass the time on long sea voyages. These engravings often told stories about the whaler’s life and were given as souvenirs to loved ones.

In White’s “Trophy Series,” she used porcelain tusks, ink and paper, and beeswax to tell the struggles of a fictional tusked woman hunted down for her prized body parts that are taken as trophies. 

White said she has also recently started a project called “Fable Weaver,” in which she experiments using generative AI to write classical fables with contemporary themes and ideas. She said that AI is more like a material than a tool for her.


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Henna Wei, Staff Reporter
Henna Wei is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a member of the PMHS orchestra, track team, and Science Olympiad team. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, doing puzzles and baking. Ever since elementary school, she has developed a passion for writing short stories and hopes to continue her passion for writing with the Pelham Examiner this year.

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