The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

*Web Exclusive* Retired professors open a ‘Wax Museum’

For some, retiring means kicking back or traveling the world, but for Fran Brown and Judy Broom, it is producing art and creating a “wax museum.”


Brown and Broom celebrated their retirement in 2008 by collaborating on work that makes up the Art Gallery’s latest show, “The Wax Museum,” which runs through Nov. 24.


Its theme is encaustic work, which is art with wax.


Although their work relates in some way to nature, the artists’ styles are quite different.


Brown’s pieces focus more on texture and the use of wax with added pigmentation.


Her piece, “Family,” consists of two hands pouring candy-like items that gradually change into letters over a leafy plant covered in letters. Brown said the hands are supposed to be hers, with the letters representing family members.


“My family, nature and experiences in my life inspire my work,” she explained. “I’m very family oriented.”


Broom’s pieces are more 3-dimensional, placed in deep frames with layers of artifacts, bugs and other natural items added.


“I have a big pile of stuff I’ve collected while walking the dog,” she said. Much of her works includes real butterflies, antique reproductions of maps and pages from old anatomy books.


“I don’t want people to read the maps,” Broom said. “And I don’t care what body parts they are. I just love them and want them there.”


Planning for “Wax Museum” was nearly two years in the making.


Broom said she worked on her pieces for the past two summers and calls them “work in progress.”


She and Brown also took two workshops together on encaustics.


“There’s an aspect of not being able to completely control it,” Broom said of the medium.


She said the theme of nature is appropriate for their retirement, since “we’re both dealing with natural history in a real way.”


Brown said she owes a lot to nature for her artwork.


“[The bees] are now my new best friends,” she said.


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*Web Exclusive* Retired professors open a ‘Wax Museum’