School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

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Wellington B. Gray Gallery Exhibition

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge


Ashley Cagle
Graduated 2014

Everything captured in this painting brings you closer to being a part of the world around you in its purest form. Nature is the subject in this piece; it is pure, beautiful and untouched by man. In my work I am bring that to the viewer not only with the subject but in materials as well. This is an encaustic painting, which is the technique of painting with melted bees wax and pigments. This technique is made from the wonders of nature and it helps me bring this idea of purity that surrounds us each day to the viewer. When you look at a moth, tree or even flower do you actually see it? When I create these pieces I want them to be big and beautiful just like nature. I want the viewer to actually see what nature has for us in its beautiful unnoticed details.

Most of my time spent at ECU was in the darkroom, I was a photo major. I love print photography and process of which you follow to get these beautiful images not only in the camera but in the process to achieve the final print. I pretty much lived in the art building, spending too many hours to count working on art, but I wouldn’t change it. My senior year I spent the majority of it pregnant with my oldest son Ezra. I always joke and tell him he is a college graduate. It was hard but rewarding I knew I was working towards creating a future for him and it kept me going even when I wanted to quit. ECU was a wonderful life changing experience for me; I studied with wonderful instructors/artists, made lifelong friends and started a family. I hope to return in the next year to get my masters in painting and to eventually teach.

Moths, Encaustic (Bees Wax & Pigments), 29″ x 24″ x 0.5″, 2021