Joni Gruber earned her BFA in Drawing and Painting from The Ohio State University. She is a former member of the Phoenix Gallery Artist Collective in New York City where she designed and maintained the gallery's website. She is a member of and represented by the Monotype Guild of New England and the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM. Her work is in the Museum of Encaustic Art in Santa Fe and in the permanent collection of The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building located in Sligo, Ireland.
Joni's paintings, prints, mixed media and photographic work have been widely exhibited in solo and group shows across the US including B14, the biennial exhibition at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in 2014. Her work was featured in Studio Visit, Volume 26, 2014.
As a lifelong environmentalist she often creates work about the ravages that unbridled industrialization, unethical and undemocratic use of technology and greed have waged upon the natural world. She's also a big Star Trek fan.
Joni works in her studio in Tuscaloosa, AL. Her artwork resides in private and public collections in the US and Europe.
An encaustic monotype is a one-of-a-kind, hand-pulled print. My monotypes are created on a heated aluminum palette and transferred to paper by hand burnishing with a baren. These prints may be single-pass or multi-pass and some have additional handwork. I also create mixed media pieces using monotype collage and painting. I print on a variety of papers including handmade, Japanese and archival printmaking papers. When printing on black or colored papers I often use metallic paint to develop a shagreen texture with pronounced dimensionality.
My paintings are created with encaustic which is both an ancient method and medium consisting of pigment suspended in beeswax. Encaustic is melted on an aluminum palette at 200 F then quickly applied to wood panels in its molten state. Each layer is fused with a heat gun or torch. Through scraping, incising and accretion I am able to reveal multiple layers or raise a thick textured surface. Image transfers of my photographs, mixed media and drawing are also utilized. Generous amounts of iridescent paint provide shimmer while mica and dry earth pigments create more distinct, complex and linear imagery.