UPSTATE Gallery on Main

Jeff Schaller


September 3 – November 2, 2019

Artist Reception: Thursday, September 19 from 5-8 p.m.


UPSTATE Gallery on Main, sponsored by the University of South Carolina Upstate, is pleased to announce “POP,” recent paintings in encaustic by Jeff Schaller. The exhibition opens on September 3 and runs through November 2, 2019. An artist reception will be held on Thursday, September 19 from 5-8 p.m. during Spartanburg ArtWalk.

Effervescent and playful, Jeff Schaller’s recent paintings celebrate both the sensuality of paint and our collective memory. Drawing upon references from popular culture and reflective of our contemporary, media-saturated, symbol-laden social environment, Schaller counterpoints our current “pop” sensibility with the use of the ancient, time-honored medium of encaustic painting.

Encaustic is a beeswax-based medium mixed with pigment and applied to panel while molten, being worked and reheated with torches and heat guns. A highly durable process that is impervious to moisture, the word encaustic comes from the Greek meaning to “burn in,” which refers to the process of fusing the paint. It was used in the 5th century B.C. for weathering boats and coloring marble. Lost for centuries, the process of encaustic painting was revisited in the 19th century, but gained notable attention after the 1960s. Jasper Johns is one of several highly recognized artists using the process, as seen in his Flag series created in the late 1950s. Modern tools and especially electric heating elements have made the encaustic painting more popular for creating luscious surfaces that allow light to pass through and reflect the translucent layers of the medium.

“This show is a continuation of an idea I had 8 years ago when I first created ‘Pop,’ said Schaller. I saw an ad for a Sony radio where the woman held it in her hand and appeared to be whispering to it. Her profile was captured perfectly against the red background. Her pursed lips looked as if they were blowing a bubble. So, I cropped out the radio, painted her profile and put a simple pink dot an inch away from her lips and called it ‘Pop.’ Using lost and found images, words and language, my goals are to paint with a precision and intricacy not normally found in encaustic paintings.”

Born in 1970 in Manchester, Connecticut; Jeff Schaller earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the City of London Polytechnic, London, England in1991and studied at Arcadia University, Glenside, Pennsylvania in 1992. Schaller’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is frequently published in periodicals and selected for special projects, commissions, and murals. In 1998, Schaller was the recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art Purchase Award. His work can be seen on the set of “Friends” for the 2002 and 2003 season. He received a highly coveted fellowship from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2002. Schaller lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three children.

University gallery director Jane Nodine is very familiar with encaustic painting, having spent the past 12 years working almost exclusively with the process. “I have known Jeff Schaller for almost 10 years and enjoy his technique of encaustic painting to render highly graphic images from pop culture,” Nodine said. “I am pleased to have Jeff exhibit with Upstate Gallery on Main and I believe our students and the community will enjoy the images and his sense of humor in the work.”

For more information about Jeff Schaller, please visit his website:

The UPSTATE Gallery on Main is the newest addition of the Upstate Carolina University’s three gallery spaces. Located at 172 E. Main Street in Spartanburg, it is a dedicated art space that presents rotating exhibitions of regional and national artists. The gallery also houses and periodically displays the university’s permanent art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Jerry Uelsmann, Jack Tworkov, and Beatrice Riese. The gallery is primarily staffed by students as part of an ongoing internship program where they learn how to display, research, and promote the work on exhibit in the gallery. It is open to the public five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) from 12 noon until 5 p.m. More about the UGoM can be found on its Facebook page, UPSTATE Gallery on Main, or by calling Jane Nodine, Gallery Director at (864)-503-5848.


Jane Nodine, Gallery Director
Mark Flowers, Gallery Coordinator
University of South Carolina Upstate
Visual Arts Center 125
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
P: 864-503-5848
F: 864-503-5835