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Marissa Voytenko was born and raised in a small agricultural community in Northern California. As a youth, she was selected for the rigorous art training program, California State Summer School for the Arts. Marissa furthered her studies in art at a small college in the hills of Montecito, California and then, Boston University, where she earned a Master of Fine Art in Studio Teaching. Soon after graduation, she was introduced to the medium of encaustic, and has been painting with this molten wax medium for over 15 years.  Marissa is represented by a number of galleries throughout the United States and has also exhibited her work internationally. Recently, her artwork has been on the cover of the American Psychologist and Comment magazine. She has also been a featured artist in Christianity Today. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States as well as abroad. Marissa resides with her family in the Chicago area and has taught as an adjunct professor at Wheaton College.

Artist Statement

I am an abstract encaustic painter whose interest lies in making visible that which is invisible. Instead of creating work from physical observations of the natural world, I focus on the unseen landscapes of the psychological and spiritual. The intersection of life experiences and how these affect our mental outlook and shape our spiritual identity are intriguing to me. I draw inspiration from a variety of sources: from architecture and travels abroad to home-schooling my two children. If I am working with my daughter on her cursive writing, then those lines influence my own work. Or if my children are studying ancient architecture, then Roman arches find their way into my compositions. I use these life experiences to create symbolic imagery that communicate larger truths.


Grids and symbols are my language for communicating my thoughts and feelings and an instrument for ordering them. Within this structure I find my way around the surface of the painting, making creative decisions. Repetition of line as well as shape is a key aspect of my work. This too is another avenue for organizing the internal experience. In the application of the paint as well as in the imagery there is a recapitulation that offers space for contemplation. Inherently, the overall appearance is characterized by a steady beat of marks that through their arrangement seek to communicate abstract concepts that are not easily explained in words or narrative imagery.


The medium of encaustic found me almost 20 years ago and is my preferred medium of communication as it’s physicality and diaphanous qualities emulate my conceptual ideas. I enjoy how the wax affords me the ability to use precision while, at the same time, lends itself well to roughly textured surfaces that take on a wabi-sabi affect. It is the paradox of the broken up hard-edges where I find beauty, as well as in the physical act of digging and scraping the wax as it reflects the mining of my thoughts and soul and so exposes those things which were once hidden.

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Select 1-3 Person Exhibits

2023     Voytenko, Ebe & Westlake, Shain Gallery, Charlotte, NC

2022     Rituals, Walford Galleries, Wheaton College, IL     

2021      Rituals, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago

2020    Unto the Least of These, Judson University, Elgin, IL 

2019      Tapestry, Addington Gallery, Chicago, IL 

2018      Examen, Dordt College, Sioux City, IA 

2018      Off the Grid,  Addington Gallery, Chicago, IL     

2017      Boats & Bridges, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

2016      Timescapes, Delta College, University Center, MI

2015      Quiet Spaces, Acton Institute, Grand Rapids, MI

                Curator: Joel Zwart

2015      Between Order and Chaos, Dow Museum of Science & 

                Art, MI        Curator: Bruce Winslow

2015      Forest Hills Fine Art Center, Forest Hills, MI

2015      Structure, Leep Gallery at the Postma Center, MI

               Curator: Sharon Rodgers

2012      Already, Not Yet, Primus Gallery, L’viv, Ukraine

2011       Flight, Primus Gallery, L’viv, Ukraine

Select Group Exhibits

2023    Art of Water, James May Gallery, Milwaukee WI  

2023    Fresh, Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

2022    Conceal/ Reveal, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI 

2022    Midwestern Biennial, Rockford Art Museum, IL

2022   Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, MI   

2022   Encaustic Show, Shain Gallery, Charlotte, NC

2021    Retrospective, Forest Hills Fine Art Center, Grand Rapids

2021    Abstract Invitational, Shain Gallery, Charlotte, NC

2020    5x5, Westmont-Ridley Tree Museum, Santa Barbara, CA

2019     North X Northwest, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT 

2019      It's All Abstract, Art Access Gallery, Columbus, OH

2019.     Open Ended, LaFontsee Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

2019.     Shape Shifters, Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

2019.     Pattern Play, Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA     

2018.     Slightly Obsessive, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI    

2018      Collective, La Fontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI   

2018      Women In Art, Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

2017       Emerging Artists, Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

2017      Geometric Complexions, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL       

               (Curator: Sergio Gomez)  

2017       Beneath the Surface,  The Art Center, Highland Park, IL

               (Curator: Caren Helene Rudman)

2017      12th Annual Encaustic Invitational, Conrad Wilde Gallery

               Tuscon AZ

2017      Perception & Intention, La Fontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids

2017      Toast, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2017      Everyone In the Pool, La Fontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

2017      Freshly Considered, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016     Reinventing Ourselves, ZhouB Art Center, Chicago, IL 

              (Juror/ Curator: Sergio Gomez)

2016     All In The Pool, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016     Boundaries, Borders and Thresholds, Kreft Gallery

              Concordia University, Ann Arbor, MI (Juror: Sarah Kohn)

2016     Collective Alchemy, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2016     ArtPrize, Richard App Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI 

              (Curator: Richard App)

2015      Live Coverage, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art

               Grand Rapids, MI

2015      The PINK, Alden B. Dow Museum of Science &  Art

               Midland, MI

2015      Toast, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2015      Body & Soul, Kreft Gallery, Concordia University

               Ann Arbor, MI (Juror: Joe Levickas)

2015      Lookie Here, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014      Reflexion, Calvin (106) Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI 

               (Juror: Joel Zwart)

2014     53rd Annual Greater Michigan Exhibit, Dow Museum of

               Science &  Art, Midland, MI  (Juror: Larry Cressman)

2014      5 x 5 Exhibit, Ridley-Tree Museum of Art

               Santa Barbara, CA

2013      Summer Exhibit, White Stone Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2013      Cairn University, Langhorne Manor, PA

2013      ArtPrize, Saint Cecilia Music Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Gallery Representation

Anne Irwin Gallery, Atlanta, GA

LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

Shain Gallery, Charlotte, NC

Live Demonstrations

2019    Encaustic painting demo., LaFontsee Galleries

2018    Encaustic painting demo., Dordt University, Iowa  

2017    Encaustic painting demonstration, LaFontsee Galleries

             Grand Rapids  

2016    Encaustic painting demonstration, LaFontsee Galleries

              Douglas, MI

2015     Live Coverage, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

              Grand Rapids, MI


2017     "More Art Upstairs" (film documentary

               about ARTPRIZE),



2017    Kent County Country Club, Grand Rapids, MI

2016    The Right Place, Grand Rapids, MI

2015    Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI

2016    Steelcase Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI)

            * Commission Platinum Partners

2014     Freeze Sulkov CPAs and Associates, Dallas, TX

2009    Northland Hospitality Gallery, Longwood, FL

2009    Priority Inc., Orlando, FL

2008    Marriott International Model Room, St. Pete, FL

2008    International Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL

2008    Lake Shore Ranch, Florida

2008    Renaissance Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2007    Onion Creek Clubhouse, Texas

2007    Emerald Beach, Florida

2007    800 Madison Clubhouse, New Jersey

2007    Northland, A Church Distributed, Longwood, FL

2005    Christ the King Presbyterian Church, Cambridge, MA

2002    Woodland Bible Church, Woodland, CA

2001    Ocean Hills Community Covenant Church, Santa Barbara, CA


Grants/ Awards/ Fellowships

2015     Artist In Residence, Forest Hills Fine Art Center

              Grand Rapids MI

2014     Alden B. Dow Solo Exhibition Award, Midland, MI

2007    Grant, Northland Foundation for Arts and Education

2004    Fellowship, Boston University School of Visual Art

               Art Education

2003    Constantin Alajalov Scholarship, Boston University

2000    Agnes Carlander Scholarship Award, Westmont College

1994      California Arts Scholar, CSSSA


2022  American Psychologist (Cover Art) May/ June 2022

2021   IMAGE Journal

2018   Comment Magazine, (Cover Art) Sept 2018    

2018    Christianity Today, July/ August 2018     

2017     American Psychologist, (Cover art) April 2017, vol. 72 no. 3

2011      A-Z Art Magazine, Featured Artist, , June -  

              Nov. 2011 v. 3

2009   Summit Magazine, Featured Artist


2008   Your Business and Your Life, Bill McCallister

              Bascom Hill Pub. Group

2005    Chelsea Youth & Family Resource Guide, Cover Illustration

               July 2005



2005      Master of Fine Arts, Boston University, Boston, MA

2000      Bachelor of Art, Art  Westmont College, Santa Barbara


1999       Gordon College in Italy Program, Orvieto, Italy

1994       California Summer School of the Arts, California State

                 University, Fresno CA

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