FARMINGTON — A vibrant solo exhibit “What We Carry,” by visual artist Hélène Farrar, launches the UMF Emery Community Arts Center’s spring schedule. The show runs from Jan. 17 to March 19 and will feature an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20.

Farrar’s exhibit shows that we are more complicated than we think we are. We are even more complicated than even the stories we tell. We can’t see that someone next to us might be carrying with them an entire room or an elephant-sized amount of trauma, an isolating living situation or viewpoint, anger, a deep (dis)connection to others, and a personal or familial history of significance.

This exhibit consists of 20-plus paintings in encaustic (molten beeswax paint) and sculptures of various scale, including a three-foot by six-foot carved wooden elephant. Heat is used throughout the encaustic process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. The medium can be used alone for its transparency or adhesive qualities or used pigmented.

Farmington native Farrar teaches and makes her work just down the road in Manchester. Both her mother, also an artist, and her stepfather, taught at UMF. She has fond first memories as a child of Farmington and UMF’s Alumni Theater and art studios.

This exhibit is sponsored by the UMF Emery Community Arts Center.