Celia L. Mercer studied art at San Francisco State University (BA 1982) and received her MFA in film from UCLA in 1990. She has worked in animated features, television graphics, and art direction/interface design for the interactive industry. Mercer’s award-winning animated films have screened internationally. In 1996 she returned to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television as the second Senate Faculty member in Animation. In 2007, Professor Mercer became Chair of the UCLA Animation Workshop.
In her work, the artist and filmmaker uses juxtaposition of found image, letters, words, pattern and texture to present everyday, familiar things in new or unexpected ways. Mercer works in both film and painting, primarily with the medium of encaustic paint combined with collage. Encaustic (“to burn”), one of the most ancient of art forms, is a hot-wax technique in which a pigmented compound of beeswax and resin is melted, hardened, and fused – layer upon layer – until the desired effect is attained. Mercer creates complex, multi-layered effects with encaustic – underscoring the feeling of mystery and depth in some work; encasing and memorializing in others.