Joe Conover …

… revived a youthful interest in visual art in 2000, just before retiring from newspaper work the next year. He works mainly in encaustic (hot wax).

“Wax is an excellent medium for putting colors, shapes and textures together, abstractly, to evoke a thought or idea. I’m somewhat process-oriented. The gratifying experience is combining sight, or color, and feel, or texture. I enjoy the unintended consequences of trying to combine certain traditional techniques, such as watercolor on paper, dipped in wax, or using oil pastels on wax and fusing. In wax, the result is often unexpected.”

Mostly self-taught, Conover studied drawing and watercolor in the studio of Rose Camastro-Pritchett and monotype printing with Jason Mejer at Quincy University. He participated in encaustic workshops conducted by Santa Fe artists Russell Thurston and Ellen Koment and New York artist Gina Adams, a cold wax and oil workshop by Wisconsin artist Rebecca Crowell, an etching workshop at Anchor Graphics/Columbia College in Chicago, a monotype workshop with Bruce Waldman at the Robert Blackburn Studio in New York City, and mixed media online with Gary Reef of Haugesund, Norway.

His work has been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Conn., the Lessedra Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Auburn Arts Association Gallery in Auburn, Ala., the Quincy (Ill.) Art Center, the Keokuk (Iowa) Art Center, the Hannibal (Mo.) Art Center, Hannibal-LaGrange University, and John Wood Community College. He is a member of Gallery 310 in Hannibal.

Conover attended Unit 4 (Mendon) schools and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. After U.S. Army service that included duty on Okinawa, he worked at the Japan Times in Tokyo, returning to the United States in 1965. During a brief stint at The Herald-Whig, he met his wife, Janet. After a year with the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., the Conovers returned to Quincy and The Herald-Whig in 1968. He retired in May 2001 after 33 years with the Herald-Whig, the last 18 years as editor of the newspaper.

The Conovers have two sons, Joseph of San Francisco and Robert of New

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