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In This Issue
Mall Art/On the Spot/Inside the Vault -P2
David Chaplin's Opus/News Nibbles -P3
Metaphorically Speaking/Bevan Chipman -P4
Jim Glenn/Public Art -P5

Gallery Stroll Preview/Mixed Media -P6
May 2004
Published Every Six Weeks by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization.
David Chaplin Self Portrait
Artist Profile: Park City
David Chaplin's Opus
by Shawn Rossiter

This Friday, May 7th, Park City’s Kimball Art Center will open a unique exhibition: an artist’s retrospective that is in reality a group show. David Chaplin’s Opus is a retrospective that displays the personal work of this long-time Utah artist as well as the work of students he has influenced in his forty plus years of teaching.

Chaplin’s influence on artists in Utah stretches from the early sixties, when he was an instructor at Hillside Junior High School in Salt Lake City, through the seventies when he taught at Weber State University, and finally to the past twenty years in Park City where he has taught in the public schools as well as in private.

For the retrospective exhibition, Chaplin has selected works from his personal collection that span his career and give a sense of his development from the beginning of his career until now. Chaplin’s works are characterized by bold colors and strong design elements. As Darryl Erdmann, a student of Chaplin’s at Weber State University, says, “Chaplin is a great painter of flatness. He never concerned himself with mixing or anything. It was always about blocks and colors, the shape of things.”

Most of Chaplin's work rely on equal parts figurative elements and abstract design. A self-portrait of Chaplin racing downhill on a bike, jolly figures in pubs , good 'ol boys in their trucks; the figure is always present – not as something with which to display virtuoisity in hands or torso – but as basic human element. Even his most abstract pieces begin with a figure. “Though it’s abstract I’m still thinking about dancers,” he says of one of his paintings in the exhibition.

Chaplin’s students exhibiting in the show, many of whom are now established professional artists, also span his forty year teaching career. As an instructor, Chaplin always stood out. You noticed him, despite his quite voice and slow manners. Claudia Sisemore taught English at Hillside when Chaplin was an instructor there and later took art lessons from him when he was at Weber State. “The pipe, the Porsche, folded arms, a wise mischievous smile, an incredible sense of humor, and the first guy I had ever seen wearing checkered shirts with ties.  And, of course, his paintings uniquely his and wonderful.  An original – the quintessential example of cool.” She says.

continued on page 3

Exhibition Review: Provo
met'a-phor'i-cal-ly spea-king
by Tony Watson

I enjoy exhibits at BYU’s Museum of Art. Regardless of the actual pieces shown, the museum almost always manages to create a wonderfully crafted and visually interesting exhibition. The more I visit the museum, the more I am convinced of the curatorial expertise that has used a unique space to the best of its ability. The University of Utah museum, with its peach walls and airy spaces, is all about light and color. The BYU museum is darker, more contemplative. Even the ground floor exhibition spaces, where a new exhibit, “Metaphorically Speaking,” is now on display, have a somber quality to them. The paintings and sculpture hover in a spotlight on the museum walls. Walking into the museum’s exhibits is always like entering a Romanesque chapel of space and color and form.

It seems to me the Museum has taken on an ample task: tackling the use of symbol and metaphor in a religious context (which has been such a strong component of  art over the centuries), in a religious culture that is much better known for its pragmatism and prose than for its poetry. But as the exhibit attests, artists know how to go beyond their culture and speak with a fresh vision.

“Metaphorically Speaking,”on display through January 8, 2005,  is a varied exhibit of Mormon artists using visual means to create symbols of a spiritual nature. Or so the artists are presented. Some are more and some less symbolic, or metaphorical as the title of the exhibition would have it. The general sense of the exhibition is that of an educational venue, trying to teach and inform the public about symbols and their use in art. Glass standards with word definitions, designed to evoke associations with what is going on in the artwork, are placed at the entrance to each room or hall. In this sense the curator is an artist, using the paintings and lights and his own elements to create a whole work.

metaphorically speaking

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