|Trevor Southey at A Gallery . . . from page 1
Southey goes on to say about Eagle Eyes, "It's an illustration. It's interesting because I am actually writing a piece about illustration and art. Because the word illustration over the past one hundred years has become a dirty word relative to fine art In my view, rather an unfortunate division. If we think about it, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is one vast illustration, as is most art until the 20th Century. We have gone down the road of denying symbolism. That is what illustration really is. Illustration says, ‘I want to make a point.’ What is so terribly wrong about that?"
Southey mentioned that the "Eagle Eyes" piece is not so subtle, and when asked how this literalism relates with his current and new work responded, “I think it relates in that symbols occur in both of them. The difference being that the ‘Eagle Eyes’ painting can pretty much be read one way. . . I think the other work will have similar objects and visual items but it’s wide open as to what, many more layers, the viewers are much more free to say what they want to, to read into it what they want.”
Southey continues on to say, “I have done several illustrations in my career, shamelessly. I don’t think artists should have to apologize for that. It is kind of the snootiness that is part of the art world. So you shut out people that are not artistically literate. That is what I like about the Norman Rockwells. While I was teaching at B.Y.U., I would have arguments with my colleagues who were modernists who pooh-poohed and dismissed Norman Rockwell. He's not Michelangelo, but . . . it is a spectrum. And, some things are simple, right in your face and clear and other things leave you with mystery. If you are going to prioritize, I think mystery, in the end, is the best place to be, because it is the simplistic viewing of life that leads to the black and white behaviors in life that lead to fascism.”
In response to questions about a particular course for his new work Southey responds, “It is funny you should ask me that. Because I have been doing a lot of soul searching and I'm finding myself really wanting to, for years and years and decades I've been talking about emptying my work out, having less stuff in them. I look at abstract works by other artists with some admiration and some envy. But, the narrative and the rendering of things is something that is so deep in my bones it would be a form of betrayal. So, I see I have some color that is going to quiet down, and landscape is going to enter more. I don’t know. One of the things I try not to do is dictate to my work, where it is going. I let it dictate to me where it wants to go."
"By nature of my life, I just turned 65, for example, I am looking at old people with renewed respect. Finally, I did two portrait studies of World War II vets for my big Russian project. It was a good experience to get in there. I usually tend to focus on the young and the ideal. The bottom line is I am going to remain . . . who knows . . . at this moment, I think I am going to remain committed to the recognizable imagery in my work, maybe more fragmentary. As I say that, I find myself wanting to really get into every eyelash in some of the work I do. I am actually torn. By the way, that conflict is universal throughout my life. I look at an artist like John Singer Sargent with a huge generous brush stroke, and wow, I like that. But, I look at one of my most favorite paintings ever, Ophelia, by one of the Pre-Raphaelites, notably articulated. What you will see actually happening in my work is kind of a marriage of the two, a lot. So I deal with the conflict by marrying them. Which I think actually interestingly enough is a lot of what life’s all about. We tend to evade and avoid conflict. Maybe the answer is not to evade, but to embrace it. In a sense, I think that's kind of what I do.”.
Emotional resonance is the value of artwork. "To me this is one of the great sicknesses of our age, is that artists are put into the place to develop an agenda. I think art of the 20th Century, one of the reasons it will be the most denigrated in history, is because so many artists set out to impress. You cannot, I call it the masterpiece complex, if you set out to create a masterpiece you will not create a masterpiece. Because the masterpiece cannot be dictated, cannot be created, the masterpiece happens."
The important aspects of collaboration which have brought about this exhibit aside, the show is impressive in its own right. It has been many years since a collection of this many new pieces by this proficient artist have been seen together. Not only does this show include twelve new works, it also includes many favorites from etchings, to drawings, to oil paintings, to sculpture. These new pieces incorporate the same exquisite symbolism that is typical of Southey’s work. Several other galleries from across the country have sent work to be included in this exhibition. There are two prominent pieces that stand out in my mind, and “rank in my personal top ten,” says Southey: “Reconciliation” [below] and “Prodigal.” [top of page] "Prodigal' in particular has gotten me into a lot of hot water. And I didn't do it to get into hot water." These have both been in private collections for over 25 years and are now back on the market. They are strong and indicative of the important emotional forces that drive all of Southey’s work.
This exhibition will run through the 7th of July, and pieces from this exhibition will be on display at A Gallery through the remainder of the summer.
Shawn Dallas Stradley is a Salt Lake City poet and art-professional.
Alternative Venue Spotlight: Salt Lake
The SLGA's Alternative Art Venues
by Kent Rigby, Salt Lake Gallery Association President
The Salt Lake Gallery Association has long been a supporter of alternative fine art venues. Our By-Laws allow for three categories of membership:(1) Gallery member (2) Arts-Related Business (3) Sponsor.
Many people are familiar with our monthly Gallery Stroll event and are acquainted with the more high profile and established galleries. However, everyone who participates in Gallery Stroll may not be familiar with some of our alternative venue members.
These venues are an essential part of a healthy art community and strong cultural environment. We actually encourage alternative venues and recognize their place as an important venue for emerging and underserved artists.
Many artists have realized the frustrations of starting out on their career as fine artists only to find it very difficult to gain gallery representation without an exhibit track record. The alternatives venues help provide that opportunity.
The gallery association currently has five Arts Related Business members and sixteen sponsors, many of which exhibit art by local artists and are open during the Gallery Stroll.
3 W Gallery at W Communications, 159 W. 300 S., has a great gallery space and has exhibited some top-notch shows. They do a wonderful job with opening receptions, presentation and lighting. Contact Jennifer Shorter at 983-9266.
Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 E., has long been a strong supporter of local artists and has championed many emerging artists. Mayor Rocky Andersen was recently spotted hob-knobbing with the “In” crowd during Gallery Stroll at Ken Sanders. Contact Ken Sanders at 521-3819.
Object is a new exhibit space specializing in period art and technological artifacts. Located at 247 E. 900 S., the shop is well worth a visit. Contact Scott Striefel at 328-2306.
TRASA Urban Arts Collective, located in the historic Utah Pickle Company Building, 741 S. 400 W., is an alternative performance and fine art venue, producing some good alternative performance art and fine art exhibits since opening in 2002. Contact Kristina Robb at 450-8977.
Caffe Molise, 55 W. 100 S., often hangs art in the restaurant and is a strong supporter of the gallery association and local artists. Contact Fred Moesinger at 364-8833.
Martine Café’ & Tapas, 22 E. 100 S., has a wonderful little gallery space on the second level. The exhibits are curated and hung by Phillips Gallery and are always well presented and received. Contact Shawn Jacobsen at 363-9328.
Nostalgia, a coffee shop and gallery at 248 E. 100 S., has just joined the Salt Lake Gallery Association and has already proven their commitment to supporting local artists. Contact Kathryn Webb at 532-3225.
Visage Salon Studios, 2006 S. 900 E., is another new sponsor eager to support fine art and participate in the monthly Gallery Stroll. Their first Gallery Stroll exhibit on July 15 will feature abstract works by International artist Joan Duran. Duran is originally from Barcelona, Spain and has since lived in Belize and currently resides in Merida, Mexico. These works are powerful action paintings and are a must see for abstract art lovers. Contact Kacie Hersh at 860-4333.
YT Home Collection Gallery, 378 W. 300 S., is another association new bee. Owner Derek Groves designs original, one of a kind, custom furniture pieces, often inspired by his travels. YT also exhibits original paintings by contemporary artist Susan Plouzek. Contact Derek at 359-4098.
The Salt Lake Gallery Association invites you to participate in the monthly gallery strolls, the third Friday of every month and explore the wonderful world of alternative art venues and discover the next rising star of the emerging artist ranks.
15 Bytes runs a feature entitle "Alternative Venue Spotlight" featuring non-gallery venues in Utah which display local artwork. Alternative Venues are a wonderful place for artists to begin showing their artwork. To aid in this, we have compiled a list of our Alternative Venue articles.
Art Byte: Washington D.C.
National Art Awardees
Art Access/VSA arts of Utah is proud to announce that the collaborative artwork of brother and sister, Sam and Sara Weyrich of Salt Lake City has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the "Discover What Art Is . . ." Exhibit that is currently being shown at the Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Students with and without disabilities, grades K 12, from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and participating countries submitted works of art that reflected their perspective of "what art is" and why it is important to them.
Sam 4, and Sara 6, were among the 10 young artists who were chosen as representatives and brought to Washington, D.C., with their families to participate in a Congressional Reception on June 9, where they were honored
for their work. Sam and Sarah were given their award by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, who founded the VSA arts organization in 1974 to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. Also attending the Congressional Reception was Utah artist, Alison Perreault, who teaches the Weyrich children in the Kindred Spirits program.