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February 2006
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Not Just for Landscapes . . . from page1

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Kelly Dee Williams is a local snowboarder gaining some national recognition for his artwork. His “Untitled with Battle Sword,” another of Herridge's favorites, features a carved wooden sword applied to the surface of the deck.|1| Colin Johnson, an east coast artist, created an amazingly complex mixed media collage, “Obsessive Skate Deck #1.” |2| The entire deck surface is covered with tiny bits of paper, fabric and photographs. Adam Ellyson, from Connecticut, also went all out, creating a fabric “Kozie,” a deck with wheels encased in a hand-sewn, cozy comforter. Finally, Derek Mellus, a local, created one of the more unique pieces in the show, a transformer type piece, “More Than Meets the Eye,” which transforms from a skate deck to a dog, to a super-hero, to a skier.|3|

Art Access
Transformation is a theme that carries over into Dual Nature, the Ashley Knudsen exhibit at Art Access. Knudsen, a Provo artist exhibiting in the main gallery, explores issues of space and containment in a two-dimensional form in her paintings and collograph prints. Knudsen says that she has always been drawn to containers, vessels, boxes and bottles. To her, they represent order and structure. She explains, “These are the things that give me stability, yet with this body of work, I’ve taken the box, a symbol of order and stability and deconstructed it, broken it down and laid it flat. It no longer serves its function to hold, receive or protect its contents. These boxes now have a dual nature, thus the title of the exhibit.” The boxes become fascinating, flat abstract elements that, in the case of the collograph prints, stand on their own. In the paintings they interact with self-portraiture, a reflection of Knudsen’s interior dialogue and search for balance between the pragmatic and the visionary.|4|

Art Access II features an exhibit of photography by Emily Allen titled Strength in Tradition: Acrobatics in China. Allen photographed the children of an acrobatic school/troupe in a small, impoverished town called Liaocheng in China’s Shan Dong Province. Allen says, “The headmaster of the school told me that the students are trained in the old way meaning that they don’t use fancy equipment. He kept emphasizing that it is important to train children at a young age, as their bodies are more limber. These children were the hardest working that I have ever seen. Whether they chose to be in the school or their parents put them there, they are there. That’s their everyday reality.” The children are able to twist their bodies into fascinating contortions but it is the transformations of their faces -- which at times look surprisingly adult-like, filled with pain, drive, focus and determination -- that truly captivate the viewer.|5|

Alice Gallery
The Utah Arts Council’s Alice Gallery, located in the Glendinning Home, is generally home to traditional exhibitions, and on most months you would have a good chance of finding a landscape there. This month, however, a trio of non-objective artists has taken over the room, with startling effect. Cary Griffiths, Andrew Ehninger and Steve Sheffield each explore non-objective painting with a unique style, relying on gesture, texture and touch, respectively. Griffiths uses minimal means -- sometimes only two colors, often executed with the flick of the wrist to create a single brushstroke -- to carry his paintings. |6| The calligraphic aspect of his works gives the paintings an oriental feel. Sheffield’s paintings have an oriental feel as well, but this is achieved by a process of layering and delicate touches (like a Japanese screen). |7| Ehninger’s work, on the other hand, is anything but delicate. His surfaces are worked up to the point that they are sometimes three or four inches thick. With a palette delighting in chrome yellows, cobalt blues and magentas, he creates topographical paintings that call to mind mineral-stained, rain-eroded stone.|8|

Rose Wagner Art Center
Despite these examples, some might still contend that the landscape overshadows all other art in the state. Jimmy Lucero, now showing at the Rose Wagner Art Center, is one of them. Lucero is a narrative artist whose symbolic paintings are done in representational manner using latex house paint. In the Rose Wagner Exhibit, he included a series of paintings telling the story of the narrative painter (Lucero) taking his props out to the Great Salt Lake, where he is eventually submerged in the salty waters. He dedicates the series “for all the narrative artists trying to stay afloat in the land of landscapes.” Childhood toys in unconventional settings populate Lucero’s paintings.|0| “My narratives began as stories about toys, placing them in humorous situations. As the work evolved, the stories became more personal. I began to combine ideas from works by master painters with my childhood toys to represent my past experiences.” For each of his works, Lucero has provided a detailed allegorical interpretation, including the historical paintings referenced, the different symbols of his personal narratives, and the cultural icons that haunted his childhood. Lucero has done everything he can to bring the viewer into his paintings (including, we’ll note, setting some of them in identifiable Utah landscapes).

Showing concurrently with Lucero is contemporary sculptor Court Bennett. Bennett has a playful and imaginative mind and his works inhabit a strange world in which cocoons and pods can be created using electrical plugs and screws. Some may remember Bennett from his 2005 show at the Finch Lane Gallery West, where he created a reptilian skeleton out of PVC pipe and an alien-like creature out of a vacuum hose and cloth. Bennett’s sculptures use everyday materials, including denim and corduroy pants, thick cord rope, screws, and plastics. Most of his works have a soft earthy feel, because of the material, but, as Bennett says, they “stutter-step along the uneasy edge between beauty, menace and humor.”|9|

Phillips Gallery
Humor, without the menace, is prevalent in the work of the late Harry Taylor, which is represented in a two-person show with sculptor Cordell Taylor this month at Phillips Gallery. A Detroit native and graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Taylor was art director for Meridian Publishing Co. for thirty years. He is best known for his woodcuts, which have been exhibited internationally. The artist was afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s disease and as his illness progressed he adapted to it and developed new ways of making art. His work was always characterized by strong design and a playful wit and often influenced by the aboriginal art he came across while serving in the South Pacific during World War II.|10| He shares the space at Phillips Gallery with sculptor Cordell Taylor, well known for his abstract metal sculpture and furniture characterized by clean lines, simplified forms and marvelous surfaces.|11| This exhibit also features collographs, 2-D versions of Taylor’s sculpture.

As you can see, it seems like we could go on and on with a list of non-landscape shows. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to find a landscape in a gallery this month.

Salt Lake Art Center
Lest you think January is merely an aberration in a generally landscaped year, we’ll note the two artists of international reputation being shown at the Salt Lake Art Center in February. Recently opened on the street level gallery is an exhibition of the “zebra stripe paintings” of Sophie Matisse, granddaughter of Henri Matisse and step granddaughter of Marcel Duchamp. Matisse has become well known in the New York art world for her reinterpretations of iconographic paintings in which key participants or elements of the paintings are absent (missing paintings?). Her “zebra stripe paintings” are a combination of these deconstructed paintings with layers of a second painting or design.|12|
Beginning February 10, the main gallery of the art center features works by Robert Motherwell, the youngest and most prolific member of the Abstract Expressionist group and a resident of Salt Lake City in his youth. Motherwell was one of the more scholarly members of the New York school and helped to articulate their aims and methods to a worldwide audience. He is best known for his long series of “Elegies to the Spanish Republic” executed over a forty-year span. Elegy #126 from 1976 is included in this exhibition.|13| A number of Motherwell’s collages will also be featured. The collages were a method for Motherwell to incorporate autobiographical material – his favorite cigarettes or book publisher – into his work.

Patrick Moore
Collage of a not quite so international reputation will also be on display at the Patrick Moore Gallery beginning February 17th, with the opening of Shawn Rossiter’s Choice & Chance exhibit. Rossiter, who exhibited a 30 foot pastel drawing last year and promises to create an even larger one for a show at the Art Barn in September, will be displaying some abstracted pastel drawings and paintings as well as recent collage works which incorporate materials from games of chance, album covers, wallpaper and art history books.|14|

Utah Artist Hands
Also coming up in February of a non-landscape variety are the works of Szugye at Utah Artist Hands. Szugye’s paintings of jazz musicians, jazz bars and nightlife might lead you to believe that he is a refugee from the disaster in New Orleans, but Szuyge has been in the Utah scene for a long time. He paints the early jazz scene, hoping to capture the inclusive quality – integrated women and men from across cultural and ethnic backgrounds -- that jazz music promoted. His artistic process, with an emphasis on rich color, ink detail, art deco references, and texture, mimics the era’s aesthetics.|15|

Rio Gallery
At the Rio gallery in February you’ll find Chimera: Fur/Feather/Skin/Scale, a group show of area artists Trent Call, Leia Bell, Jenny Lord, Tessa Lindsey, Dana Costello, David Ruhlman, Toby Putnam and Sri Whipple. The show’s title refers to the chimera of Greek mythology, a fire-breathing animal with a lion’s head and foreparts, a goat’s middle, a dragon’s rear, and a tail in the form of a snake; and to the modern scientific usage of a human or non-human “individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution." Each artist will render his/her version of a humanized animal within boundaries of the four subcategories: fur, feather, skin and scale.

Need we go on? Landscapes are a dominant part of the Utah art scene, but if you think that that is all there is to Utah art, maybe you haven’t been paying attention.

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Up & Upcoming: SLC Galleries
What's Up and Upcoming
Compiled by 15 Bytes Staff. Unless otherwise noted, UPCOMING shows begin February Gallery Stroll, February 17, with a reception 6 to 9 pm.

UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: Revisiting Utah’s Past, on view at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts through July 23, 2006, presents paintings and sculpture from the Museum’s collection that document Utah’s unique history. In partnership with the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library and the Utah State Historical Society, the exhibition also includes historical interpretive materials such as photographs, books, and journals that provide additional perspectives and connections to artists’ perceptions.

VISAGE SALON (2006 S. 900 E., 860-4333) UP: Jodi Monaco, New Works, Abstract and Mixed-Media Paintings. Jodi Monaco’s mixed media paintings explore emotional arenas through color, texture, found objects, language and symbols. A native Salt Laker, Monaco attended Utah State University, and has been a professional graphic design, marketing and communication professional for more than 15 years. Jodi has continued her interest in fine art painting throughout her design career, as an outlet for personal creative expression.

SOUTHAM GALLERY Powerful expressions depicting artwork of African women and children by artist Jerry Hancock. Plus, paintings by a variety of artists painting the American Landscape.

HORNE FINE ART, on the occasion of its third anniversary, presents two shows, both opening on Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2006 and continuing through March.

WALL OF WASSMERS – CELEBRATING TED’S 96th BIRTHDAY – featuring over 40 works by Utah’s oldest producing artist, showing the range of his recent creativity, including gold leaf series, poetic figure groupings, and evocative monotypes. Theodore Milton Wassmer’s (Ted Wassmer, for short) connection with the Horne family goes back the the 1930’s and 40’s when Alice Merrill Horne was his first art agent. (Karen Horne of HORNE Fine Art is Alice Merrill Horne’s great-granddaughter). Alice Merrill Horne, champion of early Utah art, presented Ted’s Wassmer’s work in a variety of venues including the classic ZCMI Tiffin Room.

BLOOMS, a group show of floral and garden paintings. This show brings together established artists as well as newcomers. To name a few: Noted artist Phyllis F. Horne is beloved for her garden paintings, which hang in the Governor’s Mansion, the Springville Museum of Art and the Salt Lake County Collection. Traci O’Very Covey creates joyful, rhythmic watercolors drawing from her gardening experience. Karen Horne is known for her colorful patio scenes dotted with blooms. Bringing an old-master touch to the show, Wilson J. Ong focuses on classic looking still lives with flowers. Newcomer Mathew Stuver brings a focus on color elements and simplicity with an intriguing series of bouquets. Ben Steele combines playful abstract fields with highly realistic flower portraits. Barbara Edwards delights us with orchards in bloom.

SALT LAKE ART CENTER UP: Sophie Matisse: Be Back in 5 Minutes & Zebra Paintings thru May 6. UPCOMING: Robert Motherwell: Te Quiero thru May 6 (see article this page).

UTAH CENTER FOR THE ARTS SLC Photo Club Exhibit ‘What Makes Utah’at the Utah Center for the Arts - 2191 South 300 West #100 SLC UT. February 10th and 11th, 2006. Photographers include: Albert Wang , Blake Rayl, Bruce Newman, Dennis VanDuren, Doug Sims, Gardner Underhill, Hien Tran, Kevin Nash, Renee Lee,and Robyn Poarch. Catering provided by Sages Café. The exhibit will run through April 10th.

UTAH ARTIST HANDS: UP: Celebrating Photography in UTAH! in celebration of the new photography on display at the Salt Lake International Airport. Work by Mendel Peterson, Willie Holdman, Jason Christensen, Dana Sohm and Craig Jenkins. UPCOMING: Szugye (see aricle this page).

WOMEN'S ART CENTER:UP: Altered Landscapes group exhibit.

ART ACCESS GALLERY: UP: "Dual Nature", Oil on Panel & Collograph Prints by Ashley Knudsen In Access II - "Strength in Tradition: Acrobatics in China" Photographs by Emily Allen (see article this page).

PHILLIPS GALLERY: Presenting: "Taylor & Taylor" featuring sculpture and collographs by Cordell Taylor and woodcuts by the late Harry Taylor

UNKNOWN GALLERY UP:The UNK Board Show Part Duo (see article this page).

A GALLERY UP: Group Show. UPCOMING: Landscapes by Royden Card with an opening reception Thursday, February 9th, 6 to 9 pm. (see page 6)

RIO GALLERY UPCOMING: Chimera: Fur/Feather/ Skin/Scale:Trent Call, Leia Bell, Jenny Lord, Tessa Lindsey, Dana Costello, David Ruhlman, Toby Putnam and Sri Whipple

ALICE GALLERY UP: “Abstraction” featuring Andrew Ehninger, Cary Griffiths and Steven Sheffield (see article this page).

RED KILN POTTERY (393 E 1700 S; 484-4016) "From the Wild" Clay Arts Utah invitational group show. Work by potters and clay artists in Utah.

ROSE WAGNER ARTS CENTER : UP: Court Bennett & Jimmy Dale Lucero (see article this page).

PATRICK MOORE GALLERY UP:Winterfest Group Show featuring Trevor Southey, Randall Lake, Steve Sheffield, Etc. Nine artists participating. UPCOMING: Shawn Rossiter Recent/Work (see article this page)

EVERGREEN FRAMING AND GALLERY (3295 S 2000 E) Featuring the collaborative father-daughter show in a series entitled "Travels" by Don Prys and Jodi Steen

PALMERS GALLERY Eve: Restoring the Lost Feminine. Paintings by Linda Dalton Walker.

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN & ART GALLERY UP: Art of Elegance and Elegance of Glass Working Together, featuring Rodney Wade (acrylics on canvas) and Kristian Merwin (glass sculptures) UPCOMING: The sculpture of Brian Challis.

MAGPIE'S NEST GALLERY UP: The Road Not Generally Taken featuring M'Lissa Paulsen, Jenni Thompson, Matt Potter, Angela Bentley Fife, JoAnn Bowen.

ART BARN/FINCH LANE GALLERY : UP: Mikel Covey, photography; Alex Kravtsov, photography; and H. James Stewart, ceramics.

MICHAEL BERRY GALLERY (163 E 300 S) The Sundance Show featuring Pilar Pobil, Willamarie Huelskamp, Rebecca Livermore, Chris Kapsa, and Heidi Van Ert.

LOCAL COLORS ARTWORKS Artworks (Trolley Square) featuring new paintings by Sandi Olson and Lamar Walbeck, Fiber by Anne Gilmour, and Wood Turnings by Thomas McCormick.

KEN SANDERS RARE BOOKS: Scott Carrier, new photography from Cambodia and the Middle East; Leia Bell, just received new delivery of sold out art prints and concert posters.

WASATCH FRAME SHOP UP: Emerging Artist Series; through February 17, 2006. "Interpretations of the Wasatch", mixed media by Greg Dollhausen, Chloe Kauffamn, Deb Makoff, and Sheldon Smith.

MODERN8 GALLERY Martin Mendelsberg's "Holocuast Portfolio" opens on Friday, February 17th from 6 to 9 p.m. This exhibit displays a number of digital images using photographs and prayers recited by the Jews before their demise in the death camps. Mendelsberg’s digital prints consist of prayers, symbols and textures with a type font he created in 1993. The typeface, named “Torah,” is based on ancient Hebrew models and is now marketed throughout Israel.