Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
Frank McEntire's Spontaneous Memorial
by Kasey Boone
It is ironic to call an exhibition that is installed every year on the same date "spontaneous." That is the case, though, with Frank McEntire's exhibit Spontaneous Memorial now on display at The Gallery at Library Square, level four of the downtown Salt Lake City Library.
Spontaneous Memorial has already been installed twice, first at Utah Valley State College in 2004 and at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise, Idaho in 2005. McEntire plans to install the exhibit every year during the anniversary of the 911 attacks until 2011.
The exhibit consists of five main works installed along the interior walls of the gallery surrounding the sixth piece, "Spontaneous Memorial Fence," a grid structure that creates a sacred interior space.|0| The grid contains 3,000 tags, each a collage fashioned from the New York Time publication "Portraits of Grief," representing a victim of the 911 attacks. The public is invited to record their thoughts on these tags and hang them on the grid. Inside the sacred space two book holders out of a Christian chapel sustain two open copies of "Portraits of Grief" from which McEntire has extracted his collage material. Looking at these books causes the viewer to see their own reflection in the mirror pyramid that anchors the space.
Another component of this exhibit, "Ledger," consists of 24 chapters with 22 pages each, and once again invites the gallery patrons to participate in an experience of memorialization.|1| "Message Table" holds the tools for the creation of these works: pencil, quill, sharpeners, tags and other materials used to create the memorial itself.|2| "Oh Say What is Truth" is the most disturbing piece in the exhibit. A wooden card holder, the type, which can be seen in any LDS chapel, used to hold the numbers to hymns, displays, in its first row, the numbers 331; in the next rows, however, McEntire has placed the Iraqi most-wanted playing cards depicting Saddam Hussein, his sons and others of the former regime. Below this an LDS hymnal is open to hymn 331, "Oh Say What is Truth."|3| The exultant and hopeful imagery of "Fly with Angels," |4| a liturgical stole featuring white doves, seems a counterpoint to the complicated emotions evoked by "Oh Say What is Truth." Finally, a number of the "Portraits of Grief" portraits, enlarged considerably and somewhat masked by McEntire's paint drippings and scraping, surround the room.|5-7|
How is a exhibit, reptetively installed like this, spontaneous? The exhibit evokes more the process of memorialization itself than it does the memorialized. Most of the portraits are cut in such a way that the full text cannot be read, and many are obscured by McEntire's paint drippings. The spontaneity happens in the moment when the patrons (different in every location, changed by every year) join the act of memorializing. The meaning of the event is not a fact to be read in a book or obituary; the meaning is the event itself, what each person brings to the remembering of the tragedy. This way it becomes an installation of the human spirit, constructed, yes, around a specific event, but, through its evocation of the process of memorializing, remembers all events of tragedy. Anything more personal, anything more memorialized of the locale and the people in New York and Washington would, considering the physical and emotional distance of being in the intermountain West, seem somehow opportunistic and detached. Ultimately, the spontaneity in this exhibit will depend on what you bring to it.
Spontaneous Memorial and Other Works, is on display at The Gallery at Library Square through September 30th.
Up & Upcoming: Salt Lake Area Galleries
What's Up and Upcoming This Month Compiled by 15 Bytes Staff. Unless otherwise noted, UPCOMING shows begin September Gallery Stroll, September 15th, 6 to 9 pm.
PATRICK MOORE GALLERY UP: Veera Kasicharernvat and Stefanie Dykes. Veera Kasicharernvat is a native of Bangkok, Thailand and M.F.A. graduate of the University of Utah who is well known in the area for his printmaking. In this exhibit, in addition to his prints, Kasicharernvat is displaying large scale, non-referential paintings which are part of the "Body memory" series.|8| The paintings are layered and very textural, evoking calligraphy, peeled paint and worn city walls, and use positive/negative interplay related to the artist's print work. The artist says these works are a process towards understanding "Chi," the inner essence of life energy that flows through everything. Stefanie Dykes is exhibit work from her ongoing "Cathedral" series (see page 1).
ART BARN/FINCH LANE GALLERY UP: Jackie Brethen, photography/mixed media and Kathleen Stevenson, mixed media installation (see page 6). UPCOMING: Beginning September 22nd (reception 6 to 9 pm) new encaustic works by Kristen Glaus Taylor in the East gallery. And Tiamat, a new monumental drawing by Shawn Rossiter will completely envelope the West gallery. This work measures five feet high and is over eighty-seven feet long. As part of the project, the artist will allow patrons to select which pieces of the whole they want and the sections will be cut out of the whole at the end of the exhibition.|9| ALSO: In the Park Gallery, works by Bad Dog Rediscovers America students.
KAYO GALLERY UP:The Kayo Gallery located at 300 South 315 East is please to host the "Now or Never" show featuring works by local artists Derek Mellus, Tessa Mecham and Tessa Lindsay. This is the gallery's swan song before the place will close (see page 7). Artist Derek Mellus's three dimensional found object boxes breathe new life into discarded or forgotten items giving the objects new definitions and calling on the items to represent different social or environmental subjects. Tessa Mecham's large-scale oil on canvas paintings offer a captivating perspective of familiar and exotic locations. Tessa Lindsay's latest endeavors have expanded her work to include mixed medium and collage.
CONTEMPORARY DESIGN & ART GALLERY UPCOMING:Colors of Air, Colors of Light, Colors of Water with Scott Brough (Kaysville, Utah) as premier artist and Yevgeniy Zolotsev and Jeannie Hatch also featured.
||ROSE WAGNER ART CENTER: Paintings by Bryan Larsen and sculpture by Paul Northway September 8 through October 27 with a reception September 8, 6 to 9 pm. Bryan Larsen is a graduate of Utah State University and paints romantic subject matter in a realist style. Visit his blog to see the step-by-step process of "The Artist's Son," one of the pieces on view at the Rose Wagner. Paul Northway is also a young father and his sculpture focuses on this experience as well, though with a completely different aesthetic. His contemporary mixed-media sculptures explore the various emotional and intellectual states of childhood. |10|
WASATCH FRAME SHOP UP: Rural Utah oil paintings by Jeff Hepworth. Hepworth is a native of Cleafield who enjoys expressing his vision of the rural Utah landscape. His feathered edges and subdued palette strive to create an emotional experience that is comfortable to the viewer. Typical Utah forms such as tall cottonwoods, distant mountains, or quiet waters lined with reeds fill his canvases.
A GALLERY UPCOMING: Opening September 14th, new works by Ogden artist Brandon Cook. Cook uses the basic elements of the landscape elements vehicles for experimentation with a variety of painting techniques to create works that delight in the exterior while exploring the interior (see his On the Spot page 2). |11|
MODERN8 GALLERY UPCOMING: A new exhibit by artist Cary Griffiths from September 15 through November 15. Cary Griffiths paints on a canvas that he places on the floor, allowing him to work from all different angles. Color, along with form and motion, is what primarily drives his paintings, and, the artist say, "applying the paint is influenced by the mood of the concept . . .When I paint, I almost always feel a beat, a rhythm, often a melody as well."
HORNE FINE ART UP: Dive back into summer with new swimmer paintings by Jamie Wayman. |12| Also new works by gallery artists including Ken Baxter, Glen Edwards and Barbara Edwards.
MUSEUM OF UTAH ART AND HISTORY: UP: The largest exhibit of the Salt Lake School District's Art Collection -- Century of Art: The Salt Lake City School District Collection on view through September 17. This exhibit features works completed from the early 1900s through the 21st century. There are 50 Utah artists in the exhibition including Elzy J. Bird, Cyrus E. Dallin, Arvard Fairbanks, James T. Harwood, Minerva Teichert, Henri Moser, and Florence Ware. Many of the 68 works portray life and landscape of early Utah; a style of art popular among the artists in Utah during the 1900s and still common today. Depictions are of the early Utah life-style and southern Utah landscapes, and include historical figures painted and sculpted as documentation of U.S. and Utah history. Included in the exhibition is Cyrus Dallin's sculpture "Paul Revere," Minerva Teichert's painting "Soldier and Indian," and Elzy J. Bird's paintings "Trailbreakers" |13| and "Indian Buffalo Hunt."
ART ACCESS GALLERIES: UP: Foodie SLC an exhibit by Salt Lake photographer, Lance Duffin celebrating the culture of food. ALSO: In Tandem, featuring the abstract paintings of Salt Lake artists Darryl Erdmann and John Emmett. In Tandem developed as the result of the pairing of Erdmann and Emmett in last year's Art Access PARTNER'S Program. UPCOMING: 12th Annual PARTNERS Program and Exhibition. PARTNERS: A Visual Arts Mentoring Program, enables adult artists with disabilities to work one-on-one with professional artist mentors who help them to refine technique, try new media or learn the intricacies of professionalism. The program each year culminates in an exhibition in the Art Access Gallery, showing the work of both emerging and professional artists (for more info see page 7).
RIO GALLERY UP: Utah's Nifty Fifties A selection of artwork and artifacts from the 1950's. In collaboration with the Utah State Historical Society.
ALICE GALLERY UP: BENCHES, Photographs by Cynthia Heath and Louise K. Pollard thru November 17th. Cynthia Heath and Louise Pollard discovered they had both been photographing benches for several years. During their discussion they found they liked benches, a somewhat unobtrusive subject, because they are so common but often surprising in appearance, location or use. The result has been photographs of benches in a fairly disparate but complementary collection. Cynthia’s photographs are almost all black and white infrared giving a rather serious, dramatic and surreal appearance to benches and their surroundings. Louise’s benches are from places as near as Southern Utah and as far away as France, Italy and Mexico. Louise’s images are in color and her subject matter is often whimsical. She tries to portray some of the flavor of the locations and to hint at the stories of the people.
PALMERS GALLERY FINE ART (378 W 300 S Suite #3) UP: Oil paintings by Diane Cliff Ceramic and sculpture by Melanie McGee
MAGPIE'S NEST UP: Water, anything and everything featuring lakes, streams, puddles, ponds, etc.
PHILLIPS GALLERY: UP: Annual Summer Group Show, featuring new work by over fifty artists. UPCOMING: Denis Phillips and Richard Johnston. ALSO: Gallery at Evolutionary Healthcare (461 E. 200 South, 519-2461) Art by Patricia Kimball through Sept. 20.
LEIGH-NORTH GALLERY UP: New acquisitions including an oil by Emile Gruppe, two works by Mahonri Young and an oil landscape of Weber Canyon by LeConte Stewart.
UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
: UP: Quilts Rooted in Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
featuring 64 quilts by internationally known artists, from 1980 to the present, ALSO: Sideshow
, an exhibition of new work by Bonnie Sucec, is on view in the UMFA’s Great Hall through January 28, 2007.
|SALT LAKE CITY LIBRARY SYSTEM:
GALLERY AT LIBRARY SQUARE (Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200) Spontaneous Memorial and Other Works by Frank McEntire, featuring a participatory commemorative work, where individuals are invited to record their thoughts on 9/11, through Sept. 30 (see article this page). ALSO: Electronic Dissonance in Organic Cubism: Oil on Canvas and Digital Illustrations by Todd Powelson through Sept. 29 and Urban Visions: Paintings by Mario Harris through Sept. 16.
CITY LIBRARY LOWER URBAN GALLERY, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200) Photographs of the Great Salt Lake by Hadi Islam through Oct. 17.
UTAH ARTIST HANDS: UP:Diane Orr, Utah's Vanishing Rock Art, panoramic photography and Rob Bennett, Utah aerial photography. UPCOMING: presenting the latest work from David Maestas, who was named "best of show" at this year's Park City's Arts Festival. David's new works include pastels as well as acrylic abstracts.
SALTGRASS PRINTMAKERS UP: Exhibit of works by Dan Weldon, the artist who originated the non-toxic Solarplate printmaking technique. .
LOCAL COLORS ARTWORKS UP: Bella Italia - Paintings of Italy by Marian Dunn and Steve Sheffield.
SALT LAKE ART CENTER UP: Material Culture:The Fine Art of Textile (see July edition). ALSO: Looking Back: 75 Years of the Salt Lake Art Center through October 14th in the upstairs gallery.
DOWNTOWN STATE WINE STORE (255 SOUTH 300 East) An exhibit by Howie Garber of 15 years of nature and adventure photography through September 30.
MICHAEL BERRY GALLERY (163 E 300 S) UP: John deJong's The Mystery of All Things featuring digital photography.
VISAGE SALON (2006 S. 900 E., 860-4333) UP: Michael Lucarelli. UPCOMING: New paintings by Alex Taymer, September 12 through October 14.