Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Meaning to the Abstract, Beauty to the Literal: The Life and Art of John Hughes
by Amanda Finlayson | photos by Laurie Warner
When I sat down to interview John Hughes recently, I didn't know much about him. I'd been asked to write an artists profile; to highlight his work as an artist and a teacher. His warmth and kindness were evident from our introduction and by the time our midday October interview was finished, I was a fan.
Hughes, who teaches painting classes at Salt Lake Community College and sells his work in galleries in Utah and Wyoming, has been painting since he was twelve years old. He used to watch how-to shows on television and remembers John Naggie's drawing lessons. His mother paid close attention to his childhood tendencies, and drawing was a favorite pastime. Encouraging his natural abilities, she gave him a John Naggie Painting Set for Christmas; the next year it was an oil painting set accompanied by three Walter Foster how-to books. These proved to be a great springboard for his life-long quest of artistic expression.
Exhibition Review: Provo
Films of the Imagination, Pageants in Paint: Minerva Teichert at BYU
by Ehren Clark
In the canon of Utah art, few artists are more recognized and beloved than Minerva Teichert. Her works seem to cast a spell over those within and without the local art community as something like a sacred enigma.
Not much is known about her. Born in North Ogden in 1888, she grew up on a remote Idaho ranch, studied in New York and Chicago, and died in Cokeville, Wyoming in 1976. Her life is known through her art. Somewhere behind the layers of paint an artist's soul lies hidden, immortalized in a body of work that reflects her and her passions. A retrospective of this work, Minerva Teichert: Pageants in Paint, now hangs at The Brigham Young University Museum of Art through March 8, 2008. The exhibit was been curated by the artist's granddaughter Marian Wardel, who does an estimable job in representing the prodigious oeuvre of this enigmatic Utah artist.
Exhibition Review: Springville
The Proper Subject of Art
Springville Museum of Art's 22nd Annual Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah
by Geoff Wichert
In an undefined space, two men grapple. The one getting the worst of the struggle is naked to the waist and receives a vicious-looking poke in the eye from the other man's thumb. The apparent aggressor is wearing a plain white robe, with his sleeves rolled up, and the hand not assaulting his companion is cupped to hold a muddy-looking substance that he is rubbing in the first man's eye. This is Brian Kershisnik's vision of Christ healing the blind man. While he acknowledges the "facts" of the scriptural narrative, he grounds his version in the more immediate facts of corporeal life. Ministry is work; roll up your sleeves and see to it. Being healed takes away our comfortable security and forces us to cease accepting charity and begin carrying our own burdens. As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." The savior may be a hero in the story, but he's less likely to be welcome in the real world.
Based on the evidence gleaned from 140 paintings, sculptures, and harder-to-categorize works filling five galleries at the Springville Museum of Art, Kershisnik is not alone in his taste for metaphors anchored on this side of the veil. Some artists do attempt to envision things none of us have seen, like the afterlife, or extraordinary events purported to have happened in another time and place, but emotionally evocative rearrangements of the life we witness every day thread among them, improving the chance there will be something here for almost any taste.