Frank McEntire is one of Utah’s most prominent artists. Though he is also well known for his ancillary activities — directing the Utah Arts Council, curating a number of museum exhibitions and writing art criticism for the Salt Lake Tribune for a number of years — McEntire has made his mark on the state because of his stunning sculptures and innovative installations.
When Jason Lanegan, Curator and Gallery Director for Gallery 303 on the Brigham Young University campus, first saw McEntire’s work he says he was “perplexed.” Lanegan says that when he converted to the LDS church, he had to grow accustomed to the fact that members of the LDS faith do not generally employ many of the symbols used by other Christian denominations. So when he saw how McEntire, also a convert to the LDS church, made assemblages out of relgious objects and ordinary items, he wasn’t sure what to make of them: “was this work disrespectful, sacrilege, or some act of devotion?” he wondered. Over the past six years, as he has gotten to know McEntire and his works, he says “I saw that each piece utilized subtle, yet clever juxtapositions that actually expanded upon and enhanced the religious symbol without diminishing its value. Each assemblage couples the sacred with the common as it explores different facets of faith and belief as they relate to issues of our day, often from a unique LDS perspective.”
Lanegan has curated an exhibition of McEntire’s work entitled “Reappropriated Passion,” which opens this Friday, June 26th. The opening reception (6 – 8 pm) will be preceded by a panel discussion in the BYU Museum of Art’s Auditorium at 4:30. Jason Lanegan, Jay Heuman (curator of exhibitions at the Salt Lake Art Center), and Joe Pasley (assistant Dean of Humanities at BYU) will discuss the use of religious iconography in art.
Reappropriated Passion will be at Gallery 303 in the Harris Fine Arts Center through July 15. The opening reception will be held June 26, from 6 to 8 pm.