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March 2007
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Leaf Window by Patrick Paul Rene
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Exhibition Reviews: Moab
Seductive Landscape Photography and Cowboy Art in Moab
by Elizabeth Matthews

On a recent trip to Moab, I found gallerist Brian Parkin, a British native and soon-to-be American citizen who came to Utah via San Francisco, at the Grand County Library running a slide show/art talk/review with friends and artists of the Moab Abstracts 2007. This annual show, now in its second year, is the potent brainchild of Moab artist Michael (Mick) Kaniecki and this year brought together works from 25 disparate artists from the area (catalog available).This vibrant community meeting introduced me to the cosmopolitan art scene now emerging in Moab, something I’ll be discussing in the pages of 15 Bytes over the next couple of months. For now, I’ll content myself with a peek into two exhibitions going on this month, one about to close and the other about to open.

The morning after the art talk, in his newly established gallery Moab Art Works, Parkin |1| gave me a sneak peek at Sandstone Symphony, a show introducing the photographs of one of the artists he represents, Patrick Paul René, that will open this Friday with an artist’s reception the following day, March 10, from 6-9 p.m. This coincides with the city’s first art walk of the year also from 6-9 pm.

A Frenchman who found love while vacationing in Moab, René now lives in redrock country, exploring his philter with the camera. |2| Avoiding the over-photographed and well-populated areas, René revels in solitude, searching for rendezvous sites--marking the location with his GPS—so he can return again and again hoping to observe his favorite type of flattened light stroke the land formations. René typically looks for shadow-less scenes, allowing atmospheric conditions to romance the image. |0| Like a chaperone, René watches the low light as it gently massages the unexpected textures and shapes onto his lens, carefully timing each exposure. He declines to use filters and limits himself to only three lenses--choosing to move forward or back to frame the shapes and contours of the rocks—a dangerous risk here because it is Moab after all, known for slick rock with unexpected shifts and cliffs. |3|

René charms the viewer by capturing bewitching depth of field images like Fallen Moon, which lured him away from his typical oeuvre of shallow images in low light |4|. Rainbows in Moab often reek with sentimentality, but René documents a raw rainbow image in Island of Pillars that is worth viewing. |5| The rainbow, strangely enough, looks like the edge of a potent lavender bubble that will surely pop at any moment as it balances on the craggy red death cliffs below. Remember, this image was captured without a filter. The first time I saw this photo I felt like an ogling child holding my breath with the hope that my sacrifice might save the shimmering orb from suffering the expected pop.

The strict limitations René imposes upon himself, in this unrestrained setting, provide a memoir of compelling images. You will not find the typical Moab rock formations shouting at you in this show; Rene’s patient camera records light as it whispers sweet nothings to soften impregnable rock, conceiving memorable editions that you will want to make your own.|6|

If you can make it to Moab a day before René’s exhibit, you’ll be able to catch the work of Western Artist Don Weller before it comes down. The Overlook Gallery, established ten years ago, is located in a building covered with authentic cowboy brands burned into the wood façade that was once the front for a local saloon. In this atmosphere I met gallery owners Tim Morse and Louise Seiler at an opening for Weller’s work coinciding with the Cowboy Poetry festival going on at the MARC (Moab Arts and Recreation Center).|7| I overheard Weller exchange cowboy talk with horse-loving art patrons in the gallery and can confirm that he is the genuine article. It is clear that this man paints what he knows and loves. Weller’s fine mark-making lassoed my interest, drawing me forward to examine his vivid water media (acrylic and water color) images as closely as possible. These are fresh, crisp renderings of western entanglements that run the gamut of buckin’ broncos at a rodeo to the quiet contemplation of drivin’ cattle home on the range. The surprise in his work is the way Weller uses every color in the rainbow to paint his contemporary cow people. The show is hanging through March 9. Bruce Hill will be the next artist featured at The Overlook Gallery And his collection of new paintings from the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Canyonlands, "Landscapes of the Four Corners," opens March 10 6-9 p.m. as part of the Moab Art Walk.

Moab has many charms to seduce the visitor and with the exciting happenings I witnessed on my trip, their art scene may soon be as enticing as their world-famous vistas, trails and river runs.


Exhibition Announcements
Up and Upcoming to the South
prepared by 15 Bytes staff

SOUTH EASTERN UTAH
Moab Art Works UPCOMING: Beginning March 9th, Sandstone Symphony, the landscape photography of Patrick Paul René (see article this page).

The Overlook Gallery UP: Cowboy art of Don Weller, through March 9th. UPCOMING: Landscapes of the Four Corners, new paintings of the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Canyonlands by Bruce Hill, March 10th - April 10th.

EPHRAIM
Central Utah Art Center UP: Rashawn Griffin, installation artist from NYC, through March 29. Griffin will be installing new work constructed onsite that focuses on landscape. Griffin's work moves between the public and private, the obscure and transparent. His work transcends any specific genre; constructed wooden panels wrapped in fabric resemble large minimal painting reminiscent of the color field painters and at the same time calls back to assemblage: handmade and rough. Griffin's His paintings, sculptures and multimedia collages explore the innate nature of materials and the context in which we encounter them. UPCOMING: Painter Peter Everett, March 29th - April 26 with a reception for the artist March 30th.
UTAH COUNTY
Springville Museum of Art
UP: Theodore Milton Wassmer: "In Memoriam," up through the end of March." (see our February edition) AND: Through April 4th, 35th All-State High Schools of Utah Show.

Brigham Young University Museum of Art UP: Beholding Salvation: Images of Christ, through June 16, 2007, chronicles the life and ministry of Jesus Christ through 170 works of paintings, prints, icons, illuminated manuscripts and sculpture from diverse times and creeds. A lecture series will accompany the exhibition. Click the Museum website above for more information. AND: The Quiet Landscapes of William B. Post through May 28 (see page 7). ALSO: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum through July 8, 2007 is a major exhibition tracing the changing traditions of the Barbizon and Impressionist movements as their popularity rose in France and influenced the art of America. The exhibition is comprised of 42 lush landscape paintings from the Worcester Art Museum’s collection.

Harold B. Lee Library (Brigham Young University Campus) UP: The Fool's Journey, a set of 23 etchings loosely based on the tarot by visiting artist Brian Cohen.|8-9| Cohen is a printmaker and founder of Bridge Press, publisher of limited edition artist's books, in Westminster Station, Vermont. Cohen was graduated from Haverford in 1981 and received a master's degree in painting from The University of Washington. Bridge Press was founded in 1989 to further the association and integration of visual image, original text, and book structure. Auditorium Gallery, level 1. Through March 2007.
AND: Daniel Hughes, The Fantastic Feminine in High Fantasy, BFA Project, in the Juvenile Library Gallery, level 4 during March.

B.F. Larsen Gallery UP: These Many Windows, works by Carlyn Lofgreen, |10| and rhap-so-dy, works by Rachel Smith,|11| in the Insets, through March 15th.

Gallery 303 UP: Duped, works by Randal Marsh in the Foyer|12|; and Semblance, works by Christopher Thornock |13| through March 15th.

HFAC UP: Atern Thue Aleu, Fourth Floor West and the Vera Hinckley Mayhew Contest on the East.

Terra Nova Gallery UP: Off the Wall, group show; work sold at a reduced price.

Gallery OneTen UP: The Basics, in celebration of the gallery's one year celebration, features art by Oliver Smith Callis, Raquel Smith Callis, Sabrina Squires, Paige Crosland, and Leland Rowley. Soup and Bowl pottery donated by local artists. This exhibit and dinner is a fundraiser for the Food & Care Coalition’s proposed shelter and training facility (see page 2).

Storefront Galleries (145 N University Ave, 250 W Center, 273 W Center, 48 North 300 West; 377-5700) UP: Art by Stan Lance, Howard W. Hoover, Ruel Brown, Jen Harmon Allen, Rebecca Cooper, Kristena Eden, and David Holcomb.

Utah County Gallery (151 S University Ave; 785-2059) UP: Utah Valley Art Guild Exhibit.

Woodbury Art Museum UP: UVSC Student exhibit through March 31.

Coleman Studios (117 N University Ave; 225-5766) UP: Annual Coleman Exhibit, two year anniversary celebration with new originals by Michael, Morgan and Nicholas Coleman.

CEDAR CITY
Braithwaite Fine Art Gallery
UP: SUU Faculty Exhibit, through March 24. Featuring Arlene Braithwaite, Eric Brown, Susan Harris, Brian Hoover, Dave Richardson, and Ben Sowards.

ST. GEORGE AREA
Sears Art Gallery
UP: DSC Sears Dixie Invitational Art Show and Sale, through March 25. The 19th Annual Robert N. and Peggy Sears Dixie Invitational Art Show and Sale, opens every year on the Saturday of Presidents' Day weekend in February. The show boasts a variety of representational art including landscape, portrait, western, and impressionistic pieces.

Royden Card Fine Art (847-C, Coyote Gulch, Kayenta, 435-656-5051) UP: Little Stories (Inner Landscapes), Fae Ellsworth’s paintings through March 31.

St. George Art Museum UP: Gaell Lindstrom's Private Watercolors through March 24, 2007. One of Utah's most respected watercolorists, Lindstrom taught at Utah State University for thirty years before moving to southern Utah with his wife, Marilyn. His naturalistic paintings exhibit both warmth and stillness. He says that he has been exploring watercolor throughout his career, but feels there is still much to be done. “The inner core of a subject is sought for but seldom achieved.” AND:Color Country Camera Club through March 24. The Color Country Camera Club is a coalition of persons with a mutual interest in photography who periodically gather in meetings and on field trips to share photographic knowledge and experiences.

Water by Brian Cohen
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2/1 The members of the Art and Visual Communications faculty at Utah Valley State College were challenged to try new and experimental things with their work.

2/1 The Utah Arts Festival, in conjunction with the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, is accepting nominations for the annual Mayor’s Artists Awards.

2/4 The U.S. Department of Education and the national office of the PTA have selected the artwork of Adam Pay to be part of an ongoing exhibit in the DOE's headquarters in our nation's capital.

2/8 Lens Crafter: 'Quiet Landscapes' showcases work of photographer William B. Post.

2/10 You be the judge: "Flying Cow," by Michael J. Bingham.

2/15 Artist right at home amid the Wild West.

2/16 Remembering and coping: Internment camp paintings are a catharsis for Salt Lake artist

2/16 Provo artist puts his joy to work: Losing computer job was the beginning of a joy-filled new life

2/17 Bound for glory: Exhibit examines art of the book

2/18 Bateman's art stacks up well: Viewers can read what they want into book-based pillars, towers and walls.

2/18 Books as art: National tour displays a wide variety within unique art form.

2/18 BDAC winners in competition.

2/18 ECAC's photography competition winners.

2/22 Artist captures colors of old Davis County. LeConte Stewart, is the focus of a permanent gallery display at the Kaysville Branch of the Davis County Library.

2/23 Artist makes walls works of art

2/24 Fiber artists to exhibit work at cultural center.

2/24 Ancient Roman items to be shown at BYU.

2/25 Modernism: Exhibits at Salt Lake Art Center have wide focus.

2/25 Brian Kershisnik makes literal the metaphors he sees in life.

2/25 Appetizing watercolors on exhibit at Rio Grande Cafe.

2/25 Upshot of a world changing. Adriel Heisey's large aerial photographs of the desert Southwest are fascinating on many levels.

2/28 Painting the past in the present. New art by Buller revives the old masters' craft in the context of 21st century.