A meeting of minds is taking place in St. George. Earlier this year, artists from Utah, Arizona and Nevada were invited to submit work to The Regional exhibition at the St. George Art Museum.
Following a healthy response from artists of varying professional levels and public exposure, the juried show features 25 artists and a total of 36 pieces. The Regional was juried by Campbell Gray, director of the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University. Gray’s choices for inclusion in the show run a gamut of styles – from abstract to representational – that reflect the diverse outlooks and aesthetic temperaments of artists across the geographic area.
To the far edge of contemporary creation in the exhibition is Court Bennett’s “Rabbit 3000,” a rabbit-ish fluffy form stuffed with bundled electrical wire. It seems to borrow from Mike Kelley’s animalia fascination. Bennett’s “Sin Shroud“ received the juror’s first place award.
In the eclectic and gorgeous category, Brian Paul Hoover’s “Girl in Fantastic Hat III” features a luminous Baroque portrait reminiscent of Spanish mission fresco work. This beatific face is melded alchemically to a hallucinatory statement on religiosity and learning.
In the safer, pictorial current of selected works, LuAnn Williams’ oil, “Samuel,” is a photogenic and touching portrait of a toddler.
As The Regional is located in the geographic wonderland of the Mountain West and the Desert Southwest, photography is a favorite form of entry. Representative of this is Malissa Kelsch’s River Rise. This piece is a glowing, hazy study of golden aspen leaves and illuminated fog on a mountain lake. Bob Moeller won the juror’s second place award for his digital print titled “Roof Top” and an honorable mention went to Rob Lefkow for his photograph titled “Narrows Escape.”
This leaves 30 more pieces to discover for yourself at the St. George Art Museum. The show runs through the end of June. The award winners have been invited to participate in the Museum’s Third Thursday Conversations. Remaining Conversations are sculptor Court Bennett on May 18 and digital print artist Bob Moeller on June 15. All Third Thursdays are Museum free days with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Conversations are also free. For more information, head to www.sgcity.org/arts/ .
Greg Thilmont is an Idaho native who lived and worked in Utah for a number of years before moving to Las Vegas earlier this year. He is exploring the art scene in Vegas and reporting on it in his podcast site www.artsofvegas.com