The way Andrew Rice describes his current situation may encapsulate how a lot of us feel: “I’ve been trudging along, trying to see what happens next…”
For the past year, Rice was involved in The Open Room, which, as Ann Poore described it for 15 Bytes, began in 2019 “as a pop-up gallery space with work hung in a backyard shed accompanied by an artist lecture and dialogue with an invited audience and shared food and drink;” they were forced by COVID to pivot and with the help of UMOCA did so with an exhibit in July of 2020 entitled Please Touch the Art. Rice says he enjoyed the curatorial and organizational/community aspects of that project and is interested in exploring similar projects.
The time since then has been a period of reflection, and listening, understanding what one can do to make an impact in the community. “I’m really interested in The West and the mystic, sublime nature of the west. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. But also reconciling with the events that brought ‘us’ (white, European immigrants — long term occupiers, really) here …”
Rice was born in Boulder, CO, received his BFA in printmaking from the University of Colorado in Boulder and his MFA in Salt Lake City, UT at the University of Utah, where he currently teaches. The Rocky Mountain West is his home. He is principally known as a printmaker, and he has been focusing on the craft of the medium while working on creating prints for other artists; and, with some personal projects, he has been expanding the tools at his disposal, including the laser engraver.
“What I have been most interested in lately for my own conceptual leanings has been collage. I have been slowly working on a number of new, small collage pieces at my studio and at home and am hoping to have enough for a full show near the end of 2021 or 2022. It is nice to work on these pieces right now without having the pressures of a deadline. They can grow, develop, change and manifest into their own thing unencumbered by the ‘deadline.’ One of the aspects I love most about the collage medium at the moment is the unconscious, or maybe subconscious narrative that gets created. Using imagery that already exists to tell a new story. It feels a lot like writing in that regard. Writers rarely create their own language or new words, but are able to continue to tell new stories with the words that already exist. I love that.”
You can view more of the artist’s work at andrewriceart.com
Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.