Exhibition Reviews

Spring Salon: Too Big To Handle?

Tony Watson takes us through the Springville Museum of Art’s Spring Salon and wonders if Utah’s largest statewide annual hasn’t gotten too big to handle – for staff and viewer alike.

READ the article in the June 2011 edition of 15 Bytes.


Categories: Exhibition Reviews

3 replies »

  1. Ah yes, “Utah’s Most Honored Artists”. It makes you ponder – if they are so honored, why can’t they compete on an even level with all the other submissions? I believe this is the Director’s selected list; and they are always there. Therefore it is certainly a case of the prestige of the museum. And, as you pointed out again and again: No work here is given enough room. Therefore much of the “honor” is lost.
    I spoke with the Director, either before the show or at the Ball, and he was so excited that they had to open four galleries on the upper floor to the show. I must agree that if a show of this scope is to be mounted, much of the permanent collection needs to be set aside to allow room. The Russian Impressionist is a good example. Russian art is a specialty of the Director and it may just be to agonizing to displace the favorite son to show Utah’s best in a better setting.
    I live in Springville and have a piece in the exhibit. I’ve gone over there a few times and, frankly, I don’t see how you did such an overview of the exhibit – I haven’t been able to do so, it’s overwhelming. I tend to just walk by everything that doesn’t grab my biased judgment and spend time with those that do. A lot of time.

  2. One last thought. To me, music is inseparable from art. I’m sure most of us have a favorite playlist or other form that we listen to as we work. Some that helps the creativity flow and frees the mind. Mine is rather eclectic, but heavy on 20th and 21st century serious composers – works for me. I’m old enough to remember Vladimir Ussachevsky and Ned Rorem lecturing or conducting at the U. Those were heady times.

    How does this fit into the discussion of the Spring Salon? I was reminded again last year, when I did a second reading of John Cage’s “Silence” that silence is a part of the sound; that it’s essentially as important as the sound. The same is true within a museum. The lack of open space between works creates visual noise and disrupts the “seeing” of the art.

  3. I wonder too about the Salon. I would like to get in and when I don’t I know I am in good company because I see the art that is left out! I was not aware how the most honored were chosen..but frankly if you are a most honored artist you should bring something amazing to show you deserved the honor! I know many of these artists’ works and their salon contributions are not always their best work. Still I love the museum and hope they can expand their salon to include more categories and new artists. I agree that the salon picks that ended up on the second floor appeared to be a desperate act to hang them somewhere/anywhere! I felt bad for those artists.

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