Brightly colored paintings hung delicately on the white walls brought life to an otherwise plain room. Photographs, small and dark, balanced the vibrancy of the large paintings. One small anomaly, not far from the artwork, caught the eyes of the wandering audience: the artists’ family trees.
The Orem Big Read is an annual book-reading event in partnership with the Orem Public Library, for people in the community to get together to experience and discuss the topics within a specific book.
This year Orem Big Read is highlighting the book “Gilead”, by Marilynne Robinson focusing on the theme of passing down a family business from one generation to the next. The Woodbury Art Museum hosted a panel discussion of local artists on Tuesday, Oct. 4, to share their family trees, as well as explain how their talents have been passed down through the generations.
Throughout history, artistic skill has passed through families. Many examples were shown in a presentation given by Courtney Davis, an art history professor at UVU, which included Jose Ruiz Blasco and his son Picasso, as well as Filippo Lippi and his son Filippino.
Local painter Cassandra Barney and sculptor Daniel Fairbanks, along with Davis, appeared on the panel to discuss their own backgrounds coming from artistic families.
“Your family is so connected, they’re your teachers, your tutors,” Davis said.
Art was an essential part of these speakers’ youth. Barney grew up with a father and a sister who are painters. And three generations of artists preceded Fairbanks in his ability.
Although these panelists grew up with creative relatives, they are not just mirrors of them. They each have their own reason as to why they chose their careers.
“I hope people know that they can, despite what their parents do, be inspired to pursue their passions,” Barney said.
There are many different types of art that can be explored in various ways to match the diversity of interests.
“It is not just born into your blood,” Barney said. “Anyone can do it.”