Painting outside the box
By Kyrie Hulick
Asst. News Editor
The Woodbury Art Museum’s recent Art of Our Century exhibition features contemporary works from artists all over the western region of the U.S., though most artists come from Utah.
This particular show was their annual juried exhibition, and four honorable mentions were awarded as well as the Purchase Award, which was granted to UVU graduate Annie Farley for her piece “Defiant.” The gallery chose her painting from this year’s selection to purchase and add to their permanent collection.
Melissa Hempel, Interim Director and Curator for the museum, pronounced this “one of our better summers.” She and two other Utah judges received room-fulls of the best work students had to offer and critiqued each piece, presenting honorable mentions to Leslie Vigeant, Van Chu, Barbara Maricle and Purchase Award winner, Annie Farley.
Simple and softly lit, this quiet museum contains the pride and joy of aspiring artists working hard to form creations unlike any others. Larry Revoir, 32-year-old Fine Arts major and assistant in the museum, explained that the process modern artists go through is almost more interesting than the finished work.
“When people see a Jackson Pollock, they see splatters on a canvas and say, ‘Oh, my kid could do that,’ but it’s obvious to see that there was a process that went into it, that it was carefully planned and has as much balance and harmony as any other painting,” Revoir said.
His contribution to the gallery, a ceramic wonder titled Touch, forms the pale shape of a teddy bear, intricately cast with spiky fur spiraling away from the bear, causing admirers to scratch their heads at its impossible texture.
“The whole thing is hollow,” Revoir explains. To achieve his feather-light feat, he used a real teddy bear, covered it in soft clay and cured it in the kiln where it reached such hot temperatures that the bear inside incinerated, leaving the ceramic exoskeleton to awe audiences.
This ingenious process isn’t the only one to enter the show. A look around will show off more than just average oil paintings and square canvases. Artists used mediums such as ribbons, plaster, cast aluminum and even bronze in a statue by Dennis Smith titled At Fourteen.
Each work displays a singular sense of creativity and talent. Beginning in early August, the next show of the museum will feature work from faculty members, and on August 7, Annie Farley will host Art Talk, where she will be interviewed about her artistic process.