Graffiti. Everyone has seen it. Everyone has an opinion about it, but how many consider it artistic?

The newest exhibit at the Woodbury Art Museum features graffiti art from local urban artists. Christina Ruth/UVU REVIEW

On the evening of Jan. 28, the Woodbury Art Museum at University Mall made its grand opening for a new and unique exhibit, “Hidden Voices.”

The exhibit features diverse types of graffiti art created by artists whose skill, talent and dedication are often times overlooked. Each artist committed their time, talent and energies into these works, sharing their emotions and opinions, and adding their different styles to each piece. These works are altogether impressive, but what truly made the night were the artists who created them.

The evening began as crowds of guests packed themselves into the museum entryway and began feasting on the delicious J Dawgs that were provided. While eating, many of the patrons moved about the exhibit talking to artists and viewing their works.

One person in attendance was Nicholas Solis, who has been making art for 5 years. When asked about a piece he had done that featured a large portion in dark colors and a smaller portion in lighter colors he said, “The larger portion represents the larger part of society that thinks that graffiti is not art, while the smaller portion represents that part of society that thinks it is.”

This piece strikes onlookers in not only its great detail, shading, and defined lines, but also by its  symbolism. It seems evident that the heart and soul of these artists is bare and visible through their art. Nicholas and the other artists spent quality time on each piece and in workshops, developing their skills and seeing life in new, meaningful ways. As they collaborated and worked together, they inspired each other to grow and excel. Through the program, Albert Anzar, one of the artists, was inspired and is currently working on going to school at UVU.

Near the end of the night, President Holland said, “This exhibit speaks to the institution, but most of all to my heart. These men needed a second chance and they rose to the occasion. When they were provided a way to do their work, they flourished and have allowed us to enjoy it as well.”

Flourish they did, and though the museum was filled with many voices, the loudest were those speaking from the walls.

“Hidden Voices” is open now through March 5 at the Woodbury Art Museum, located at the University Mall. The exhibit is free and open to the public every Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.