Art exhibitions in the digital age

The UVU Museum of Art’s 2022 faculty exhibition shows the interesting advantages available to the online medium.

Amber Tutwiler’s remarkable oil on canvas “Under Impression” in the 2022 UVU faculty exhibition. Photo provided by Amber Tutwiler.

With the UVU Museum of Art currently undergoing relocation to Lakemount Manor, the UVU School of Art and Design was presented with the dilemma of how to present the 2022 faculty art exhibition. Rather than cancel the show or relocate, they determined to host it online and explore what this medium has available to offer.

Although there is certainly something lost from being unable to view these stunning pieces in person, it cannot be denied that online exhibitions have the benefit of being available from the comfort of one’s own home. There is no reason why one should not be able to take a few minutes to see the wonderful artists that UVU has to offer. 

Combined with the easy-to-use interface, viewing is extremely convenient. When visiting the home page of the exhibit, one is first welcomed with a message from the director, explaining the mission of this collection as a whole. Scrolling down, they are then given an alphabetical list of the participants in the exhibit. By clicking on a name, one is directed to that artist’s unique page. 

There is an interesting sense of connection to the artists that come through visiting their page. Even though the pages are relatively simple, they present a direct level of control the artists have in directing the observer’s exposure to their art.

For instance, clicking on Howard Fullmer’s name pulls up his page which begins with his artist’s statement, describing the purpose of his piece being “an expression of my right to free speech.” Following is a display of his piece: a picture of Batman made from 76,000 fired .22 caliber brass casings, entitled “No Guns.” 

When clicking on Perry Stewart’s name, one is similarly met with an artist’s statement, but rather than describe the message behind his piece, he describes the style he is exploring and how he came to choose that style. There is also a bio attached at the bottom of his page which shows his extensive background in art.

Izzy Healy’s piece is a YouTube video of her narrating experiences from her grandmother’s life and its connection to art. Jana Parkin has two watercolor paintings with descriptions of the places they depict. And Richard Hull has two oil paintings with no description at all accompanying them.

Furthermore, each artist has the opportunity to engage observers further by linking them to their social media. It presents a level of access to the artist that is only possible online. Another interesting element of engagement in this online forum is a button at the bottom of each artist’s page where observers can “Appreciate” the art. The button serves a similar purpose as “liking” on Instagram or YouTube.

It will certainly be a worthwhile experience to visit the beautiful Lakemount Manor when it is prepared to host the UVU Museum of Art, but until that time, hosting art exhibitions online provides a convenient alternative. Beyond simple convenience, it is interesting to see what might be possible through this medium.
The 2022 UVU faculty art exhibition is available from Oct. 4 to Dec. 10 at uvufacultyexhibition.myportfolio.com.

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