9 artists put skills to test for more than 500 observers

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Artist Julie Rogers paints a model as the LDS Church History Museum holds an "Artists at Work" event with seven artists who work in front of and interact with an audience Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tom Smart, Deseret News

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — It's an evening of art in the making for nine artists who will actively work on their unfinished pieces for a crowd of museum guests at the LDS Church History Museum on Sept. 13.

"Artists at Work" returns to the museum for the fifth time as part of the "Evenings at the Museum" series. This free event, held each fall, was one of several designed to bring more patrons into the museum, said curator of education and exhibition, Ray Halls.

"A museum is static," Halls said. "You look at a finished work of art on the walls. This event let's people see how it is made. You see a part of it and it becomes clear how the finished product gets to that point."

In the past, the event has drawn more than 500 patrons and museum officials are anticipating similar numbers this year.

"The program continues to be popular because everyone loves to see how art is created by those who have a vision and a gift for making beautiful things," said event coordinator Peggy Rinehart in a press release.

This year, the nine featured artists are painters Annie Henrie, Emily Christensen McPhie, Garth and Anne Marie Oborn, Sandra Rast and Lynn Farrer. These painters will display their work in the museum plaza and offer a demonstration of their skills.

Additionally, the event will feature potter Ben Behunin, paper cutting (or scherenschnitte) artist Melissa Clark, and craftsman Dale Peel, who specializes in creating Mormon furniture replicas, specifically pioneer pine furniture.

Halls said the environment this particular event creates is perfect for an increased appreciation of art.

"People love to watch the creative process take place right in front of them while artists are at work," Rinehart said in a press release. "And the experience is enhanced even more when you can talk to the artist and ask questions and gain insights into what they are thinking."

And what keeps people coming back is the mutual love of creation that is instilled in all of us, Hall said.

"The interest in the creative process is fundamental to every human being," he said. "The lure of the creative process mesmerizes you when you see it before your very eyes."

"Artists at Work" is open to the public, is free and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Church History Museum is located at 45 N. West Temple St. in Salt Lake City. Free parking will also be available at 119 W. North Temple St., in the lot directly west of the museum.

For more information about the museum's current exhibits, visit its website.

Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com or on Twitter: emmiliewhitlock

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