During the season when autumn's warm colors dot the hillsides and canyons, gallery owners are filling their walls with brightly colored works. The Art Barn is featuring paintings by Allen Bishop; Dolores Chase Gallery is focusing on imaginative works by Edith Roberson; and the Utah Designer Crafts Gallery is spotlighting a multimedia exhibit where the color red is the theme.
- Allen Bishop has been busy hopping from one gallery to another for his one-man shows. Last month, his colorful works filled two galleries at Brigham Young University. His current show, at the Art Barn, opened Oct. 7.Bishop said that nine out of 24 works in his new show were exhibited at BYU, while some of the others were exhibited during the spring in the Salt Lake Art Center. But he said that each painting is made up of a number of parts and he has rearranged them to form new compositions.
During a phone conversation with Bishop last week, I asked him a few questions.
"With each new exhibit, I see that you haven't fallen into a rut. You seem to be constantly searching - not so much exploring a new direction, but building on your previous one. Is that true?" I asked.
"Yes, I think so. I guess all of this started about 12 years ago. I began at ground level exploring grids. I was concerned about getting a handle on such things as unity and cohesiveness.
"But grids have potential of being boring. So I added textures and colors. And I started tracing chess moves on grids. All of this culminated in an 84-foot-long mural at Alta High School."
Another question: "I see you paint on stretched canvas as well as on masonite backed with strips of wood. And you're including more curves and circles in your work. How come?"
Answer: "At first, all the panels I worked with were straight edge. It has been only in the last year that I have started cutting panels out of masonite. This makes it possible to introduce curves and jagged edges - shapes that are practically impossible to stretch canvas over."
In 1987, Bishop was a recipient of the Utah Arts Council's Visual Arts Fellowship. He is represented by Phillips Gallery, Dooly Gallery (Park City), Miriam Perlman, Inc. (Illinois) and Parker Blake Gallery (Colorado).
- Sculptor Carol Rhodes and poet Elizabeth Tornes have collaborated for a mixed-media show in the Park Gallery (lower level, Art Barn).
Both artist and poet have had an affection for the desert for many years.
Rhodes developed hers early in life when her father, a geologist and meteorologist, taught her to appreciate the desert. And she chose the medium of clay to demonstrate that affection.
"In creating these pieces," Rhodes said, "I have tried to imagine the processes of erosion at work and literally put myself in their place."
Tornes' poems were sparked as a result of meditation about the relationship between humans and the natural world. "I think of these poems as homages to the wilderness, with which Utah is abundantly blessed . . ."
This collaborative show will continue through October, while Bishop's works will remain through Nov. 9. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. The gallery is located at 54 Finch Lane.
- A major exhibition of paintings by Edith Roberson has just opened at the the Dolores Chase Gallery.
Roberson is an artist who takes her profession seriously but approaches her painting playfully. She doesn't limit herself to one style but works comfortably from one extreme to the other - photographic representation, realism, stylization, abstraction and non-objective art.
"I don't think it is good to be stuck in a style just because it's popular with the public," she said.
She often likes to fool the viewer by painting objects realistically. For example, a painting of a bulletin board filled with notes looks just like a real one, complete with shadows cast by the objects. And there are "holes" where the thumbtacks have been removed. But look closely! There are no holes, just trompe l'oeil techniques.
Roberson is a collector. She has gathered all kinds of paraphernalia over the years. But most of these objects sit around until such time when inspiration hits and the artist selects them for her work.
In her last show, a painting of an old tricycle was a big hit. This time around, she has painted an old toy airplane - one large enough for a child to sit in. Although the real plane never got off the ground, it flies high above the clouds in two of the artist's imaginative works.
Her pictures are often symbolic and associated with her dreams. Images are intriguing and unsettling. In several paintings, human figures and a bottle float through the air. In another, stick puppets appear to be coming to life.
An artist's reception is planned for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, the same evening of the monthly Gallery Stroll. The show remains through Nov. 17 at the Dolores Chase Gallery, 260 S. 200 West (328-2787). Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2-5 p.m. on Saturday.
- Gallery artists at Utah Designer Crafts have put together a multimedia exhibit that focuses on the color red. The photograph on this page, sans color, is pretty blah. This is a show that has to be seen in person to be appreciated.
The largest craft item on display is Jen Shurtliff's quilt of red cliffs in Southern Utah. The smallest, rings adorned with rubies, garnets or red jasper.
And in between? There are Martha Klein Haley's galena-and-black ensemble with a titian vest; beautifully crafted wooden mirrors by Kaethe Radomski; tapestry bags and pouches by Sandra Ence Paul; weaving by Becky Menlove; and ceramics with copper red glazes by John Johnston and Sharon Brown Mikkelson.
When you get your fill of red, take a look at some of the other offerings in the gallery: fanciful ceramic animals by Lori Mehan, pottery by James Stewart, petroglyph weavings by Kathy Kankainen, "wearable paintings" by Roberta Glidden and superbly crafted jewelry by Frances Garrett - to name a few.
The show remains at UDC through Nov. 10. A reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 19, from 6-9 p.m. The gallery is located at 38 W. 200 South. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.