When it comes to visual arts, everything's up-to-date in Ogden city. Many artists who live there are well-known throughout the state. And many artists outside of the city are becoming better known in Ogden, thanks to efforts by gallery and art center directors.
Under the leadership of Henry Barendse, gallery director at Weber State College, traveling exhibits and outstanding artists from outside the state have been brought to the college. For example, an exhibition by five professional photographers titled "Marks and Measures: Images of Rock Art" ran from Sept. 27 through Oct. 26 in the Collett Gallery. On Oct. 24, international award-winning photojournalist and author Susan Meiselas spoke about her life and work. And last week, New York artist Alison Saar lectured there.But right now, the spotlight is on WSC's full- and part-time faculty.
The exhibit showcases only a sampling of works by faculty mem-bers. And Barendse feels that this approach is both bad and good. It's bad because a small representation of each artist's works diminishes the concepts of the artist. On the other hand, it's good because it introduces the students to styles by their instructors, but not so extensively that they are tempted to mimic their instructors' styles.
Gallerygoers in Salt Lake are familiar with paintings by Richard Van Wagoner, ceramic sculpture by David Cox, wall sculpture by Jim Jacobs, Prismacolor drawings by Dale Bryner and retouched photographs by Susan Makov. But did you know that all five of these artists are also full-time faculty members at WSC?
Their styles are easily recognizable - with the exception of Makov. Her most recent works are a dramatic departure from her retouched photographs. Suddenly she's come out with acrylics on canvas, painted boxes, and three-colored linocuts on paper. It's refreshing to see an artist explore a variety of styles and techniques, yet remain completely in control of each medium.
When it comes to works by Bryner, smaller is better. His six diminutive Prismacolor drawings are executed beautifully.
Two works by art department chairman James McBeth are also part of the show. One of them, "Escape, 1990," is autobiographical. He says that it deals with his feelings surrounding a hiding place in his grandparents' home. Time-worn, spotless steps look realistic enough at the bottom, but as they move upward, they become "skiwampus." Crouching under the stairs is young McBeth in silhouette.
This faculty exhibition will continue in Collett Art Gallery through Dec. 7. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. For more information, call 626-6762.
- Although this exhibit applauds the creations of artists who live in and around Ogden, the new show at the Eccles Community Art Center features works from photographers from across the state.
The "Statewide Photographic Competition," now in its seventh year, is once again impressive, thanks to the efforts of the center's director Sandy Havas and her staff.
Many photographers responded to the call for entries and submitted 197 works. That number was reduced to 76 by juror Wesley Wada, professor of photography at College of Southern Idaho.
In his juror's statement, he says that the rare, significant photograph builds upon the base of a triad of "carefully conceived composition, thoughtful technique and awareness of the powers of lighting. Added to that base are such things as empathy, sensitivity, intense involvement and flights of fancy.
Wada selected three photographs for honorable mention. These awards went to Ben Altman, Dave Jones and Suzanne Simpson. He also recommended works to be considered for purchase awards. The final decision for the purchase awards rested on members of ECAC's exhibit committee. The two photographs they selected were Clark Partridge's "Bentonite, Capitol Reef" and Steve Midgley's "Promontory Peninsula." Both are landscapes. The first is magnificent in its simplicity, the second, superb in its crisp detail.
In some works, Mother Nature had created the scene, and the photographer was fortuitous in being in the right place at the right time. For example, the diagonal movement of the clouds adds significantly to the composition in Steven Ahrensbach's "Untitled #3."
In other photographs, man is the creator, but nature's elements add personality. An excellent example of this is Partridge's "Facade," a shot of the back of Felt Electric building in downtown Salt Lake.
Specific art elements and principles shine in many of the works: texture - Midgley, Laurel Casjens and John Taylor; color - Lou Braun and Travis Pate; and light and dark - Robert J. Warren and Braun.
This photography show will remain through November at Eccles Community Art Center, 2580 Jefferson Avenue, 392-6935. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
- A mother/daughter team is sharing exhibition space in the Carriage House, located behind ECAC. Marilyn H. Garner's the mother; and Judy Wolthuis, the daughter.
Although Garner enjoys drawing birds and animals with Prismacolor, her forte is her large floral watercolors. Two of her best paintings are "Shades of Purple" and "Poppy Passion."
Wolthuis often works in similar media and subject matter as her mother. Her strongest area is her small, abstract watercolors. However, her Prismacolor drawing "Burgundy Hollyhocks" is impressive.
Their show continues through Nov. 30. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.