If you're making a list of the "must see" exhibitions in Utah, be sure to place these two shows at the top of your list: the Utah Designer Crafts Show at Park City's Kimball Art Center and the 19th Annual All-State High School Show at the Springville Museum of Art.
- Utah Designer Crafts Show participants never have had difficulty filling their small downtown gallery with attractive, colorful crafts. But exhibiting in KAC's large Main Gallery meant they had to think BIG.So they worked big. They also experimented, collaborated and did something crazy.
Definitely in the big category are the imaginative, colorful quilts by Jen Shurtliff and Kathleen Deneris, wood vessels by Clead Christiansen and wood sculptures by Richard Dawson.
Experimentation is apparent in Shurtliff's painted and sewn paper creations, Jim Stewart's ceramic sculptures and Kim Brown's jester doll mobiles.
Furniture maker Andrew Glantz collaborated with Roberta Glidden for a folding screen, "Monument Valley Monument." Glantz made the pine frames and Glidden the silk painting.
Roger Fuller decided to "do something crazy" with his avant garde wall hangings. One look at "His 'n Hers" and "Earth Angel" is proof.
Adding even more variety to the show are Frances Garrett's jewelry, Darel Johnson's wood sculpture, Mark Johnson's rawhide objects; Martha Klein Haley's kimonos and random-pleated silk jackets; Maggie Harrison's felt hangings; Lily Havey's fused-glass pieces; Kathy Kankainen's painted warp wall hangings; Frank Nabrotzky's wood bowls combined with metal sculpture; Dean Petaja's wall pieces; and Kaethe Radomski's wood furniture and jewelry boxes.
Handwoven wearables by Becky Menlove, Sandra Ence Paul and Diane Terry broaden the dimension of the show, as do ceramics (pottery and sculpture) by John Burt, Steve Hansen, Jess Ivie, Phil Jenkins, Sharon Brown Mikkelson and Amy McDonald.
Some of the most popular items in the show are Winston Gamble's steel petroglyphs.
This crafts exhibit is quite an eye-opener, especially for out-of-staters. Many have expressed their surprise at the innovative creations and superb craftsmanship by Utah artisans.
- Another treat in store for KAC patrons is the watercolor exhibit by G. Russell Case in the Badami Gallery.
Although you may not be familiar with this artist's works now, I guarantee you will be soon.
Case wasted no time getting into the mainstream of art. He was holding one-man shows and winning awards in juried shows while attending high school in Hyrum, Snow College and Utah State University (BFA, 1989). To date, he has had seven one-man shows. And he is currently represented by Southam Gallery in Salt Lake City and Greystone Gallery in Logan. He's also affiliated with two out-of-state galleries.
Subject matter in this show moves from rural landscapes to ski slopes to rugged cliffs of Southern Utah. And it's apparent that Case enjoys snow scenes - two-thirds of his works in this exhibit show snow.
Case says that he loves the visual imagery that the world presents. He views the watercolor brush as the most versatile and sensitive of drawing instruments, capable of producing a variety of expressive lines and forms.
The artist is definitely in control of his brush - and his medium. He knows when to leave colors fresh and when to glaze them. And his glazes are beautifully engineered; none looks muddy.
His palette of colors is especially pleasing in "Spotted Pony."
However, not every painting is a winner. Some are marred by ineffective splatter techniques, opaque light over dark and reflections filled with foreign colors. Sometimes his illustration expertise invades his fine art approach and results in a disquieting mixture of the two.
But these are only minor points compared to the artist's strengths.
Case's exhibit as well as the Utah Designer Crafts exhibit will continue at KAC through March 27. Gallery hours are 110 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
- Art students who are participating in the All-State High School Show '91 at the Springville Museum of Art should be complimented for helping make this year's show the best yet. Of course, credit also goes to their teachers, the jurors, the sponsors and museum personnel.
This year, 61 schools submitted 815 entries by juniors and seniors.
Jurying the show were art professors David Cox of Weber State, Peter Myer of BYU and Barbara Bordell of Utah Valley Community College. During the jurying process, they accepted only 300 works.
This year's show takes on a professional air. Students are exploring and mastering more media; works are more creative than in previous years; and many of the two-dimensional works are both matted and framed.
This impressive show is strong in oils, drawing and printmaking. But watercolor, ceramics and sculpture take a back seat.
Although the exhibit opened on Feb. 16, awards will not be announced until March 2. At that time, 34 students will he honored. Four will receive masters awards; 10, awards of excellence; and 20, awards of merit.
The winners have already been picked. I have a list, but have been sworn to secrecy until after the awards ceremony.
However, before looking over the list, I walked through the show and made a list of the works I thought were the creme de la creme. When comparing lists, I found we agreed about 70 percent of the time.
Sometimes it's not easy to identify the medium each student has used. Nichole Lynch's entry, "Leather Jacket," looks like a charcoal drawing, but it's a watercolor. Scott Billings' "Sitting Ducks" is not a pastel drawing; he used colored pencils.
Some students displayed the patience of Job when creating their works. I wonder how many hours Rob McCabe, John Rogers and Karen Lee chalked up when working on their entries?
The exhibit will remain at the Springville Art Center, 126 E. 400 South, through March 14. If you visit the show before the awards are announced on March 2, pick out your favorites. Then compare them with the jurors' choices. See if you can do better than 70 percent.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, and Wednesday evenings until 9 p.m. For information, call 489-9434.