Someone once suggested that I take a long walk on a short pier. Well, I finally did - in a way. I took a long walk on a short Pierpont Avenue. And I found the experience both invigorating and visually stimulating.
Anyone who has been to Cafe Pierpont or to the art galleries on Pierpont Avenue knows where the street is. It starts at 240 South and West Temple and heads west for one block; reappears for one more block between Third and Fourth West; and surfaces again under I-15, where it continues for three more blocks.Several art galleries dot this avenue: Dolores Chase Fine Art at 1431/2 West, Courtyard Gallery at 153 West, and Pierpont Avenue at 159 West. The Artspace studios extend most of the way from Third to Fourth West.
-At the first gallery, Dolores Chase was preparing for a new show; it opened last Thursday. She had already hung most of the works by Brian Kershisnik and was waiting for monoprints by Jana Pullman.
Kershisnik began making waves in the art scene even before he received his BFA last year from BYU. For four years he has been exhibiting in group shows and winning coveted awards, including several from the student shows at BYU and intercollegiate shows at the U. of U.
Chase first became acquainted with Kershisnik's works when she saw his BFA show at BYU. At the time, she thought he would make a great regular for her gallery. But it wasn't until she saw his one-man show at the Atrium Gallery that the idea was "cemented."
The artist's unique style is still an integral part of his current show. Happily, however, Kershisnik has made these new works more spontaneous; and he no longer relies on limited imagery.
Kershisnik often paints his oils on paper rather than canvas - a technique that is becoming more and more popular in the art world today.
"I paint on paper primed with acrylic gesso and then covered with a somewhat textured oil ground," he said. "And I make my own ground by grinding additional pigments into commercial paints to thicken them."
Textures are also an important part of Jana Pullman's monoprints.
Since I was unable to see her work when I visited the gallery, I interviewed her over the phone to find out about her style.
Pullman says she starts with a basic sketch that often is inspired by landscape subject matter. "A lot of my images come from landscape, but with no specific place in mind," she said.
She then transfers her design to large planks of plywood and divides the composition into sections by gouging lines across the surface. She then covers the surface with printing inks she has modified.
By modifying them, she has more control. "For one thing, it changes the tackiness; the stiffer the ink, the lighter the tone will be, she said."
After applying the ink she places rice paper or handmade paper over the design. "Because I do not use a press, I need paper that will absorb the ink."
Rather than using a spoon, she presses the back of the paper with a Japanese tool consisting of a small pad covered with a bamboo leaf. This helps her transfer larger areas and get a more uniform tone.
She says she works "blind," Although she can lift a corner to get a peak of what's happening, she can't pull the entire print and then register it properly on the board.
The majority of the work is done using the printing technique. "But occasionally," she said, "I will paint ink on the surface, take a roller and press over areas, or stain certain passages from the back."
The artist did her undergraduate work at BYU and received her MFA degree from the University of Wisconsin last year.
Both Pullman's and Bershisnik's works will be featured at the Dolores Chase Gallery at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 to discuss their work. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibit runs through Feb. 11. For more information, call 328-2787.
-Two prominent Utah artists, Sharon Alderman and Tom Mulder, have transformed the Pierpont Gallery's walls into a kaleidoscope of color. Although each work in a different medium, they are unified in their expert use of color.
Weaver Alderman's expert knowledge and control of hue, value and chroma is indeed evident in her framed double-weave designs. She manipulates the threads as adroitly as an expert puppeteer. Whether she wants subtle changes or strong contrasts, she knows exactly how to achieve them.
Whenever I see her works, I not only marvel at her colors but also her innovative designs and craftsmanship. And it isn't long before I've fallen in love with some of her creations.
Topping the list this time are "Small Surprises" and "Homage to the Paper Wasp."
Mulder is fascinated by what he calls "sun-belt cultures." And, for this show, he focuses on scenes from India, Italy and the Southwest. But recently, he has concentrated more on the architectural forms.
However, figures still fill many of his recent works. Perhaps the most striking combination of figure and architecture is "Pam in Gubbio."
-In stark contrast to this colorful exhibit is the black-and-white show downstairs in the Courtyard Gallery. Well, there is one exception - Lucy Fairchild's brightly colored green-and-yellow bowl. It becomes the focal point in the show.
When we mention such names as Bart Morse, Richard Burton, Richard Van Wagoner, Jenni Christensen, Allen Bishop and Blanche Wilson, we visualize colorful art works. But here, as we view their black-and-white works, we see another dimension of these artists.
There are 28 other artists participating, including photographers Craig Law, Hal Rumel, Rodger Newbold, Barbara Richards, Kim Granger and Paul Dougan.
The exhibits in the Courtyard and Pierpont galleries continue through Feb. 11. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.