Some time ago, research showed that the average senior (not majoring in art) at the University of Utah was at a fourth-grade level in his/her ability to produce and critique the visual arts. The reason was that they were able to go through their entire educational system without receiving any bona fide instruction in visual arts curricula. Hence these poorly prepared students become our engineers, attorneys, judges, contractors, city councils, housewives and so on.
Isn't it interesting then that the furor over Doug Snow's painting in the new courts building is being created by people who are virtually illiterate in the visual arts? Doug Snow is one of Utah's premier painters. His reputation in painting is certainly equal to that of any state Supreme Court judge in his field of expertise.As a public, we would do well to just keep the whole issue in perspective and place our trust in the people at the Utah Arts Council who do have the knowledge and understanding to make proper judgments about works of art and their appropriateness for public buildings. We may not always like their decisions, but we may not always like the decisions attorneys and judges make either.
Charles B. Stubbs