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"Flatland River" by American pop artist Wayne Thiebaud.

SPRINGVILLE — The work of one of the most famous pop artists of the '50s and '60s, Wayne Thiebaud, is coming to the Springville Museum of Art.

"It's not what you know, it's who you know," museum director Vern Swanson said, explaining how the museum acquired the collection.

The exhibition is set for March 1 through July 27 on the second floor.

"We were booked ahead for three years ... but when you get something like this, you gotta go for it," Swanson said.

The museum plans to remove some of its permanent collection to make room for the $100 million treasure trove. Swanson worked through Salt Lake City art collector Diana Stewart and Santa Fe art dealer Gerald Peters to get the exhibition.

The Utah museum was able to acquire it between major showings. Thiebaud will meet educators on March 19 and share a "Conversation With the Artist" on March 29.

The Thiebaud collection is easily the most valuable the museum has ever exhibited, Swanson said, eclipsing other exhibitions by some $90 million.

A leading American pop artist, Thiebaud began focusing on objects of mass culture, such as pastries, boots, lipsticks, toilets and toys. The exhibition spans 70 years of his works and includes his earlier beach and figure paintings, which are lesser known.

Other exhibitions through the year include the "Red Rock Art" of local artist Max Weaver and the work of Willamarie Huelskamp and Colleen Howe. (Those exhibitions end Feb. 1, as does "Soviet Art in Conflict," and "Psycho-Delicious Art.")

From Feb. 23-March 28, the museum brings in the 36th Annual All-State High Schools of Utah Show, followed by Thiebaud's "70 Years of Painting."

From April 27-July 3, the museum hosts its 84th Spring Salon, its largest juried show of the year.

"It represents Utah's up-and-coming artists as well as established artists," said museum spokeswoman Natalie Petersen.

More Russian art follows with an exhibition July 17-Sept. 4 of "The Best of the SMA Collection of Russian Art" along with the 35th Annual Quilt Show.

September brings art from the Utah Watercolor Society, exhibiting Sept. 11-Oct. 16, and "Utah's Great Illustrators of Children's Books." Russian art morphs into "Terpsikhorov: Painter of Russia."

The year ends with local artist J. Kirk Richards and his "Red Rock and Sagebrush," which runs from Sept. 11 through Jan. 25, 2009. The museum also hosts the 23rd Annual Religious and Spiritual Art Show from Oct. 30-Dec. 28 and the children's annual Christmas Lamb Show, a two-decade tradition at the museum.

Several events are also planned for the museum this year:

Chamber Choir Concert — Springville High School, March 5.

All-State High School Awards Ceremony, March 8.

Wayne Thiebaud — Conversation With the Artist, March 29.

42nd Annual Art Ball, May 3.

Orchestra Concert — Springville High School, May 7.

Chamber Choir Concert — Springville High School, May 14.

Children's Art Festival, June 13.

Folkfest Reception, July 12.

35th Annual Quilt Show Awards Reception, July 16.

Celebrate Your Museum Day, Sept. 13.

Christmas Lamb Awards Program, Dec. 6.

The museum also hosts Community and Family Night every first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. and its Sunday Concert Series on varying Sundays at 5 p.m.

For its Evening for Educators series beginning at 6 p.m. (unless otherwise noted), the museum has scheduled the following:

• "Masterworks of Victorian Art" from the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Jan. 30.

• "California Funk Art" from Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

• "Let's Face It" with Thiebaud, March 19.

• "Turning Point: The Demise of Modernism and Rebirth of Meaning in American Art" from the BYU Museum of Art in September.

"Art and Theatre" from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

• "National Geographic Portraits" from Southern Utah University in October.

• "Red Rock and Sagebrush: The Southern Utah Landscape" from the Springville Museum of Art in November.


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