Arrowhead Gallery ETC hosts inaugural ‘Featured Artist Show’

"Wall Arch at Zions," oil painting by Paul B. Jensen | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News

ST. GEORGE— The Arrowhead Gallery ETC proudly presents its first “Featured Artist Show.” Oil painter Paul B. Jensen and gourd artist Mary Curtis will showcase their artwork.

A reception will be held March 25 from 6-9 p.m. in the new Electric Theater Center, located at 68 E. Tabernacle St. in St. George. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About the Artists

Paul B Jensen

Paul B. Jensen, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News
Paul B. Jensen, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News

Paul B. Jensen was raised on a farm and spent most of his life outdoors where he gained a deep love and appreciation for the beauty and variety of his surroundings. He developed an interest in painting those things around him, eventually taking classes from many well-known artists.

For many years, Jensen has actively supported the art community in the St. George area. He served as president of the Southwest Art Association and helped developed the first St. George Annual Arts Festival. Each year, the festival grew larger until eventually the city took it over.

Jensen has also served many years on the local board of directors for the Visual Arts Association and the Southern Utah Art Guild. He is currently working on as a member of the committee that developed and established the Arrowhead Art Gallery in the Electric Theater Complex.

Jensen has been juried and received several awards during his art career. Now that he is retired, he finds more time to paint in his home art studio that he designed. For Jensen, landscape and wildlife painting have always provided a special fulfillment along with a sense of accomplishment.

Mary Curtis

Mary Curtis, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News
Mary Curtis, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News

Mary Curtis is the type of person who “creates” their entire life. She has always sewn clothing, quilt tops and many other projects. This skill was essential when she created a business that sold wedding gowns and prom apparel. Through this endeavor, Curtis also developed great people skills and learned how much she enjoyed meeting people and creating relationships with them.

After closing her bridal shop, Curtis drifted into the art world — almost by accident. She began photographing with the macro setting on her digital cameras, taking photos of wildflowers and weed blossoms. After a few art lessons and learning some of the basic rules, Curtis discovered that she had a knack for drawing which grew into pastel work and then into oil painting.

When Curtis went back to work full time, she found that she needed more concentration to stay focused on painting. Her sister-in-law, Evie Atkin, introduced her to gourd art, an art form which worked very well with her full-time work schedule. This has provided Curtis with an outlet to continue to create in the limited time she now has available to her.

Vessel with Lid- Gourd by Mary Curtis | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News
Vessel with Lid – Gourd by Mary Curtis | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Art Guild, St. George News

Curtis began browsing through various gourd art books to get ideas, learn how to use a Dremel tool, what stains were available, etc. Her style continues to evolve, and she especially enjoys carving and blending the natural colors of the gourd with the pure colors of the dyes she uses. Part of the appeal of working with gourds is that the gourd itself is from nature and is not perfect. It is not perfectly shaped, the color of the skin isn’t the same on all parts of the gourd and sometimes there are little scars to take into consideration.

This has been such a great challenge to create a beautiful piece of artwork from something that someone else might not have considered because of what they might consider blemishes.

 

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