SUMA exhibit reflects ‘re-enactment of modern painting’s history’

Some examples of artwork produced for the "Student Abstracts" exhibit, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Featuring new artwork from Southern Utah University’s department of art and design student studio artists, “Student Abstracts” will be on display in the Southern Utah Museum of Art from now until April 29. The show is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

The artists displaying work are from Andrew Marvick’s “ART-4500 Special Projects” course, which encourages students to explore special areas of art and design studio practices. This semester’s course was designed to follow a chronological path from Western painting’s first abstract experiments to the art world’s current trends through a style called “process painting.”

Spanning the years from 1900 to 2010, each section of the special projects course moved the students through different artistic styles such as fauvism, nonobjective expressionism, cubism, orphism, minimalism and abstract expressionism.

This approach encouraged students to explore their own artistic voice and proved to be uniquely rewarding for students.

The experience has not been without its challenges,” Marvick said in a news release, “but it’s fair to say that, through this semester-long reenactment of modern painting’s history, many of the students have gained surprisingly clear and energizing insights into their own artistic personalities, suggesting multiple new avenues for their future artistic development.”

One of these students is Elizabeth Edwards, senior ceramics and sculpture major.

“This is a way for students to show their studies, new ideas that were explored and the impact it has in bettering our culture and community,” Edwards said. “We have studied and applied our knowledge in a tangible way that makes what we have learned very evident.”

“These ideas are relatively new to the art department at SUU,” she continued, “and show how pushing the boundaries can reach students who may have felt they had no place in painting before.”

Another artist, Lori Ransom, a fourth-year student double majoring in illustration and psychology, said she believes in the importance of sharing her work in a public space like a museum and the impact it has on a community.

I think that art is valuable for its own sake and should be seen and experienced as an important part of our culture,” Ransom said. “I believe that it encourages creative thinking, which enriches all disciplines.”

“For those that visit our exhibit, whether they like the art or not,” Ransom said, “what I hope for most is that viewers will have the desire to explore abstract art for themselves and that they have the opportunity to have the kinds of experiences I was able to have this semester.”

For more information about Southern Utah University’s department of art and design, go to their website.

Event details

  • What: “Student Abstracts” student artwork exhibit.
  • When: Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. through April 29.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S. 300 West, Cedar City.
  • Cost:  Free admission, general public invited to attend.

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