Nathan Florence: From pre-med to artist

Nomad by Nathan Florence | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — An exhibit by artist Nathan Florence is now open at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

From a young age, Florence was afraid of running out of paper and turned to using his shoes, pants, bedroom door and walls as his artistic canvas. His childhood career goals shifted from rock star to reconstructive surgeon to architect.

Growing up in Denver and Salt Lake City, he left his home to study industrial design at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Florence later changed his focus to pre-med, taking art classes when he could.

After studying to be a designer and surgeon, Florence decided to take the sage advice of his professor and pursued his passion to be an artist. He felt fortunate to work in such an exciting and rewarding field.

Florence said he was eventually drawn back to Salt Lake City by the siren song of the mountains, where he currently lives with his wife and two children. When asked about his current work, Florence said:

“My definition of what it means to be an artist has expanded from traditional drawing and painting to include community activism and education and is still expanding. My current projects include painting commissions, directing a documentary and being an artist in residence at a charter school that has an art and project learning emphasis.”

Florence is represented by Modern West Fine Art in Salt Lake City. 

“Nathan captures the essence of his subject matter through subtle gestures and dramatic compositions,” Gallery Manager Shalee Cooper said. “Many of his works hold an ethereal nostalgia. He is a Renaissance artist with the ability to work any medium whether it be music, film, or painting. He finds the beauty in the every-day and incorporates that into his work.”

For more information, visit Florence’s artist page.

Florence will also present an artist talk for SUU Art & Design Department’s Art Insights at the museum Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the general public is invited to attend.

Art Insights is hosted during the fall and spring semesters by SUU’s Art & Design faculty. Students and community members meet to experience presentations and discussions by visiting artists and art educators from around the nation who share their work and insights.

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts is comprised of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music, and Dance. The College also offers programs in Theatre Arts, graduate programs in Arts Administration and Music, as well as a Center for Shakespeare Studies.

The College offers 16 different degree areas, including liberal arts Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees; professional Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts in art and theater degrees; and Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration, Master of Arts in Arts Administration, Master of Music Education and Master of Music in Music Technology graduate degrees.

More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 600 majors in the College. Over 1,100 students enroll each year in over 195 arts classes on the SUU campus. The College presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year.

The College’s affiliate organizations include the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival and SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit them online.

Event details

  • What: Artist Nathan Florence exhibit at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.
  • When: Exhibit dates Oct. 10-31, 2016.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S. 300 West, Cedar City.
  • Admission: Free.
  • What: SUU Art & Design Department’s Art Insights featuring Nathan Florence.
  • When: Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S. 300 West, Cedar City.
  • Admission: Free.
  • For more information visit Southern Utah Museum of Art online.

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Twitter: @STGnews



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1 Comment

  • .... October 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    This is a fascinating art show. It’s absolutely to be seen. it was a great way to spend time with friends and loved ones. we had a wonderful time enjoying the art. Praise the Lord !

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