Presentation by Korean artist Young Sil Rho coincides with SUMA exhibit opening

"Spring" by Young Sil Rho, | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Expounding on her journey to becoming an artist, Young Sil Rho will be presenting an artist talk at the Southern Utah Museum of Art on Thursday at 7 p.m. sponsored by Southern Utah University’s Art and Design “Art Insights” program. Rho’s presentation will coincide with the opening of her exhibit at the museum that same day. Admission is free.

In the November 2003 catalog of her work, Rho said:

I have been partial to classical western art and its traditional medium and used the oil in a traditional manner. In my work, however, I have incorporated the context of my cultural background and experience. That I have tried to pursue and render the quintessential aspects of natural beauty defines the core of my style.

Young Sil Rho grew up in the beautiful countryside of Korea, surrounded by mountains, valleys and fields, all of which she felt compelled to put on paper from a young age. She began by drawing on pieces of paper she found in her father’s office, later attending the Ewha Girls’ High School in Seoul to develop the technical foundations of drawing and painting. Rho then went on to earn a BFA with a concentration in oil painting from Ewha Women’s University in 1959.

Growing up in the aftermath of the Korean War, Rho had to seek out beauty in a country that was left in desolation. She was drawn to the French Impressionists plein air style of painting that captured a moment in time while experimenting with the effect of natural light on color. Her professional artistic career began in 1957 when her painting “A Village in Seoul, Dang In Ri” was presented at the prestigious Korean Fine Arts Association.

After marrying a Korean diplomat, Rho began her life overseas in 1969. With nearly three decades spent in Japan, the United States, London and Hong Kong, Rho was able to bring an international dimension to her artistic career, serving as the basis for her extensive bodies of work on multinational landscapes.

Rho has participated in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the years. She has also received awards from the Korean National Art Exhibitions, Korean Photographers Association, the Gogen Art League and the Korean Art on Fan Association.

Her work is included in collections at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Korea, as well as private collections around the world. She has produced several hundred oil paintings and countless works sketched in pencil and coal. The work that is currently on exhibit at the Southern Utah Museum of Art was donated by Young Sil Rho as a gift to the museum’s permanent collection.

When talking about her work as an artist, Rho said:

The predominant theme of my work throughout the years has been nature and our relationship to it. Nature not only provides us an environment to live in but also a platform, which enables us to create culture. An open discourse with nature has spiritually enriched me, and I have tried to compose it and try to give it a form on canvas. My work therefore is simply a creative process through which personal observation is shaped by change of seasons, locations, time and its varying climate. In nature, there are also varying traces of humanity. My endeavors are to compose these impressions transmitted to my perceptive functions.

Art Insights is hosted during the fall and spring semesters by Southern Utah University’s Art and 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 Southern Utah University College of Performing and Visual Arts

According to a press release from Southern Utah University, the College of Performing and Visual Arts is composed of nationally accredited departments of art and design, music, theatre arts and dance, as well as graduate programs in arts administration and music and a center for Shakespeare studies.

More than 60 full- and part-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 550 majors in the College of Performing and Visual Arts. 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. Affiliate organizations include the Southern Utah Museum of Art, Utah Shakespeare Festival and SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company. For more information, go to the College of Performing and Visual Arts website.

Event details

  • What: Young Sil Rho art talk and exhibit opening at the Southern Utah Museum of Art.
  • When: Thursday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Museum of Art, 13 S. 300 West, Cedar City.
  • Admission: Free. General public invited to attend.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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