SUMA to start summer season with iconic local landscapes; related art activities scheduled

"Moenkopi Frieze" by Kate Starling, who's installation will be featured at the Southern Utah Museum of Art starting May 11 in Cedar City, Utah | Photo courtesy of SUMA, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — If you enjoy iconic landscapes, you might enjoy the work of a prominent Southern Utah landscape artist.

Southern Utah Museum of Art, on the campus of Southern Utah University, will host “Kate Starling: A Study of Scale” in its latest exhibition that opens Saturday with a family-friendly art activity and runs through July 27, with a gallery talk on June 15.

The Starling exhibition offers an intimate perspective of the iconic landscapes both locals and tourists to Southern Utah are so familiar with. In great detail, Starling examines the simple beauty of these landforms that many overlook, according to a press release from the museum. The artist uses her past as a geologist and national parks ranger to capture the intricacies and sensory experience of these public places on a much smaller scale than her traditional counterparts.

“When we first come to a spectacular landscape, it is common to only see the obvious,” Starling said in the press release. “Many of these paintings are about the scenic, but also emphasize the mundane elements in order to let the viewer experience the whole. I wanted this show to be about the place where I live and the things I see every day.”

Landscape artists are an important aspect of the Southern Utah culture and art community. They have a long history in the region and are a core element of the SUMA collection. Alongside Starling, SUMA will feature works from the permanent collection by other notable, regional artists. The complementary work will include pieces by Jimmie Jones and Maynard Dixon, as well as other well-known artists.

“Kate is reexamining the landscape in a new way, taking the freedom to manipulate and experiment with the scale,” said Jessica Farling, director/curator of SUMA. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase her work.”

Join SUMA at the opening of Kate Starling: A Study of Scale on Saturday with a take-home activity from 2-4 p.m. at “Family Day: Kate’s art ROCKS!” Parents and their children will have the opportunity to participate in rock painting inspired by the work in the exhibition.

Other programming includes a gallery talk with the artist on June 15 at 1 p.m. where Starling will discuss her inspirations and interpretations.

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