‘From light and whimsical to dark and brooding’; Southern Utah high school artists display work at SUMA

Some of the artwork at Square One exhibit at Southern Utah Museum of Art, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of SUMA, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — As the new year is getting into full swing, Southern Utah Museum of Art is presenting its inaugural juried high school art show, “Square One: Southwest Regional High School Exhibition.”

According to a press release from SUMA, through the museum’s call for art, Square One features selected artworks by high school artists spanning the southwest region of Utah and is on display through Feb. 15.

Through this exhibition, the museum aims to provide a unique experience for young artists to participate in a museum-level opportunity for professional growth while also providing a chance for the community to see the work of an underrepresented demographic of artists.

Roland Lee, local watercolor artist and Square One guest juror, said in the press release that he was eager for the young artists to be able to exhibit their work and receive feedback.

“It may be the first time these artists have seen their work exhibited outside their own school or even community,” Lee said. “Visitors to Square One will be rewarded with a variety of styles and techniques – to see the highs and lows of teenage emotions ranging from light and whimsical to dark and brooding.”

After sending out a call for art to Iron, Kane, Millard, Washington, Garfield and Beaver counties, SUMA received responses from 105 students representing 171 art entries.

Lee, alongside fellow jurors Christine Baczek, photographer and co-founder of Luminaria, and Stuart Robinson, assistant professor of art education at Southern Utah University, pored over the entries, and through a rigorous jury process, 71 entries from 62 artists representing Iron, Kane, Millard, and Washington were selected to be featured in Square One.

Square One would not be possible without support from State Bank of Southern Utah and Southwest Educational Development Center, the press release stated, adding that as part of their sponsorship, SBSU has purchased an exceptional piece of art from the exhibition. The artist will receive the Purchase Award of $750, and their artwork will be placed in the bank’s permanent collection.

This year’s winner of the Purchase Award was “Esmé” from Tuacahn High School for the Arts 11th grader Asher Foulk. 

Asher Foulk receives the SBSU Purchase Award from Tyler H. Brown, State Bank of Southern Utah director of marketing at the Square One: Southwest Regional High School Exhibition
opening reception, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of SUMA, St. George News / Cedar City News

Foulk said he was inspired by his sister to create this work of art. 

“Most of the reason for making this painting comes from how close I am to Esmé. She is my sister, my best friend, and she is very inspiring,” Foulk said. “I wanted to paint her because she is interesting to look at, and I thought her hair would be cool to paint. I think that it is easier to make good work when I care about what I am painting, and I care about Esmé a lot.”

Steven Stradley, visual arts faculty member at Tuacahn High School for the Arts, said one his central concepts as an art educator is to create opportunities for students to make excellent work and then make it public.

“Community support of students is crucial on so many levels as it reinforces strong work, builds community awareness of vibrant young artists, and prepares students to engage in deeper ways in the immediate future as well as college and career planning,” Stradley said. “Work presented publicly provides real-world experience that, coupled with community support, offers positive and truthful feedback of artistic endeavors.”

Tyler H. Brown, SBSU director of marketing, said he was “thrilled by the quality and quantity” of the student work.

“With all the negative news we hear, it is reassuring to talk to and see the talent and beauty created by these students,” Brown said. 

Alongside this generous award, SUMA, in partnership with Southwest Educational Development Center, offered additional cash prizes through a Jurors’ Choice Award, Awards of Excellence and Honorable Mention awards.

The Jurors’ Choice Award was presented to 12th grader Naji Runs Through from Tuacahn High School for the Arts. Runs Through was selected on his body of work in the show featuring “No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind” and “MMIW: Nēhiyaw.”

Square One will provide a unique experience for these artists and all who attend. More information about the exhibition can be found on the SUMA website. Admission to the museum is free and open to the public thanks to the above sponsors and Cedar City RAP Tax, Utah Division of Arts and Museums and Zions Bank.

The artists selected to be in the exhibition are as follows:

  • Gaylen Bailey
  • Abigail Bonham
  • Korbin Burton
  • Anni Campbell – Award of Excellence winner
  • Kayla Campos – Honorable Mention winner
  • Katelyn Church
  • Spencer Corry
  • Kennedy Cosson
  • Macey Cox
  • Sage Darger – Award of Excellence winner
  • Baylee Davis – Honorable Mention winner
  • Bekah Davis
  • Andrea Diaz
  • Emma Vesely
  • Alice Ewell
  • Ellen Fagergren
  • Asher Foulk – Award of Excellence winner
  • Sally Fraser
  • April Frost
  • Sadie Gilberg – Honorable Mention winner
  • Israel Gomez – Honorable Mention winner
  • Marcy Hadley
  • Rebi Hall
  • Dallin Hancock
  • Christian Hensley
  • Abbie Hermansen
  • Heather Judd
  • Anna Koski
  • Uili Leoso
  • Jennison Lichfield
  • Sarah Lloyd
  • Kaylee Long
  • Jalynn Lunceford
  • Lucy MacKay
  • Hailey Martin
  • Brinlee Mendenhall
  • Max Mickelson
  • Bailey Orton
  • Quin Palmer
  • Spencer Peel
  • Jessica Perry
  • Isaac Petersen
  • Zoe Petersen – Honorable Mention winner
  • Lillian Puckett
  • Carsyn Richins – Award of Excellence winner
  • Naji Runs Through
  • Phoenix Saville – Honorable Mention winner
  • Kade Simmons
  • Ellie Simpson
  • Layton Spencer
  • Madison Steed
  • Carlee Stephenson – Honorable Mention winner
  • Shauna Stevenson – Award of Excellence winner
  • Sage Stoker – Award of Excellence winner
  • Claire Swope
  • Heidi Thurman
  • Jamie Thygerson
  • Zariah Tracy
  • Emma Wallenfels
  • Ella Wrankle – Honorable Mention winner
  • Xochitl Martinez
  • Elizabeth Zona

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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