Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Art City

The other day was a really nice day for me. Odd, I was in Utah County for most of it. It was a “Laura” day. Meaning…you know what, I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, but it felt like a “me” day.

Instead of going into work I was at the Springville Museum of Art jurying their 35th Annual All-State Utah High School Exhibit. The museum is in a really cool building just off Main Street in southern Springville. It’s a small town that has been dubbed "Art City", but you can easily miss it. I know I do just about every time I go down there. I always miss my turn and start heading straight for Spanish Fork.

Anyway, the museum was built in 1937 as an art museum and it was dedicated by Apostle David O. McKay to be a "sanctuary of beauty and a temple of meditation." And it is. I love it there. I went to a harp and flute concert there once with my family. I think they played one of my dad’s pieces or something. But I never went there for the art until I started my job here at the Utah Arts Council.

So their High School show is the biggest in the state and it amazes me how talented some kids are. I mean, a lot of it is pretty awful, but some of it is remarkable. There were almost 800 pieces submitted this year (pre-juried by the schools) and we had to pare it down to about 200 and then give awards.

The artwork is separated into different rooms in categories (drawing, watercolor, photography, painting, pottery, jewelry, mixed media, etc.). It took all day. It’s funny because you can tell which schools have the best art teachers. Skyview seems to rise to the top year after year. You can also start to see the same things among high school art. I could have divided up the artwork into categories based on their subject matter: the flower room, the fruit for sale room, the ballerina room, the raven room, the eyeball room, and the girls with green faces room.

I have to say I was most impressed with the drawing. I never know what to think about photography. Because I know so little about the photographic process I could dismiss something that is really great and award something that’s really stupid and derivative.

I really liked the people I juried with this year. I buddied up with Dennis Meacham who is a well-known photographer here in Salt Lake. I’ve never really talked to him before but he was really nice. And he majored in music, which was cool. We talked about our favorite movie soundtracks because he wrote music for film for awhile. We also talked about genius. And arrogant geniuses.

We finally got out of there at 5 PM. I had an hour to hit the BYU museum to see “Beholding Salvation” which was an exhibit with images of Christ. I've been trying to go down and see that for months. It was a great exhibit, but nothing stood out to me as exceptionally memorable. I’ve seen a lot of it before. A lot of Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt etchings, which are cool to see. My favorite pieces were probably the Polish folk art sculptures from the collection of Walter Whipple. He teaches at BYU and he was my brother’s mission president, I think. I really like the MOA. I felt nostalgic for my college days when I would have night classes at the museum. I felt very light without my backpack.

On the way home I wanted to listen to a movie soundtrack after my conversations with Dennis so I listened to “The Village” which always puts me in a mellow mood. Especially when I drive home at dusk. I love dusk. My favorite time of day. Yes, definitely a “Laura” day.

Anyway, enough about me. If you happen to be down that way, take a trip to the Springville Museum. The High School show is open February 24 through April 4. It’s a really nice place to visit with kids too if you can get them to go look at art. It’s more accessible kind of work. And it’s good. I think it’s open Sunday afternoons so it’s a nice little Sunday family outing as well. Check it out.


Ilene said...

Your right, that was a "Laura Day." Even if I had the same day, I would have to describe it as "Laura Day." Thanks for texting me from the MOA. Remember when we took Modern Art together where we were "paid" to make comments. We always wanted to ask before commenting, "Do I get a buck for this?" I fondly remember walking back from that class (and others) with you and I would always link arms with you as we walked across the quad. . . Yeah, there is something magical about dusk.

laura said...

Coincidentally, Professor Magleby was on my grants panel on Friday. It's weird calling him "Mark" now. He thanked me for inviting him up because he said he and his wife needed a big night on the town. "Town" meaning SLC, I guess. I thought about the Monopoly money too. I almost made a crack about it, but stopped myself because it was a long time ago. He never paid me for my comments. Remember that genius kid in Modern who was a math major or something? He knew more about everything than anybody.

Ilene said...

Yes I remember the genius kid. Whatever, we were genius' too. I mean, how many other students wrote brilliant limerick poems in the margins of their notebooks and exchanged clever banter and quips with their neighbor? Sure math man made all the right comments but I rather have been sitting by you; two geniuses are always better than one! Oh, gotta go take the little guy "pee-pee." Yeah, all that genius is being put to work now.

dre said...

I just want to give a SHOUT OUT to my town and my High School. Yes I am a mighty red devil and yes I live like 1-2 miles from the art museum. I have been to many school dances there and galla events like the Art Ball. My brother's wedding reception was there, I had a piece in there once, my brother had a few more, I believe I was in an art piece there on display, and yes I have a very creepy story of something that happened to me there. I am so glad you were there. It used to me the highschool back in the day too.

Having that said I can't imagin the high school having so much art participation. My art class there sucked so bad I got art credit by taking screen printing class twice.
If you ever meet Mr. Lewis, the drawing teacher, punch him.
If you ever meet Mary Reeder, hug her. She is a really good friend and so is her family.