Thursday, May 15, 2008

My YFZ Photo Gallery

Here's an interesting photograph I borrowed from the Grits for Breakfast blog. It's unattributed, but appears to be a phone-camera image that was taken surreptitiously. It's a fairly ambiguous photo. Does it show young FLDS boys who are caught in a sinister opressive cult that will precondition them to become predatory males and child rapists? Or are they prisoners of the state, incarcerated for no other reason than that their parents practice a strange, unpopular religion and their mothers wear odd, 19th century dresses and hairstyles?

My YFZ gallery is growing. Here's another photo, also borrowed from GFB, of a young girl being bused away into state foster care.

Here's another of my favorites, a Deseret News photo featuring a Baptist missionary, a former FLDS "escapee" who can't wait to take as many of the FLDS children into her care as the state will allow, so she can convert them and save their souls from hell.

Here are some links for more background:

2008 Spring Salon of the Springville Museum of Art

Every year I try to get to the Springville Art Museum for their Spring Salon, which features works by Utah artists, as well as famous former Utah artists.
This is "Who" by Jeff Hein, a Salt Lake City artist who, incidentally, is a friend of my son and his wife. Jeff is clearly a "talented boy", as my wife Laura said. He has a studio and art acadamy in Salt Lake City and is opening another in Provo, in partnership with several other artists.

This is the Step Down Gallery in the front of the museum. It's kind of the unofficial place of honor. Really large pieces are usually displayed in this gallery.

Another view of the Step Down Gallery.

This is a work by Justin Taylor, one of the artists working with Jeff Hein at the Bridge Acadamy in Provo.

Here is "Call of the Wild", by Chris Paul Miles. It received a merit award, and in my view deserved at least that.

This is, um, the "Step Up Gallery" just off the Step Down Gallery.

This is a piece by a well known Utah artist who works in bronze and features little children. L'Deana something. Well known to all but me apparently, because I can't remember her last name. She has several pieces in the permanent collection at the museum.

Here is a large charcoal drawing that looks very nearly photographic.

Heron II

One of my favorite paintings in this year's show. I like the use of the bright red drawer contrasting with with the white knob and the shadow to give the whole composition a distinct 3-dimensional quality. Did I bother to remember the name of the artist, or the title of the work? Sorry, no. I didn't take notes and it's gone down the memory hole.

This very large painting was another of my favorites. The following day when I returned to the Museum it was not in it's place, and it's name plaque was gone, too. Perhaps it was being photographed for the catalogue, but no one I talked to seemed to know what happened to it.

Another view of the Step Up Gallery. It actually has a name, but I never pay attention to those things.

The Hallway Gallery, just off the Step Up Gallery. Yes, I'm making these names up as I go.

This is not a thrown clay pot. The medium is wood. Nice job.

This is the Whimsical, Slightly Wierd Gallery, where whimsical, slightly wierd art objects seem to gravitate.

I liked this whimsical, slightly wierd piece. I didn't get the title or the artist's name.

This reminds me of the float bulb in a toilet tank. That's not a value judgment. I already said I liked the piece.

It seems like every year at least one artist submits a work with a "Tree of Life" theme.

Leaving the Whimsical, Slightly Wierd Gallery and entering the Land of the Truly Strange, where truly strange "objets d'art" seem to gather at the annual show. I think the actual name of this gallery is the West Gallery, but calling it the Wild West Gallery would be misleading.

This peice was suspended from the cieling and was entitled "Cleave Unto...". Again, that's not a value statement. I didn't say I didn't like it.

Yeah, I like red.

This piece was stuck over in a dark corner where we almost missed it. Laura did a double take and then asked me "Is this, uh, artwork?" I assured her it was intentional, and showed her the name and title plaque. I've forgotten the title, except that the word "light" appeared in it. The large glass tube in the center changed to different colors as we watched. Kinda cool.

This was a large, "wall sized" piece. Striking, if for nothing but it's size.

This was a small, bright piece suitable for hanging on a pillar. By Shirley Hancock Nelson of North Ogden, it was entitled "the Painter".

I think it's interesting that the museum shows the year of birth of each artist, and they leave a blank space for the death date, as if they expect that to happen at any moment. I've never seen a death date on a work displayed in the annual Spring Salon. I assume that dead artists don't bother to submit their work.

Back in the Slightly Wierd Gallery; I realize that art is a highly subjective endeavor. My dad used to say really obnoxious things about work that he considered unworthy of consideration. His favorite quip: "I've seen better art on toilet paper!", followed by an evil smirk. For some reason, this piece reminded me of my dad and what he used to say. The artist is Frank McEntire of Salt Lake City, and the piece is entitled "Lord of Hosts". Clearly Mr. McEntire considers some aspect of Mormonism to be, um, "birdcage worthy". And yes, that is a value judgment, on both our parts, I suppose.

Incidentally, the fact that this work, or any work was exhibited, is a value judgement on the part of somebody.

"Birth of Spring" by Jack Moford of American Fork.

"Rub-a-dub-dub, Three Men in a Tub".
No, I'm kidding.

Leaving the Whimsical, Slightly Wierd Gallery, heading for the Wild West Gallery. Which by the way, is not in the West Gallery.

"Gentlemen's Foursome", by Arnold Friberg. Incidentally, you can click on any of the photographs for an enlarged view.

This work is called "the Mittens". I have been to this exact location and tried to take this same picture many times.

Obviously, I didn't photograph every piece that was in the exhibit. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do that. I photographed works that struck me in some way. I know that every year the powers that be at the museum decline to exhibit hundreds of works submitted for the annual Salon. Often, Laura and I have noted with surprise that a certain piece received an award of merit or second place or something like that and wondered why. And then again, other pieces that we liked and viewed as worthy of an award didn't receive one, and we wondered why not. So clearly, art is a subjective endeavor. Still, as we left, I thought I would have liked to have seen some of the works that were rejected for this year's show. I'm not sure that's a value judgment.

Have a nice day. Thanks for viewing.