University News

Early Utah Masterpieces on Display in the Sherratt Library

Published: October 02, 2008 | Category: Arts

Southern Utah University’s Gerald R. Sherratt Library will display the statewide traveling exhibit, Early Utah Masterpieces “Alice Art Collection,” from the Utah Arts Council now through October 29, 2008.

The exhibit celebrates the historical significance of early visual artists in Utah. The Early Utah Masterpieces traveling exhibit is providing art enthusiasts throughout the state an opportunity to view first hand and learn about the early history of painting in Utah.

According Sheri Butler, an SUU library administrator who was largely responsible for securing this exhibit for display at the University, “this exhibit is particularly interesting from an educational component because it adds concrete images to our understanding of the state’s history, and it also exemplifies the importance of the arts in the state of Utah – even in its very early years.”

Butler explains that SUU selects two Utah Arts Council exhibits annually for display in the Sherratt Library’s third floor gallery. As the first selection this year, Butler anticipates people across the region will find Early Utah Masterpieces particularly interesting because its subject matter is so well-known.

Considering the Library’s mission to provide “access to and preservation of our cultural/archeological heritage,” this exhibit seems a natural fit – and one that Butler hopes community members – particularly art educators and their students – enjoy.

In fact, the Library wishes to extend an open invitation to all local educators to coordinate an educational field trip to allow their art and history students to learn from this collection.

To supplement this experience, the Utah Arts Council has educational materials related to the collection on their website.

According to a press release from the Utah Arts Council, “In the first meeting of the Art Institute in 1899, money was appropriated to purchase its first painting, Black Rock, 1898, by J.T. Harwood. It is an impressive landscape of familiar sight in the Great Salt Lake. From that significant first purchase, the State Fine Art Collection has grown annually by purchases and donations and as a whole, provides an impressive documentation of the history of Utah art.”

From these early purchases by the state’s Art Institute, 26 paintings were selected for this traveling exhibit. The historical significance of these early paintings tells the story of the early Utah painters, the era in which they lived, and the value they place in creating the paintings.

The Utah Arts Council is “proud to share this heritage with the people of Utah.”

The pieces displayed in Early Utah Masterpieces are giclee (a French word that means a spray of liquid) reproductions of the original oil paintings. Giclee prints are generated from high-resolution digital scans and printed onto canvas using professional color ink-jet printers. The Giclee process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction and can be adjusted to almost any size.

While at SUU, the exhibit is free and open to the public during the Library’s normal operating hours: 7 a.m.-11p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays.

In addition to Early Utah Masterpieces, SUU’s Sherratt Library has selected the Utah Arts council’s Art Meets History collection for display in February of 2009.

The Traveling Exhibition Program is a statewide outreach service of the Utah Arts Council. The program provides schools, museums libraries and community galleries throughout the state with a variety of exhibitions.

The Utah Arts Council works to make the arts available to everyone, regardless of special needs or cultural differences, and encourages all who participate to do the same. For further information contact the Traveling Exhibition Program. This program is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Washington D.C. and by programming funds from the Utah Arts Council.

The Utah Arts Council, the Utah State Legislature, the Western States Arts Federation, and the National Endowment for the Arts have supported Early Utah Masterpieces: “Alice Art Collection,” Utah’s 2007 American Masterpieces project. American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, presents Americans with the best of their artistic and cultural legacy, reaching large and small communities in all fifty states.

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