Southern Utah University’s Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery is proud to feature art from its youngest artists yet in its “Future SUMA Artists 3-inch Art Show,” which opened May 12 on SUU’s campus. The show, which features thousands of 3-inch square drawings created by Iron County School District elementary students, will run through May 21.
This project was created to build community awareness of SUMA, the University’s future museum. SUMA promises to greatly enhance the region’s arts community, with education as its central purpose. It will provide the much-needed space to exhibit, collect and preserve historic and contemporary works of art significant to the interior American West in a way that – to date – has been impossible within the region’s current gallery resources.
The 3-inch Art Show goes a long way in fostering the very sense of community engagement and pride the University hopes to enhance with the planned Southern Utah Museum of Art.
In a collaborative effort with SUU’s Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development and the College of Performing and Visual Arts, the University has engaged more students in this one project than any one project before has ever reached.
Carrie Trenholm, director of Arts Fusion, said the inception of incorporating this art show came to her while she and other members of the SUMA Community Engagement Committee were brainstorming ways to introduce school children to the soon-to-be constructed museum.
Every school-aged child within Iron County School District was invited to join the project as a contributing artist. Turning out in droves, children’s artistic subjects ran the gamut of both fantasy and reality, featuring everything from a favorite place to beloved story characters and superheroes.
In Jeanne Payne’s fifth grade class at South Elementary, students said they very much enjoyed the project and opportunity to do something new and exciting. According to Payne, the students took their charge very seriously and were eager to do their very best work.
One student, Ryan, said he enjoyed the project because people get to “show who (they) are.” He decided for his drawing to draw a football since one of his favorite pastimes is to play football with his dad.
Each 3-inch masterpiece seems to echo a similar sentiment of the kids’ favorite things.
Another of Payne’s students, Madison, said she “liked the funny pictures very best.” To be sure, from humor to hope, the Future Suma Artists 3-inch Art Show offers a window to the cares and interests of the region’s children.