By FRED HEATH
As the “Fields” exhibit at the Museum of Art comes to a close, it is still receiving good attendance and has been labeled a success by an official at the museum.
“The exhibit has been well received, well attended and very successful,” said Herman duToit, head of audience education and development.
DuToit said the exhibit had a broad appeal and it showcases the work of one of Utah’s most significant and contemporary artists at this time, Gary Earnest Smith.
“It represents a milestone in his career. It is the consummation of his striving to express his own personal and very profound vision,” duToit said.
Smith is expressing his relationship to the earth and to country themes. It is the experiences of a young man working on the land, duToit said.
“He brings all of those experiences together and makes a profound statement that communicates his personal vision on several levels with the viewer,” duToit said.
The communication of Smith’s personal vision with the viewer is apparent by the responses of two Ricks College students visiting the exhibit on Thursday morning.
“You are really there,” said Jason Widing, sophomore at Ricks College from Whillamette Valley, Ore., majoring in business marketing. Jason Widing said he grew upin areas like the ones Smith had painted and he felt at home viewing the exhibit. Also, he said he felt a general feeling of hard work in the paintings.
“You think of America and the sense of people being self-supportive. You think of old men getting up early in the morning to perform their work,” Jason Widing said. He said he felt a feeling of openness and safety in the paintings as well.
There was also a feeling of bringing the country together through these paintings, said Dana Widing, a sophomore at Ricks College from Springfield, Mass., majoring in sociology.
“The paintings show different parts of the country. I felt the east and the west were being brought together and how each part supports the other. It’s not hard to sense what the author wanted,” Dana Widing said.
She said the coming together of the different areas of the country was best illustrated in the paintings “baled,” which has a western feel and “winter” which reminded Dana Widing of the East.
The Fields exhibit has been at the MOA since Aug. 1, and its last day on display is Saturday.