Painting, sculpture exhibit features abstract constructions

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    By Summer Mull

    Puzzle pieces, planets, abstract constructions and unique paintings.

    It might not be the most traditional art exhibit, but it”s turning heads at the Harris Fine Arts Center.

    The second Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibit will end its two-week display in the B.F. Larsen Gallery and Gallery 303 Wednesday, Nov. 14.

    Glenn Richards, traveling exhibition program coordinator of the Utah Arts Council, decided which of the 103 entries would be displayed in the show, said Todd Frye, gallery director for the Department of Visual Arts.

    Fifty-two pieces made the final cuts, he said.

    “As a juror, what I look for is something creative, new and fresh,” Richards said in a letter displayed at the exhibit. “Especially on a college level. You should be experimenting and developing the skills to accomplish your challenge.”

    Some artists have multiple pieces represented in the show, said Brandon Gunn, 22, a gallery assistant, majoring in fine arts from Orem.

    “Most of the pieces are fairly good and representative of the students we have here,” Gunn said.

    Between the paintings and sculptures, a wide variety of materials were used, including watercolors, oil, steel, wood, bronze, brass and wood.

    “The whole show is quite strong,” Frye said, “It is one of the better shows that we have had.”

    John Gumaelius, 23, a junior from Salem, Ind., majoring in sculpting, has the most pieces on display in the show, Frye said.

    All seven of the sculptures he entered are displayed in the exhibit. Three of the pieces were done in collaboration with his fianc?e, Robin Clifford, who teaches ceramics part time at BYU, Gumaelius said.

    “(Gumaelius”) efforts this year are outstanding,” Frye said. “The juror was really impressed with his quality of work.”

    He is one of the three recipients of the juror”s awards. He won the award at last year”s exhibit as well, Gumaelius said.

    Gumaelius” work does not lack in creativity. He said he loves toys and considers them to be his inspiration. His favorite piece, “Finger Gathering Creature with a Bell Tower,” is a great example of his inspiration.

    The piece reflects its title. The creature has two brass hands that are busily picking up ceramic fingers and storing them in its bell tower. In some respects, it looks like a remote-control toy.

    Gumaelius said he worked on the piece with his fianc?e, and it took them approximately four 10-hour days.

    “I feel that my art can have several different meanings and stories,” Gumaelius said. “I leave it up to the viewer to interpret it.”

    Gumaelius said he feels like the show contains both good and mediocre art pieces.

    Quality craftsmanship and pieces that are well thought out make up good art, he said.

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