Art exhibit shows beauty in Utah’s nature


There’s beauty to be found all around the world, but sometimes all it takes is a look in one’s back yard to find the most incredible beauty the earth has to offer.

The Covey Center for the Arts’ newest exhibit, “In My Back Yard,” by Dave Merrill, will run until Jan. 26, 2012. Merrill, a BYU graduate, presents realistic paintings of landscapes and wild life found in the Utah Valley.

[media-credit name=”Photo by Chelsey Saatkamp” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]
Dave Merrill’s exhibit “In My Back Yard” will run at the Covey Center for the Arts until Jan. 26, 2012.
Merrill is a nationally known artist with more than 500 paintings in exhibits all around the country. He said it has been fun to travel the country displaying his work, but always holds a soft spot for the beauty to be found in Utah, which he said was inspiration for this exhibit.

“I grew up in Utah County, but for the last 20 or so years my paintings have been outside of it,” Merrill said. “So this show is really me coming back to my home, to places that are right in my back yard.”

Some of these places include Mount Timpanogos, Bridal Veil Falls and Salem Pond. One of his favorites, Merrill said, is a landscape painting of the view from Stewart Falls at Sundance, titled “Sundance Delight.”

“You would not believe the view,” Merrill said. “I remember walking up the trail and thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is right here in my back yard.’ It’s incredible.”

Merrill is known for his bold brushstrokes and vivid color that capture the personality of each of his subjects. Jaclyn Coleman, a nursing major from Boise, Idaho, said she particularly enjoyed the painting that featured a little boy and a dog playing in the snow.

“It really captures this innocent moment,” Coleman said. “The texture is incredible and makes everything glide. He’s really talented.”

Merrill’s most famous work is a painting of a rooster, which was sold to Beatles legend Ringo Starr at a gallery in Aspen. Starr thought the comb on the head looked like a star and decided to purchase it.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard,” Merrill said. “You never know who’s going to see your stuff and like it. I feel really lucky.”

Gallery hours at the Covey Center are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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