The Terra Nova art gallery, a small gallery in downtown Provo headed up by local photographer David Hawkinson, provides opportunities for local artists to build a gallery portfolio by allowing artists to exhibit original works for a month-long duration.
“The Plein Air Provo” exhibit currently on display in the space features local art painted outdoors and submitted by those who wanted their original works displayed. The gallery holds roughly 10 to 15 paintings, each one exhibited proudly on the white walls and each one painted by a different artist.
“If you go to a store or a gallery in the mall, you can buy a print,” Hawkinson said. “But you see this painting here, you can see each individual brush stroke. Brush strokes that a human put there. It’s much more personal and original.”
Hawkinson runs the gallery like a one-man-band and has for more than 10 years. Juggling everything from curating the exhibits to secretarial duties, Hawkinson expresses his passion for a love of original artwork through Terra Nova.
Terra Nova Gallery exhibits the artwork of BYU students as well, when applicable. Hawkinson explains the paintings in the exhibits are high-quality works by regional artists that can be sold to make funds to continue running the gallery and can include artwork of students.
Current pieces in the exhibit, part of the “Plein Air Provo project,” were all painted outside in natural lighting. Some of the oil paint is not yet dry, and the gallery still has a faint oily aroma.
“These paintings are so fresh,” Hawkinson said. “If I were to touch this painting right now I might smudge it because the oil paints haven’t even had time to dry.”
This shows how Hawkinson creates such an intriguing gallery — hanging fresh oil paintings, barely a few days old, to express his love of original art. The future of Terra Nova next holds a popular annual exhibit, “Great Things Small Packages.” The exhibit is an opportunity for artists to exhibit one or two of their own works, either two dimensional or three dimensional, in the gallery.
“This exhibit in the past has filled the gallery with wonderful works of original art that excite collectors and patrons alike,” a release for the exhibit said.
Terra Nova, Latin for “new ground,” is an influential part of the art scene in downtown Provo. It is also a part of an art stroll event in downtown Provo featuring the best galleries in the area. The First Fridays Art Stroll is a free event from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Galleries open their doors to encourage more visitors and increase awareness about the local art scene.
“We have always appreciated the fact that the Terra Nova exhibit has participated in the First Fridays Art Stroll,” said Deann Morin, director of gallery events at the Covey Center for the Arts. “Terra Nova is one of the galleries that has participated in the art stroll for many years. David is constantly looking for ways to increase awareness about art in Provo.”
Terra Nova Gallery is located on 41 W. 300 North in downtown Provo and open Monday through Friday. Artwork for upcoming “Great Things Small Packages” is due Oct. 21–25 during gallery hours, 3:30–6 p.m. There is a $10 fee for each entry submitted. Any local artists are encouraged to submit their best work for sale in the upcoming exhibit.