New exhibition now open at Springville Museum of Art

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“Inherit” Exhibition Entrance at the Springville Museum of Art. “Inherit” opened Jan.18 and runs through Aug. 3. (Elizabeth Williams)

The Springville Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, “Inherit,” is the result of a multidisciplinary international artist collaboration in Iceland, according to museum description.

This group of artists is known as Place|Lab Collective. Several artists whose work is featured are BYU professors: Joe Ostraff, Linda Reynolds, Gary Barton, Jennifer Barton, Claudine Bigelow, Mark Bigelow and Jen Watson. All members of the group, including professors from outside BYU, brought students along for the project.

According to the exhibition’s description, a group of multi-disciplinary artists met in Iceland in 2019 for a collaborative and creative experience. The artists explored the idea of inheritance in conversation, music and art-making. The artworks in this exhibition are the result of the artists’ interactions and collaborations during that experience.

Joe Ostraff, a BYU art professor, said he united artists and Place|Lab together on various creative projects before receiving the funding to visit Iceland.

“It’s just kind of a blend of our own professional and creative scholarship, our charge to mentor,” Ostraff said.

The initial idea behind “Inherit” spawned from Claudine Bigelow, a BYU viola professor who played a piece from her genealogy, Ostraff said. One of the other artists, Nuala Clark, said she was moved by Bigelow’s work. 

“Nuala just got so emotional about it. It never left her, so she is the one that came up with the idea of inheritance,” Ostraff said.

This exhibit prompts audiences to pause and reflect, asking powerful questions. Visitors are encouraged to take their time as they walk through the exhibition, to slow down and think about what they’re learning and to make connections, Shannon Acor, associate director of the museum, said.

“What do we inherit? What do we pass on?” Allison Pinegar, head of museum programs, said.

Each artist focused on different aspects of inheritance — cultural, environmental, genealogical, biological, etc. — to create a colorful variety of pieces, according to Acor.

“Part of what’s exciting about conceptual and contemporary art is that your experiences are really valid, because this is art made during the time you’re living,” Pinegar said.

Both Acor and Pinegar explained that viewers can have varied, unique experiences and commentaries on the exhibition.

“Everything’s right,” Acor said.

“Marking Time” by Melanie Mowinski. The book was created with paper made from cloth diapers Mowinski’s mother dressed her in as a baby. (Elizabeth Williams)

Each exhibition in the museum includes an interactive aspect, and “Inherit” is no different, Acor said. A loom has been set up for the community to create together as they walk through the exhibit. The fabric is thrifted, following a theme of environmental inheritance and supporting a local business.

“You don’t always feel like there’s enough to look at. But actually, the more you look at them, quite often, the more meaning you’ll find in them, the more kind of nuances and subtleties,” Pinegar said.

The exhibition will be open from Jan. 18 to Aug. 3. Exhibited artists are from Utah (Provo, Fairview, Salt Lake City), Maryland (Mayo), Massachusetts (New Bedford, Williamstown), Ireland (Bray, Mayo) and the U.K. (Wirral).

More information can be found on the museum website.

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