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Intersections: Recent Paintings by Six Utah Artists

 

Brigham Young University Museum of Art recently announced a new exhibition titled Intersections: Recent Paintings by Six Utah Artists on display through Saturday September 13, 2003. The exhibition, free of admission charge, includes over 75 works by Utah artists, Frank Magleby, James C. Christensen, Gary Ernest Smith, Robert Marshall, Christopher Young and Douglas Fryer.

In April, 1999, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that the Church was going to rebuild the Nauvoo Temple on its original site. The new temple would "stand as a memorial to those who built the first such structure." As a part of reconstructing the Nauvoo Temple, six artists were brought together to undertake the monumental task of painting murals for the Creation Room, the Garden Room, and the World Room in the new temple. Six different artists with six very different styles of painting worked in a collaborative effort to create these murals for the ordinance rooms. While this commission gave them the opportunity to use their varied talents and skills on an unprecedented scale, it also offered the experience of working together with colleagues and friends to create a unified expression of shared values. (left: The six artists in front of the Mormon Temple from left to right: Douglas Fryer, James C. Christensen, Robert Marshall, Christopher Young, Ernest Smith and Frank Magleby)

BYU art professor Robert Marshall and Provo/Vermont artist Doug Fryer painted scenes for the Creation Room; Orem artists Chris Young and James Christensen decorated the Garden Room; and Provo/Vermont artist Frank Magleby and Highland artist Gary Smith created the World Room. Combining the varied styles into a unified representation that would enhance the temple patrons' experiences was a challenge that called for a spirit of accord and cooperation, a challenge successfully met by the six artists.

These three generations of artists have crossed paths before -- as teacher and student, as friends with a common faith, as muralists for the Nauvoo Temple, and now as participants in a group exhibition. In the Nauvoo Temple Mural experience, these artists again took on the roles of students and teachers as they collaborated, taught and learned from one another. With the exception of Gary Smith, the artists had limited experience painting on a large scale. Marshall, Fryer, Smith, and Magleby are primarily landscape painters; Young paints detailed still lifes; and Christensen excels in whimsical fantasy paintings as well as religious paintings.

The past year of collaboration was a time of striving and reflection that enriched their lives and their art, sending them off again in their own unique directions.

Now, the Museum of Art is pleased to present a joint exhibition entitled Intersections: Recent Paintings by Six Utah Artists, which will display new works by all six artists. For this exhibition, the artists will largely concentrate on those subjects and techniques that are unique to them, each exhibiting between 12 and 15 works.

Curator Dawn Pheysey comments: "Nearly fifty years lapsed between the painting of murals in the Los Angeles Temple and the commission of these six artists to paint murals in the Nauvoo Temple. Since the dedication of that historic temple other murals have been and will be painted in several temples throughout the world. In this exhibition of their recent works, the artists come together again, concentrating on those subjects and techniques for which they have become well known."

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