Sears Art Museum Gallery to host exhibits on mapping expression, connecting paths

Featuring the work of selected Utah artists, the Dixie State University Sears Art Museum Gallery is displaying the exhibits “Mapping: The Poetics of Utah Expression” and “Connecting Paths: A Cross-Country Journey of People and Places” through the end of the fall semester. Both exhibits will open with an artist reception from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 and continue to be on display through Dec. 8 in the Sears Art Museum Gallery. Located in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center on the Dixie State campus, the gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free for the public to attend. In “Mapping,” contemporary artists take on the idea of mapping intersections in individuals’ lives, locations and logic. The resulting focus to create philosophical essays in paint and other art forms brings to mind the issues of sorting out reactions and restrains. This nonobjective art may not bend to systematic theory; however, it encourages patrons to react emotionally to the poetic visual expressions and become obsessed with the processes, patterns and profound perspectives. “Artists always have something to say. They reflect on social issues, show us something we haven’t seen before, evoke time and memory or find a way to relate to viewers on an emotional level. This exhibit connects the artist to the viewer,” Kathy Cieslewicz, DSU Sears Art Museum Gallery director and curator, said. “Mapping is only the theme, but what these artists have to say about what it means to them will open conversation and generate contemplation.” The professional and talented artists chosen to express and interpret the idea of mapping in this exhibit include Joshua Baird, Carrie Wardle Beeke, John Berry, Linni Brown, Sandy Brunvand, Rob Colvin, Al Denyer, Stephanie Dykes, Mark England, Darryl Erdmann, Havoc Hendricks, Abraham McCowan, Chris Purdie, Stewart Seidman, Casey Jex Smith, Steven Stradley, Cory Strange, Clair Taylor and Justin Wheatley. “University galleries are in a unique position to present work to the public that informs, educates and causes thought,” Stradley, a professional artist and faculty member at Tuachan, said. “It is a great pleasure to co-curate this exhibition with Kathy Cieslewicz and investigate systems of mapping in both literal and poetic artistic arenas.” Simultaneously, “Connecting Paths,” an exhibit by Brian Passey, will be on display in the DSU Eccles Grand Foyer. “Brian has represented and supported the arts and travel as a journalist for many years,” Cieslewicz said. “When Brian and I planned this exhibit, we knew it would come together as a visual epitome of his talents. His creativity is inspiring.” In August 2016, Passey, who is a writer and photographer, and his wife, Cammie, embarked on a cross-country road trip to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. The trip had two primary goals: see interesting places and visit loved ones. For 12 of the 16 nights, they stayed with friends and family members across the country. “This is more than just a photography show,” Passey said. “It’s the story of a road trip. It’s about the beautiful places we visited but also the wonderful people we love.” The trip began in in the deserts of Utah before crossing the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, reaching its easternmost point in the nation’s capital. From there, it became a tour of the Deep South, taking in characteristically southern cities like Savannah and New Orleans. The final stretch returned to the familiar territory of the Southwest. Passey documented the 6,000-mile, 17-day trip through photography and words. Short essays accompany 39 of the 54 photos in the exhibit. “It is designed to be a visual journey where viewers experience the road trip with us via words and images,” Passey said. The Dixie State University Sears Art Museum Gallery features different exhibits throughout the year. Offering a variety of art styles from traditional to contemporary, the gallery exists for the enjoyment and education of Dixie State University students and the community. For more information, visit