Quilts and Paintings at the Museum

Hubble Quilt by Anna Munoz
Quilt by Anna Munoz (Sorry I forgot the title.)

I never thought I would be saying this, but there are some cool quilts.

The Springville Museum of Art is having their yearly quilt show and I have to say that I was amazed at the quality and variety. I was down there to pick up my painting from the Spring Salon, and to look at some of the paintings. I wasn’t expecting to be thoroughly engrossed by quilts.

I’ve spent my life mostly ignoring quilts, but now I can see that they transcend craft and are art in their own right. Some people are probably thinking, Duh! But it wasn’t until this show that I truly appreciated quilts.

The quilt above by Anna Munoz was inspired by a Hubble Telescope photograph. She Started with white cloth and used the batik method using wax resist and multiple batches of dye to end up with this superb quilt.

Quilt Show at Springville Museum of Art

This room had particularly colorful quilts and alone would have been worth going to the museum to see.

Red Fish quilt by Cathy Porter
Red Fish quilt by Cathy Porter

The quilt Red Fish by Cathy Porter jumped out at me with bright reds and shiny bits all over it as I turned the corner down the hallway off the main exhibition area. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. There was a red dot on the title card meaning someone had purchased it. The asking price was $200. I don’t know the demand for art quilts, but all of the prices seemed low in my opinion for the work that must have been put into them.

Valley of the Virgin by Jim Floyd Jones
Valley of the Virgin by Jim Floyd Jones

I saw a documentary on Jim Floyd Jones, or Jimmy Jones as they called him, and thought his landscape paintings were very interesting. I was saddened when at the end of the documentary they said he died just a few years ago, I think it was in 2007. So, I was excited to see one of his paintings down in the basement, in what is called the children’s gallery. In the documentary Jimmy Jones said that he avoided painting clouds for the first decade or so of his career since he was intimidated by them, but you see by the end that he had made them one of his main subjects.

Signs of Spring by Kirk Larsen
Signs of Spring by Kirk Larsen

Some of the paintings from the Spring Salon were still on the walls of the second story. It was kind of sad to see all the empty space, but also interesting since it highlighted the few works left. Signs of Spring by Kirk Larsen caught my eye and I was impressed by the handling of the paint and the sense of light.

There are some other gems at the museum like a John F. Carlson who wrote the accepted bible on landscape painting, and a Frederich Waugh, probably America’s best sea scape painter ever. These will have to wait for next time as I’m sure I’ll be back.

Gallery Stroll:Brian Koch

Low Rising oil painting by Brian Koch

Low Rising by Brian Koch

I just went to the Gallery Stroll, which happens the third Friday of every month in Salt Lake City when galleries stay open until 9:00 pm and have an open door policy. A lot of art openings are also scheduled at the same time to maximize exposure, but I also find it relaxing since there is no expectation that everyone through the door is looking to buy art.

I saw some good art and some not so good art, but that is expected, since many of the shows are revolving and will be switched out for next month. It was also unusual since I visited some galleries that I’ve never been to before, but that have been on my list for a long time. One of those was the “A” Gallery at 1321 south and 2100 east.

The “A” Gallery was supposed to be hosting a show by Andy Taylor, whose art I’ve never seen, but when I got to the gallery I couldn’t find any paintings by him. It was probably a misprint, but I’m glad I stuck around. Wandering through the gallery, which is almost like an adventure of discovery as you negotiate the various alcoves, I noticed some interesting landscapes by Brian Koch.

Crown Valley oil painting by Brian Koch.

Crown Valley by Brian Koch

The first thing I noticed was that the trees had a square touch handling similar to Rockport artists. Then I stepped back and saw the overall low key colors and feel of post storm weather. (The artist in me often sees the technique first.) I was intrigued since a lot of art these days tries to monopolize your attention with bright colors. (I wonder if people who hang it in their homes find themselves avoiding that room after a while to find a more peaceful space.)I also liked how he mixed that up with wilder strokes for the foreground weeds and bushes.

As I continued around the gallery I started picking his paintings out and noticing how they had this mysterious quality. I found myself drawn to the way he handled the background elements with a almost misty look but more similar to a random cross hatch. I also felt that there was a slight feeling of loneliness, which is always something I’ve been attracted to.

If you get a chance, his art is worth taking a look at.

Brian Koch is a local Utah artist, originally from Vernal, and has been building his body of work and reputation for the last five or six years. In addition to the “A” Gallery he is represented by the Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Brian Koch Art

A Gallery

Lovetts Gallery