This fall we are excited to be showcasing the work of five local artists until November 4 in the children’s wing of the library. You can read about each of the artists in the information below and stop in at the library anytime we’re open to see the work on display.
Robert Marshall served as Chair of the Department of Art at Brigham Young University for 12 years before returning to the studio and the classroom full-time in 1994 until 2008 when he retired from the university. An effective and popular teacher, he was the recipient at Brigham Young University of the College of Fine Arts and Communications Annual Award for Excellence in Creativity, the prestigious Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award, and in 2001 was designated to hold the Susa Young Gates Professorship at the University. In 2003 he received the Higher Education Art Educator of the Year Award from the Utah Art Education Association. In 2013 he received the Governor’s Visual Artist Award in recognition of his contribution to the State of Utah.
“My work is inextricably connected to the land. It is my source of inspiration and confirmation. I rediscover myself in its provocations. It has been my experience that there is, at times; an inverse proportional relationship between the grandiose versus the intimate. Awareness of the intrinsic beauty of a particular location is always intensified through private, rather than collective discovery. Quiet hikes into the landscape intensify our connection with the land in a way that standing on the periphery and observing the obvious can never accomplish. This celebration of the universal, through focusing on the specific, allows each spectator a momentary release from the stress and anxiety of the hectic world by providing a temporary sanctuary-a moment of peaceful regeneration.
Interpretations of the magnificent primacy of the landscape of the west provides a confirmation of a divine origin through inner landscapes of the heart, the landscapes that include the self as an active participant, the landscapes that connect us back to ourselves. Certainty is confirmed through our involvement with ambiguities. Our connection to the landscape is one of an essential interrelationship with its intrinsic abstract characteristics. Each painting simultaneously perplexes and clarifies. Like our inextricable connection to the land, we assume possession but have no real ownership. We, and it, are always there, but our affiliation remains a mystery. My paintings are a probe into that mystery.”
Cassandra Christensen Barney paints personal visual narratives. Her paintings quietly depict stories about love, gratitude, sorrow, and hope. Via her blog, Cassandra frequently asks viewers of her work to respond to issues and questions that she is investigating in her art. She is passionate about her art, but she considers the relationships that she builds in life the sustaining and creative force behind that passion. Therefore, the stylized figures in each of her works are largely based on unique self-reflection in response to that which is not the self. Cassandra enjoys the hot, arid summers of Utah and the lushness of her garden. Her paintings are rich in color, and she is inspired by her environment, the liveliness of her home, and travels. She is a mother of three beautiful girls. Her husband, Daniel, is also an artist and educator and considers himself her biggest fan. Cassandra Barney received her master’s degree in Fine Arts from Brigham Young University in 2000. Her artwork can be seen in galleries across the United States.
Sunny Belliston Taylor was born and raised in Utah, spending most of her life in St. George. She attended Brigham Young University (BYU) where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree In 2005. She then received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2007 from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. For the past several years, Taylor has been exhibiting her work extensively in both group and solo exhibitions throughout the country and internationally.
“In my work, I am re-engaging painting’s geometric tradition, positioning myself within a network of influences who explored the “objecthood” of painting, as well as the surface’s potential for formal expression. My painting process and imagery have explored themes such as: growth and accumulation, progress and decline, construction and deconstruction, order and chaos, etc.”
Brian Kershisnik is the youngest of a happy and widely traveled family of sons. His father’s work as a petroleum geologist took them to various continents across the globe where his mother unfailingly set up a home filled with music, great food and active conversation, furnished with treasures and artifacts from their travels and hosting frequent parties and exotic slide shows of their globetrotting family life.
Brian grew up happily dividing his time between his dad’s overseas assignments and summers spent with cousins in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a friendly, curious kid and with no notion at all of what he wanted to be when he grew up. Though he drew often to entertain himself, it never occurred to him that people actually did that for a living. Finding himself unceremoniously graduated from high school after an emergency evacuation from Pakistan abruptly ended his senior year, he applied to the University of Utah where his brother was attending school.
A General Architecture class from Peter Goss and a ceramics class from Dorthy Bearnsen began to focus his interests. After serving as a missionary in Northern Europe he determined to study ceramics at Brigham Young University and then architecture at the University of Utah. During his first year in ceramics he met Joe and Lee Bennion and arranged to spend the summer working in Joe’s pottery. After some months it became apparent that Brian was no potter and Lee suggested he try something with her paint box. Painting changed everything. Gallery owner Dolores Chase noticed his exhibitions and offered to begin his professional career.
While many of his contemporaries looked elsewhere to establish their art careers, Brian focused on his Utah home. Though he now shows elsewhere and his works are in collections around the world, his home base of local collectors remains his most satisfying audience and his openings at David Ericson Fine Art in Salt Lake City and Meyer Gallery in Park City have an air of reunion and camaraderie. His studio is an old dance hall in Kanosh, Utah, though he now lives in the town of Provo.
John Telford, a native of Utah, has been making photographs of the landscape and environment for more than 40 years. His photographs have been published extensively (including over 50 cover photographs) and exhibited both nationally and internationally (more than 70 solo and group shows) and are included in numerous public and private collections. He has authored and co-authored seventeen books that include:
Coyote’s Canyon (stories by Terry Tempest Williams)
Shadows of Time: The Geology of Bryce Canyon National Park (Text by Frank Decourten)
Lake Powell; A Different Light ( Text by William B. Smart)
Utah: A Portrait (Text by William B. Smart)
Nauvoo (Text by Susan Easton Black and Kim C Averett)
In the Footsteps of Jesus: Images of the Holy Land (Text by Susan Easton Black)
Salt Lake 2002: An Official Book of the Olympic Winter Games (Text by Lee Benson and Susan Easton Black)
Joseph Smith: Praise To The Man (Text by Susan Easton Black)
The Great Salt Lake Portfolio with a forward by Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner.
Telford received an MFA from the University of Utah and is a Professor Emeritus at Brigham Young University where he was also the former Chair of the Department of Visual Arts. Previously he won the prestigious Karl G. Maeser Award for Creative Excellence at BYU and has won numerous other awards and honors throughout the country.