Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gallery Stroll in the Press

Here is a recent article written about us in the Deseret News:

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2008 12:07 a.m. MST

PROVO — Local artists are now hanging their work alongside store merchandise and on the walls of businesses, providing an artistic atmosphere for restaurants while they sell their wares.

The art is exhibited for a month at a stretch. Merchants take 25 percent of any sales.

The exhibitions are part of the monthly First Friday art gallery stroll sponsored by the Provo Downtown Alliance, said Ryan Neely. He and his wife are event directors.

Inside the Metropolitan Salon, BYU English and art student Ashley Christensen opened her exhibition during the February stroll.

A contemporary artist, she works in pen and ink and watercolor. Her larger piece in the exhibit features a single, unmanned parachute in the sky.

Sky imagery is a common theme for Christensen. She uses images in the sky along with birds and airplanes to depict a connection between heaven and earth.

She describes herself as a community artist with a love for interaction.

The paintings are now on silent auction.

Across University Avenue, another BYU art student, Jason Metcalf, has his mixed-media imagery of home and family on the wall, literally, of Neely's Mode Boutique.

Not only have his paintings graced the wall, he enhanced his exhibition with drawings. Once Metcalf's exhibition ended, Neely repaints and lets the next artist, Ruel Brown, redecorate it.

Metcalf's paintings, too, are sold by silent auction.

A Utah native, Metcalf employs a common Utah image, the beehive, to symbolize home and family. While historically the symbol of industry, Metcalf takes a different tack, using honeycombs symbolically in his work.

Last year in New York's Lincoln Center during the Scope Fair, Metcalf rolled around in a tiny house on wheels producing $2 sculptures for art patrons. Cheap art was the underlying theme of the fair, he said.

Family, the house or home, the beehive and the honeycomb have special meaning for him.

"I see it as Utopia, the perfect society," he said. "It's not so much about industry, but (symbolizing) a perfect society."

People outside of Utah don't really get that, he said.

Maestro's Gelato restaurant on Center Street has a new look with Lisa Marie Crosby's large paintings coloring the walls. Also a BYU art student, her choice of media is oil, while her subject is large abstract landscapes.

Each has to do with a memory of a place or event. She chooses muted colors and particularly likes to use seafoam green. A likely combination is muted gray tones juxtaposed next to earthtones with a bright color, such as pink, to set it off.

"I am interested in a play between structure and chaos, intuition and preparation, landscape and memory, texture and color, drawing and painting, and spontaneity and order. Through painting, I literally explore each of these ideas every day as I enter my studio," she said on her blog,, where she also has an exhibit of her work.


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