The Springville Museum of Art celebrates the high school’s 50th anniversary News, Sports, Jobs


courtesy photo

Tortoise is a ceramic by Sasha Brown. Brown is a student at Westlake High School.

The Springville Museum of Art opened its 50th annual Utah All-State High School Art Show on Saturday. The show features 335 youth artists from across the state who were selected from nearly 1,100 applicants – 50 of whom will receive awards.

Accompanying the teen show is From Student to Studio, an exhibition featuring 13 alumni who have since turned their talents into careers in everything from fine art painting to illustration to art classes.

The Springville Art Museum began nearly a century ago with donations from Springville High School, according to Emily Larsen, the museum’s associate director. She said the school began a collection in 1903 of works by artists Sirus Dallin and John Hafen, among others. They donated the works to the museum when it opened in 1932. In addition to honoring his roots, the high school exhibits have shown SMA to be ahead of its time.

Although fine arts education has always included public presentations in the performing arts, in 2016 fine arts education added presentation to its state standards, according to Cathy Jensen of the Utah State Education Office. Jensen, who specializes in fine arts education, said the state now has a four-pronged approach to fine arts education – Create, Present, Respond and Connect.

Jensen said the presentation booth “opened a lot of doors to thinking in addition to creating.” The standard is also said to include student-curated shows, like those that James Rees, a fine arts teacher at Provo High School, has hosted for the past five years at Art Cetera at Provo Towne Center and most recently at Guru’s and Enliten Café decade.

Courtesy of Marcus Garcia

Pitch Field Three by Stephanie Leitch. Leitch’s work was included in the Springville Museum of Art’s high school art exhibit while she was a student at West Jordan High School. She now exhibits her work across the West and is curating exhibitions for “non-traditional places” while she is working on a book

According to Rees, curating helps students think like the teachers and judges who have traditionally curated teen shows. He said it helps them see that admission to an exhibition has to do with factors such as subject matter, curator’s preferences and other criteria, in addition to a work’s inherent value.

Rees, who is now a member of the National Art Education Association’s research committee, set up the gallery space Art Cetera and guided his students in curating. His work and personal success story are included in From Student to Studio. His own teenage entry made it onto the SMA student show in the ’80s when he was a student at Timpview High School.

Others on the Student to Studio Show include Greg Newbold, a Bingham High School graduate who worked on SMA’s High School Show in 1983, 1984 and 1985 and later became an illustrator. Also featured are curator, bookseller, and installation artist Stephanie Leitch, whose work was featured on The High School Show in 2000, and David Meikle, whose poster designs are welcoming to the people of Utah.

All have brief biographies alongside their works, as well as advice or statements on how the students’ art exhibition impacted their careers.

Rees, who worked on a committee with Jensen to create the new standards for 2017, said the hope is “needing other lessons that can help create a better spectrum of opportunities” so that even more students can join find a place in the art world.

Courtesy Springville Museum of Art

Crimson Harvest by Greg Newbold at the Springville Museum of Art. Newbold has illustrated for Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Barnes & Noble and exhibits regularly in Salt Lake City and Tuscon, AZ. As a high school student at Bingham High School in West Jordan, he began exhibiting in SMA’s student art exhibition.

Do More Browse Less by Lillian Hu.

The Springville Museum of Art can be seen in this undated photo.


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