Diversity defines 2008 exhibition line-up

BYU Museum of Art hosting an eclectic collection of displays


Brigham Young University's global studentbody and its reach helped frame the school slogan "The World Is Our Campus." In 2008, the Church-owned university's art museum will enjoy a decidedly international year, presenting exhibits spanning the earth and its diverse artistic traditions.

Japanese woodblock print exhibit will include images of sumptuously dressed entertainers and actors.
Japanese woodblock print exhibit will include images of sumptuously dressed entertainers and actors. Credit: Images courtesyBYU/MOA

"We are very excited about our exhibitions this year," said museum spokesman Christopher Wilson. "There is a nice balance between more traditional forms of art…and modern and contemporary art."

Here's a survey of what's happening this year at the BYU Museum of Art.

• The popular, ongoing exhibit "Minerva Teichert: Pageants in Paint" examines how the American mural and pageantry movement influenced the work of a storied LDS artist.

More than 40 large-scale narrative murals from Sister Teichert capture moments of pageantry from the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Mormon pioneer experience and Native American cultures. According to the museum, the exhibit demonstrates how Sister Teichert's dramatic flair contributed to the theatrical characteristics of her murals of religious and Western subjects.

Church members may be most familiar with Sister Teichert's mural work found in the Manti Utah Temple. The exhibit runs until May 16.

"Cliche and Collusion" offers a collection of video installations by contemporary multi-media artist Grant Stevens and incorporates familiar excerpts from advertising, music, film and common conversation. These juxtapositions, according to the museum, build a dialogue about popular culture, communication and language.

It is on display until Feb. 9.

Painting from upcoming Victorian art display.
Painting from upcoming Victorian art display. Credit: Image courtesyBYU/MOA

• Opening Feb. 15, "Masterworks of Victorian Art from the Collection of John H. Schaeffer" includes colorful paintings and drawings by some of the most widely acclaimed British artists of the Victorian Era. Curators believe the exhibit provides "a rare opportunity to view some of the most beautiful and well-crafted works of this period."

"Masterworks of Victorian Art" will run through Aug. 16.

• Local visitors to the museum may be intrigued by the upcoming photography exhibit entitled "Dismantling Geneva Steel."

In 2004, photographer Chris Dunker began photographing the Geneva Steel Works in nearby Vineyard at the onset of the mill's demolition. Three years later, the largest steel production facility located west of the Mississippi ceased to exist.

Dunker captures the "vacated spaces, silenced machinery and advancing destruction of this once productive facility," according to the museum. The exhibit offers a visual elegy to an industry that once played a dramatic role in Utah County life. Opening March 14, the photo exhibit runs through Nov. 1.

• American art history buffs will enjoy "Turning Point: The Demise of Modernism and the Rebirth of Meaning in American Art." This historical exhibit focuses on a significant period in American and world art history between 1960 to 1972 when the tenets of Modernist art collapsed under pressure from new forms of artistic expression, changing the foundation of contemporary art.

"Turning Point" opens July 17 and runs through Jan. 9, 2009.

• During Japan's two centuries of self-imposed isolation from the outside world (1639-1854), the Asian nation's artists created a unique tradition of elegant prints made from intricately carved woodblocks, according to the museum. Several such woodblocks belonging to BYU will be on display in "Windows on a Hidden World."

The exhibit will run from Sept. 26 through January 2009.

"We hope all of our exhibitions will engage the hearts and minds of our visitors and help them nurture a more reflective mind, a capacity for deeper inquiry and a heightened appreciation for others and their ideas," Brother Wilson said.

All of the 2008 exhibits will be free admission.

BYU's Museum of Art is located on the BYU campus at North Campus Drive in Provo, Utah. Additional information about the museum and exhibit tours can be found at moa.byu.edu or by calling (801) 422-8287.

Silenced steel mill suggests the demise of Utah's Geneva Steel Works in photo exhibit.
Silenced steel mill suggests the demise of Utah’s Geneva Steel Works in photo exhibit. Credit: Image courtesy BYU/MOA