BEYOND STRUCTURE: REPRESENTATIONS OF THE AMERICAN BARN / Curated by Jason Lanegan
Osral Allred / ROBBIE BARBER / BRENDA CIRIONI / Marianne Cone / Jamie Heiden / Carl Purcell / Chris Purdie / Gary Smith
May 25 - September 23, 2016
One hundred years ago over sixty percent of Americans lived in a rural community, most of those on family farms. Today that number has plummeted to below fifteen percent. In the face of sweeping urbanization, industrialization, and globalization, the American landscape has changed. The rural lifestyle, once the foundation of American society, is eroding. The barn, formerly the center of the family farm, is obsolete.
Header image: The Act of Making Something New and Vice Versa (still), Chris Purdie
In times of rapid change individuals and communities cling to that which is old, familiar, and comfortable. We strive to hold fast to the seemingly stable and unchanging. Each of the artists featured in this exhibition utilize the image of a barn in their work because of its place in the vernacular landscape. Whether idealized or captured in a state of decay, these gifted artists recognize that these seminal buildings are reminders of a way of life that these structures supported and sustained. They represented a life rooted in the land that still emulates the qualities of hard work, self-sufficiency, frugality, courage, solidarity, and strength. It is a life that is mindful and compassionate of the community. Indeed, maybe that is why the image of the barn is more important now than it ever was before. These images are not just nostalgic reminders of what is lost but a recognition of what is at stake in an ever-changing world.
About the Curator
Born and raised in Washington State Jason Lanegan was involved in drawing and other creative outlets from his earliest memories. With eyes set upon being a high school art teacher, Jason first attended BYU-Idaho where he obtained an associate degree in the visual arts. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Northern Arizona University and then a bachelor’s in art education from Eastern Washington University. After turning down a long sought after offer for a high school teaching position, Jason went on to acquire a graduate degree in sculpture with minor in art history from BYU. Upon completing his education he used his experience in various capacities including, head sculptor for Paleoforms, director of the Morris Fine Art Gallery, and sculpture professor as well as museum director at Northern Arizona University. Jason currently lives with his wife, Kimberly, and five children in Spanish Fork, Utah and works as the Gallery Director for the Departments of Art and Design at BYU.
About the Artists
Osral Allred / Osral Allred was born in Springville, Utah in 1936. A watercolorist known for his depictions of trains and tractors, he believes that mood is the essence that should be addressed in painting. Although Allred has worked in clay, his preferred artistic medium is watercolor. He lives in Spring City, Utah.
Allred earned an associate of science degree from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. He studied at Utah State College where received his BFA in 1963 and his MFA in 1967. While at Utah State, he studied with Everett Clark Thorpe who introduced him to the work of Hans Hoffman, Franz Kune, and Robert Motherwell. Allred credits Thorpe as a fundamental influence in his work. In 1966 Allred began teaching at Snow College where he taught courses in watercolor, drawing, jewelry, and design.
Allred has exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design in New York and at Watercolor USA in Springfield, Missouri where he won the Deborah Weisel Purchase Award for his watercolor Tender (1968), a painting depicting a railroad car. Front Hookup (1984) is another notable watercolor also depicting a train. His works have also been displayed at the Salt Lake Art Center and at the Cache County Art League.
Robbie Barber / Robbie Barber is currently Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Born in Williamston, North Carolina, he received his BFA in Sculpture from East Carolina University in 1987 and his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Arizona in 1991. Although he has lived in the state of Texas during the last twelve years, he maintains a strong connection with his North Carolina roots and visits this state every summer. robbiebarber.com
Brenda Cirioni / Brenda Cirioni’s paintings are energetic, thought provoking depictions of nature. Her family home burning to the ground when she was sixteen inspires her newest work. While touching upon utter destruction, her paintings are celebratory, bursting with color and regeneration.
Cirioni has exhibited in Boston and Metro West galleries, Attleboro Arts Museum, Danforth Museum, deCordova Museum, Fitchburg Museum and the Berkshire Museum. Her work can be seen at Renjeau Gallery, Natick, MA, Three Stones Gallery in Concord, MA, Gallery North Star in Grafton, Vermont and Portland Art Gallery, Portland ME.
Cirioni's painting Dickinson’s Hope hangs in the office of Governor Deval Patrick. Her work is in corporate collections at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Fidelity Investments and Carroon and Black Insurance Co. in Boston, as well as other institutions and private collections across the country, including the Wrigley family collection. Cirioni graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. www.brendacirioni.com
Marianne Cone / Marianne Cone graduated with a B.F.A. from the University of Utah in 1967. Taught two years at Mt. Ogden Jr. High in Ogden, Utah. Marianne creates painted constructions containing homemade parts and found objects. A native of Park City who returned in 1971, she lives with her cat Lottie.
Jamie Heiden / Jamie Heiden is a photographer who lives in the beautiful driftless area of western Wisconsin. For as long as she can remember, she has been a collector of images. She stores them in her mind; she captures them with her camera. For her, a pictures really can tell a story - one of beauty or despair or hope or loneliness or laughter or fears. They can be magnificent or they can show the brilliance and magic lying dormant within the ordinary. Life’s simplicity is her inspiration and conveying that story is her goal.
She received her degree in photography from Northern Arizona University. Polaroid transfers along with hand-tinted black-and-white fiber prints once served to satisfy her cravings of texture and color. And now she has found the digital solution to those techniques in her work today by combining multiple photographic layers. Jamie has gained exposure by attending regional art fairs as well as by her presence on the internet. She shows her work at a variety of galleries in the Midwest as well as internationally. She has been published in Somerset’s Digital Studio and Digital Inspiration among others and has a growing number of book covers in her collection, working with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Random House and Harper and Collins. jheidenphoto.net
Carl Purcell / Carl did his undergraduate work at Utah State University and Arizona State University. Following mili- tary service he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at Brigham Young University in Provo Utah. From the outset his emphasis was drawing and painting, especially watercolor.
Mr. Purcell is the author of the watercolor painting book, “Painting With Your Artist’s Brain”, published in 2004 by Northlight Books. His second book, “Drawing With Your Artist’s Brain”, was published by North- light Books in 2007. These two books have since been published in one volume titled “Your Artist’s Brain”, and has recently been published in a Dutch language edition. In addition his work has appeared in The Artist’s Magazine, and “Splash I”. He has authored numerous articles for The Artist’s Magazine.
Carl taught painting and drawing at Snow College in central Utah for thirty years. It was this experience that led to him writing two books and teaching workshops. Early in his teaching career he developed his own program for teaching drawing; a program that identified the most common problems people face when learning to draw, explained the reasons for the problems, and then showed the students how to access the functions of the brain that would help them overcome the problems and be able to draw with greater accuracy and facility.
Mr. Purcell’s driving passion in teaching has been to help students to truly observe the aspects of the visual world that make drawing and painting so enjoyable. He is an enthusiastic teacher who enjoys sharing everything he learns. He has taught numerous drawing and watercolor painting workshops throughout the western United States and in England and Scotland.
Carl is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, and was given honor member status in the Utah Watercolor Society for his contributions to watercolor in that state. His work hangs in numerous pri- vate collections, corporate collections, and museums. He is often asked to jury watercolor exhibits and was one of the jurors for the National Watercolor Society’s annual exhibit in 2009.
Carl resides in manti, Utah, a small town, where he is inspired by the rural scenery that surrounds him. He also derives much inspiration from the canyon country only a few hours south of his home. His wife Nan is a pianist who like Carl is also an enthusiastic teacher. www.carlpurcell.com
Chris Purdie / Chris Purdie (born in Murray, Utah) works in a range of media including performance, installation, video, photography, and sculpture. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Brigham Young University in 2010, where he received the Visual Arts Department Outstanding Senior Award in 3D Studio.
After finishing his undergraduate studies, Purdie received a full fellowship to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree in Art and Technology from The Ohio State University in 2012.
Purdie has exhibited his work in venues such as the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, UT); the Biennial of the Americas (Denver, CO); the Urban Art Space (Columbus, OH); the Central Utah Arts Center (Salt Lake City, UT); as well as several alternative gallery spaces and performance venues in the Colorado, California, Ohio, and Utah areas. chrispurdie.com
Gary Smith / Gary Ernest Smith was born in the rural Eastern Oregon community of Baker, in 1942. He attended Eastern Oregon State College and Brigham Young University, from which he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. He served in the United States Army for two years as an illustrator, and he was on the faculty at BYU and acted as gallery director for three terms. Smith has been self-employed as an artist since 1972. He and his wife, Judy Asay Smith, have four children and live in the arts community of Highland, Utah.
Gary Smith presents impressive credentials as an artist. Though famous for his paintings, in recent years he has also turned his talents to sculpture. His paintings, some of which depict rural America from the turn of the century to the present, and others, which depict early Utah and Oregon 20th-century life, hang in museums, in private, corporate, and university collections, as well as in churches along the Wasatch front. He is extensively published as an illustrator and has received many major commissions for his paintings and sculptures.