Downtown and New Uptown Galleries Revealed
ST. GEORGE, UT – The 2019 Art Around the Corner (AAC) Foundation gala was a celebration of growth. Marking its 15th year in bringing fine arts to the heart of historic St. George, AAC gathered for the first time at the Hilton Garden Inn to honor the artists whose work will be on display throughout downtown for the next year.
This year’s gala was bigger and better than ever: For the first time, a silent auction featuring a dozen small sculptures offered an opportunity for guests to acquire a sculpture for their home or business. Additionally, the Art Around the Corner team expanded the 2019 Downtown gallery installation with an additional, “Uptown” gallery, inside and outside of St. George City Hall.
During the gala program, Mayor Jon Pike announced that the City would be purchasing the “Jules Vern II” sculpture by Richard Prazen, which had been featured in AAC’s 2018-2019 show. Mayor Pike added that Deveren Farley’s new “Power,” sculpture, a friendly snake made from license plates, would also become part of the City’s permanent collection. In all, a total of 37 new sculptures are now on display in this year’s show. Marc Mortensen, the City’s Director of Support Services, congratulated Art Around the Corner, saying, “We love the new pieces around town.”
A highlight of the gala was the presentation by Alisha Burton, AAC board member, describing the most recent grade school tours. Each year, the Art Around the Corner board and volunteers host fourth-grade students from the district for a morning of arts education, offering short lectures on the “lost wax” process of creating bronze sculptures. This year more than 650 students and their teachers toured the outdoor sculpture gallery, and had the opportunity to experience the artwork first-hand. Burton shared some of their feedback including their insightful and sometimes humorous responses. “They loved the metal sculptures, and had many, many questions about that Giant Spider!” Burton reported.
This year’s show included many artists whose work is new to AAC, including Mike Dwyer of Loveland, CO. Dwyer created “Duck Parade,” an endearing bronze configuration of baby ducks following their parent on an adventure, that is sure to garner attention from children and adults alike. Said Dwyer, “It is a privilege and honor for me to have been extended a special invitation from the Art Around the Corner Foundation to partner together with ‘Duck Parade.’ This piece is very special to me, because my three sons assisted in naming the six ducklings. In order, they are Quacky, Waddles, Puddles, Chuckles and Doddles, and then Toddles is the little one trying to catch up at the end.”
As the Art Around the Corner Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary, the board also honored the work of the next generation of 3D artists, presenting awards to three “Young Creators.” The Young Creators program provides a platform for emerging artists to receive exposure and gain confidence in their artistic abilities. This year’s winner was Lily Espitia, a sophomore at Pine View High School. Espitia’s piece was a contemporary representation of the strength, sacrifice, and love of a parent for her child. The other finalists included Ryan Adams from Malad, Idaho, and Lindsey Taysom, a Senior at Dixie High School. Ryan is the son of Doug and Dianne Adams – both artists and long-time participants in Art Around the Corner exhibitions – and aptly embodies the “next generation of 3-D artists” concept. In developing her sculpture, “The Gift,” Lindsey expresses feelings of true gratitude, and hopes it will inspire others to be inspired as she has been.
About Art Around the Corner
The Art Around the Corner Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, enriching the community, and bringing fine arts to the heart of historic St. George. The Foundation’s flagship project is the Art Around the corner Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, a collection of sculptures from nationally renowned artists.
Dawn McClain 702-860-2341