Brian Chirstensen and Bryon Draper with Brandon Isle

Brian Chirstensen and Bryon Draper, the artists of the new exhibit at the Spori Art Gallery, share how they came together for this exhibit and the inspiration behind their work.

May 3, 2018
Writer: Cinthya Rubio

Brian Chirstensen and Bryon Draper are the artists whose art work will be on display at the Jacob Spori Art Gallery from May 4 through June 14.

Chirstensen and Draper are both art professors at BYU and are both sculptors.  

Their exhibit is called Body and Meaning, and in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, they explained how the two of them came together for the exhibit.

“We both happened to do figure sculpture,” Chirstensen said. “So when we had an invitation at BYU-Idaho for a show, although I do other work than figure sculpture, we both thought it would be great if I got together all my figurative work so we can tie it together into an exhibition that dealt exclusively with the figure.”

Figure art is a form of artwork which represents human or animal for, according to moma.org.

Draper said there wasn’t anything specific which led him to the kind of sculptures he does now, but his art evolved in that way.

Chirstensen said what he likes most about figure art is that it inescapable in art.

“I feel like it is the most homocentric touch point that we have,” Chirstensen said. “… I feel like for me, the body is a natural point of contact with art to engage with people.”

Draper said he made several new pieces specifically for this exhibit.

“I made several new pieces for this show,” Draper said. “It takes a while for me to even make these pieces, so it’s really hard to get a body of work that size, to fit into there. That is part of the reason that Brian and I are doing it together because the gallery is so large that it’s hard to create a body of work big enough at one given time that fills the space.”

Chirstensen said he hopes people who go view the exhibit will make their associations through an emotional response.

“That’s one of my main goals is to have people really get an impact from the work, where it reminds them strongly of something without telling them what it’s supposed to remind them of,” Chirstensen said.

Draper said he hopes if people don’t know anything about the symbolism of the art piece then they can at least appreciate the stone.