January 17, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

The faculty of the Art Department at BYU-Idaho are putting their personal work on display. Starting Jan. 17 with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will be up for viewing until Feb. 7.

The chair of the department, Brian Memmott said there will be 30 faculty members with pieces in the exhibit. That number includes both full-time and adjunct professors. There will even be a few paintings by Gerald Griffin, a recently retired faculty member.

“Having those included in the show is going to be a treat,” Memmott said.

With all of those contributors there will be a total of 52 art pieces on display.

“The department represents everything from photography to painting, printmaking, the three-dimensional arts including ceramics and sculptures,” Memmott explained. “We’ve got faculty who teach illustration and graphic design and each of those areas is represented in the show.”

Basically, there will be everything from the abstract or non-objective to very representational work. There will be a lot of diversity.

With there being so many pieces of different styles, it is a challenge to organize them all into a cohesive show.

“A gallery director tries to pace a show so that the pieces work well together and that they feel like they all belong together,” Memmott said, “she’s (Kyoung DaBell) done a great job with this.”

All of the artists are working professors. Their main focus is to teach students. So, how to they find the time to create art recreationally?

“Built into our efforts is a responsibility to also grow in our craft we become better teachers when we become better artists,” Memmott said. “We have to consciously schedule that time in, or it could be eaten up with other responsibilities.”

Often offices are used as studios. It’s not uncommon to find an easel beside a desk.

This exhibit is unique because there are so many creators. It is an opportunity to see different views of how people experience art. It is a glimpse into how different people view the world and interpret it through art.

“In other ways it allows students to see what we see in art and often what we’re hoping to begin to see in their work,” Memmott said.

It’s not only beneficial for students. If you want to ask these professors about how they balance passion projects with teaching or what inspired them, the reception being held on Jan. 17 is a great opportunity.

“[It’s] a fairly unique setting for the students to visit with their faculty members,” Memmott said. “It tends to be wonderfully enlightening and give them opportunities to have conversations that they normally don’t have with their professors. It also gives the faculty the opportunity to interact with members of the community who are interested in art in wonderful ways.”

Memmott himself has two pieces included in the show. He’s a graphic designer and he usually doesn’t create work to be displayed in a gallery.

“One of the places where graphic design and the fine arts tends to meet is the world of the poster. So I’ve created a couple of posters,” Memmott explained.

When asked whether people interpret his artwork in ways he didn’t intend, Memmott replied, “I accept that the artwork once I’ve created it, begins to take on a life of its own and begins to carry on conversations with people that I didn’t intend initially but that I’m now very comfortable with. Art can be a portal into viewing and understanding and engaging with the world.”

Memmott further commented, “I hope those who visit that they have opportunities to think and explore and consider in ways that they hadn’t prior to the exhibit.”