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Springville Museum of Art celebrates 50th year of high school displays | News, Sports, Jobs

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The tortoise is a ceramic designed by Sacha Brown. Brown is a student at Westlake High School.

The Springville Museum of Art opened its 50th annual Utah Public High School exhibit on Saturday. The show features 335 teen artists from across the state, chosen from nearly 1,100 applicants – 50 of whom have received awards.

Accompanying the teens’ show is From Student to Studio, an exhibition of 13 former participants who have since transformed their talents into careers from art drawing to illustration and art education.

The Springville Museum of Art was first started nearly a century ago with donations from Springville High School, according to Emily Larsen, the museum’s co-director. She said the school began a collection of art pieces by artists Sirus Dallin and John Hafen, among others, in 1903. They donated the works to the museum when it opened in 1932. In addition to honoring its roots, high school galleries showed SMA to be ahead of its time.

Although a fine arts education has long featured public exposure in the performing arts, visual arts education added a presentation to state standards in 2016, according to Kathy Jensen at the Utah State Education Office. Jensen, who specializes in fine arts education, said the state now has a four-way approach to visual arts education — creativity, presentation, response, and communication.

The catwalk, Jensen said, “has opened up a lot of doors for thinking besides creativity.” The standard is also intended to include student-sponsored performances such as performances supervised by James Reese, a visual arts teacher at Provo High School, at Art Cetera at Provo Towne Center for the past five years and at Guru’s and Enliten Café for the last ten years.

Courtesy of Marcos Garcia

Stephanie Leach’s third court. Leech’s work was accepted into the art gallery at the Springville School of Art when she was a student at West Jordan High School. She now exhibits her work across the West and organizes exhibitions of “unconventional places” while working on a book

Organizing helps students think like the teachers and jurors who have traditionally orchestrated teen performances, according to Reese. He said it helps them realize that their acceptance of an offer has to do with factors such as the subject matter, moderator preferences, and other criteria besides the job’s inherent merit.

Reis, who is now part of the National Association for Art Education Research Committee, arranged the Art Cetera gallery space and directed his students in curating. His work and personal success story is included in “From Student to Studio”. He made his teenage entry to the SMA Student Show in the 1980s when he was a student at Timpview High School.

Others on the Student to Studio Show include Greg Newbold, a Bingham High School graduate who worked on the high school’s SMA Show in 1983, 1984, and 1985 and later became an illustrator. Curator, bookseller, and installation artist Stephanie Leach, whose work was on the 2000 high school show, and David Mickley, whose billboard designs welcome people in Utah, are also featured.

They all contain brief bios alongside their work along with tips or data on how showing art to students impacts their careers.

Reese, who helped create the new 2017 standards on a panel with Jensen, said the hope was requiring “other lessons that can help create a better set of possibilities,” so that more students find a place in the art world.

Springville Museum of Art | Courtesy of

Greg Newbold’s Scarlet Harvest at the Springville Museum of Art. Newbold has illustrated the work of Simon & Schuster, Random House, and Barnes & Noble and shows regularly in Salt Lake City and Tuscon, Arizona. The show began at the SMA Student Art Gallery when he was a high school student at Bingham High School in West Jordan.

Do More, Surf Less by Lillian Ho.

The Springville Museum of Art is featured in this undated photo.

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