Show Preview | Ron Larson

St. George, UT
St. George Art Museum, August 26-November 29

Ron Larson, Morning Light on the Rim, oil, 24 x 36.

Ron Larson, Morning Light on the Rim, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

It started with an artist-in-residence program at Lake Powell in 2013, when Utah artist Ron Larson spent a month living on a small boat, photographing and painting the 254-square-mile man-made lake. Then the John Wesley Powell Museum in Arizona commissioned Larson to create an artist’s interpretation of the Colorado Plateau, of which Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are only a small part. A raised landmass sprawling 130,000 square miles over Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, the Colorado Plateau contains some of the largest tracts of protected wilderness and has one of the highest concentrations of state and national parks in the country. For Larson, an odyssey was born.

On Saturday, August 26, the St. George Art Museum unveils the third installation of the evolving exhibition Vistas and Visions of the Colorado Plateau. Dozens of Larson’s studio and plein-air paintings are on view, depicting some of the plateau’s most scenic and hard-to-access areas, and creating a composite tour of the geographic phenomenon. The canvases feature his signature bold color, striking contrasts, and experimental texture. And they capture both iconic scenes, like the Rainbow Bridge in Arches National Park, as well as those rarely seen by the casual visitor, such as the first brush of sunlight over fresh snow on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim on a frigid January morning. “I spent a lot of time out there hiking and painting and taking photographs, just visiting these places and finding these secret spots,” Larson says. “The more I sacrificed—the farther I hiked to find that one or two minutes when everything comes together—those moments produced the works that were the most exciting.”

Sharing his art with people who appreciate it is both rewarding and symbiotic for Larson, as is passing on what he has learned—both about the plateau and about art. A looping PowerPoint presentation detailing his creative process accompanies the exhibit as well as his journals and photos chronicling the five-year project.

Manager and curator of the museum Deborah Reeder says, “I have always been interested in the art of the plateau and the geography. Vistas and Visions of the Colorado Plateau is a really good fit for the museum.” —Laura Rintala

contact information
435.627.4525
www.sgartmuseum.com

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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