FARMINGTON - There’s more to art than just painting and drawing.
The Bountiful/Davis Art Center is expanding its horizons with their current exhibit, “Nothing Flat,” running now through Aug. 29. The exhibit focuses exclusively on three-dimensional work, with the most fascinating element being the strong representation of both glass and fiber art.
The glass art, particularly a series of stained glass windows by Peter Ruplinger, is the most obviously striking. Some were more traditional, including a subtly clever set imagining the queen’s interior decorating, but the most vivid were a set that showed a family of whales and a nautilus deep in their ocean environment. The use of the glass to duplicate the effect of water was fantastic, particularly in the multiple depths seen in “Nautilus.”
The powers of glass were also represented in several plates and bowls, capturing every color of the rainbow and reflecting it back to the viewer in their own unique way. Lori Scharf’s set of fused glass bowls, “Aphrodite’s Folly” and “Black Cauldron,” both shimmered like jewels worn by good and evil magicians. Other pieces, such as Christine Kende’s gorgeous “Aspen,” showed that glass can be just as fluid and representational as paint in the right hands.
There was also a small collection of whimsical, richly detailed glass figures by Robert Child on display. Though “Scuba Diver with Shark” and the dragons showed an amazing level of skill on Child’s part, the sheer amount of personality he packed into a small, annoyed octopus was the most delightful part of the collection.
Fiber art, or anything created with fabrics, sometimes has a difficult time being seen as art in a craft-heavy state such as Utah. At the same time, it’s that tradition that builds such a solid foundation for the flights of fancy and subtle explorations on display in the art center exhibit.
Tonia McKibben uses rug hooking to create a charming scene in “Poultry Pickings,” while her “Three Hares” offers a more elegant play on shape and perspective. Jennifer Steed’s word based creations, “The Spider and the Fly” and “Gordon B’s Bees,” are charming plays on well-known phrases.
My favorite, though, is Anne Munoz, whose quilted work has the charm of Steed but seems to flirt with a symbolism more traditionally found in modern art. Her “Peek-a-boo,” tucks a sun into a blanket like a child, traditional stripes falling open to reveal shades reminiscent of a galaxy. “Time Warp” is even less representational, trusting only in its shape and our collective images of wormholes to suggest something about the way time moves.
All in all, it’s far more than I ever imagined a little scrap of fabric could say.