Experience works exploring the juxtaposition between trees and the well-known red rocks of southern Utah landscapes in Reaching for the Sky, on view through September 23 in Cedar City.
Reaching for the Sky: Trees in the Work of Jimmie Jones & Other Artists, Near & Far
June 10–September 23, 2023
Southern Utah Museum of Art, Cedar City
The latest installation at Southern Utah Museum of Art puts the trees of regional favorite Jimmie Jones in conversation with other artist depictions from both the museum’s collections and the collection of Modern West Fine Art.
The aptly titled show, Reaching for the Sky: Trees in the Work of Jimmie Jones & Other Artists, Near & Far, marks another collaboration between SUMA and Modern West in Salt Lake City to display exciting works never shown in Cedar City before.
Trees were chosen as the topic of this show because they often exist as a source of juxtaposition in southern Utah landscapes. Red rocks are a staple of this region, many times the first thing a person will think about when describing the area, but rim pinyons and ponderosa pines can stick out and give a different splash of color to a painting. Former SUMA collections associate Amberley Wallace curated this installation with all of this in mind, wanting to exhibit something often overlooked that rounds out a piece of art.
This show provides a unique side-by-side that makes an attendee appreciate the ways that flora can be utilized in art. Seeing the differences between each artist’s use of a tree’s roots, branches, and leaves through different vantage points and media truly shows the vast creative possibilities there are with a simple subject matter.
One of SUMA’s most recent acquisitions, Jack Rabbit Ridge by Billy Schenck, is featured in this show. This piece evolved from layering different elements of landscapes over each other to create a new, fictional view of a desert. Schenck often used this technique to create dynamic backgrounds and landscapes.
Other notable works on view include contemporary Diné (Navajo) artist Shonto Begay’s more-than-six-foot acrylic painting, a mixed-media mosaic by Clayton Rippey, a bronze statue by Day Christensen, and two Japanese woodblock prints made in the early 1930s. Jones currently has three oil paintings on display to view trees through a variety of seasons and locations in his iconic style.
The Jimmie F. Jones Gallery, where this installation is being shown, features a rotating sample of the late artist’s work, frequently in conversation with other artists surrounding different topics and elements shown in his paintings. Many of Jones’s other paintings and his childhood sketches, along with other works in SUMA’s collections, are always viewable next to the gallery on a touchpad kiosk if gallery attendees would like to see more of his work.
Reaching for the Sky will be on view through Saturday, September 23, and coincides with three other exhibitions currently open: Lennart Anderson: A Retrospective; A Dream Deferred: New Perspectives on Black Experience; and YOU MADE OUR REALITY INTO A GAME?!?! Pixels, Politics, and Play with Rafael Fajardo.
Located in Cedar City, SUMA is free and open to everyone Monday–Saturday, 10 am-8 pm.