Sears Invitational Art Show attracts art lovers, buyers

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This year’s Sears Invitational Art Show and sale was held in the Eccles Fine Arts center Friday, bringing a variety of art lovers and buyers to the Dixie State University campus.

The Sears Gallery was packed with prospective art buyers and people just coming to view the large selection of northwestern art. The pieces submitted by artists included paintings, pastel work, glass work, metal sculpture and more.

This year is the 29th year the art show has been held on campus, said Jeffery Jarvis, the dean of visual and performing arts. Robert Sears and his wife Peggy, who endowed the gallery, originally hosted the show. Jarvis said this event serves as a way to raise money for the art collection on campus as well as the various operations of the fine arts department.

For each art piece sold, 35 percent of the revenue goes to DSU, while the rest goes to the artist. Art is sold from $400 – 40,000.

“[The show] means so much, it’s hard to know where to start,” Jarvis said. “It brings a certain stature to the fine arts on campus because this is a major show for this region.”

This collection of art doesn’t only attract buyers from northern Utah. Timothy Kapshandy is a business man and art lover from Chicago. He and his wife stumbled across the show last year when he visited on business, and they made it a point to work the show into their travel plans this year.

“It’s fantastic,” Kapshandy said. “There are fantastic painters out here in southern Utah. We’re from Chicago, and we typically don’t really have a fancy for southwestern art, but it just caught our attention.”

Mariah Kessler, a sophomore communication major from St. George, attended the show.

“So far I like [the art show] a lot,” Kessler said. “It’s kind of fancy.”

George Handrahan is an artist with art pieces in the show. He won best piece last year and returned this year to speak and judge the show.

“It’s a very strong show,” Handrahan said. “It’s hard as a judge because there are like 10 pieces that all could have won.”

Royden Card from St. George is another artist with a piece in the show this year. Like many of the artists invited to participate, he has participated in the show before. His painting of West Temple at sunset didn’t win an award, but he said he’s honored just to be in the show.

“There are more good pieces this year than there were last year,” Card said. “The show seems to be on a nice incline, and it’s getting better and better every year.”

St. George resident Matt Rayner is an art enthusiast. He comes every year to support his friends who have art in the show.

“This year it’s the best year we’ve seen,” Rayner said. “It gets better every year.” 

Some show goers were disappointed with the lack of DSU students at the show. Rayner and Card said they were concerned by this lack of student involvement.

“More of the students here at [DSU] need to come and avail themselves of the theater and music but also the visual arts they have here,” Card said. “It’s a good department.”

Jarvis said he would like to encourage everyone, students and residents alike, to come out to the show next year. He also urges residents and students of St. George to come to other shows held in the art gallery as well as theater and musical performances held by the art department.