UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 26, 2024

North Plaza garbed in ghoulish gallery

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As the air becomes more crisp and the leaves begin to fall, Dixie State University art students are finding inspiration in darker shades.

The North Plaza Gallery opened the Halloween Art Show Oct. 6, welcoming students, faculty and staff to the event with cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, cookies and Halloween candy.

With just under a month until lamp-lit streets will echo “trick or treat” in high-pitched voices, the art department is getting into the witchy mood with canvases draped in terrifying and whimsical illustrations.

As you walk through the double glass doors to the art department, neon, cloth ghosts welcome each artist and guest. Just a few steps away from the entrance is a white archway leading to walls covered in art. 

To greet each person walking through the arch were paintings, sketches and mystical three-dimensional structures.

Skulls and cryptic paintings surrounded a handful of three-dimensional pieces, including a wire Victorian dress, meant to give the illusion of ghosts within the room.

Kirk Mangus is a local artist who created, “Duane and Belial.” Mangus said his biggest inspiration was a 1980s horror film called “Basket Case.”

“It’s always stuck with me,” Mangus said.

The entire piece took him a week to complete and was designed using three different gourds and acrylic paint.

Each winner chose a Halloween-themed pin and candy attached to a small card.

Jeff Yule, associate professor chair and interdisciplinary arts and sciences professor, oversaw the event and created a “pirate’s rule.” The winners were announced from third to first place, and if the second place winner liked the pin the third place winner chose, he or she could steal it.

“Halloween is not all about treats,” Yule said. “There’s some tricks, too.”

Daniela Goncalves, a senior art major from St. George, also had a piece within the art show titled “How Will Your Garden Grow?”

“Most of my art has a duality,” Goncalves said. “It’s the good and the bad that everyone has; everyone has the angel within them and the demon. It’s about which side you’re nurturing.”

Goncalves originally earned her degree in elementary education from Southern Utah University and returned to DSU to earn another degree in art.

“What motivates me? Life,” Goncalves said. “It’s my passion.”

Mangus took home the first place prize for his “Duane and Belial” three-dimensional piece, while Victoria Denning won second for her acrylic painting titled, “Like Father Like Son.” 

Martinez received third place for “Smile, It’s Halloween,” a three-dimensional ceramic piece. 

The gallery will remain open until 5 p.m. on Halloween, and there will be a costume party for those interested on Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Awards for best costume will be allocated starting at 7 p.m.