UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 17, 2024

Rogue art exhibit features female artists

Tiffany Mortensen, a general studies major from West Jordan, and Allison Barker, a radiography major from Riverton, enjoy art from the Rouge: Utah Women art exhibit on campus. Photo by Emily Wight.

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An all-female art show representing women is on display in the Sears Art Museum on Dixie State University’s campus until Sept. 17.

“Talk about diversity, every age, ethnicity, religion, style, one thing in common is they are all women,” said Kathy Cieslewicz, Sears Art Museum director.

The art show, Rouge: Utah Women’s Voices, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The space is open and quiet so students, faculty and staff can walk through and interpret the art to their own understanding of it.

“It is always free and it makes a good date,” Cieslewicz said. “I often see professors in there for that very reason, it is very relaxing.”

When asked why the show was named Rouge: Utah Women’s Voices, Cieslewicz said it has to do with the color pink and its intended interpretation.

Cieslewicz said: “The one thing in common with all of those pieces is they had to have pink in them. Rouge can be called a color or it can be makeup, so it just depends how you want to associate it.”

The artists are all using their talents to show what they have to say. Artist biographies are available to read in the museum to learn more about each one.

Katrina Berg, a featured artist from Midway, said, “It’s really easy to look at other women in our families, neighborhoods, culture, and even online, to think that they have it all together.”

Berg wanted her artwork to tell the real story and said, “In truth here we are battling, persevering or just simply hanging by a thread each and every moment.”

Many different details, some of which are hidden in symbolism, are included in Berg’s piece to further her painting’s meaning.

“I often include creatures in my paintings to represent loved ones we may not realize are supporting us,” Berg said.

Lisa Draper, an artist from Lehi, who is also featured in the museum, said, “It is an incredible gathering of work by friends and colleagues in the field here in Utah.”

The show features about 55 artists. A wide range of 2-D and 3-D works are displayed in the show, including a real airplane retrofitted by Draper.

Draper said, “Exhibit attendees are invited to climb into the airplane, manipulate the controls, and reflect on the complicated — and often conflicting — expectations we put on women here in Utah and around the world.”

Nancy Olson, a featured artist and curator of the show, gathered women artists from all around the state of Utah to participate in this museum in order to better represent the population of women artists.

Olson said: “There is a great discrepancy of exhibition opportunities between women and men in Utah. Men’s work is consistently exhibited more frequently in galleries and is purchased by museums at a greater rate.”

This museum was curated to represent the female artists who are less represented in Utah, even though 60% of artists living in Utah are female.

Olson’s art featured in this show is an entire wall filled with 100 small paintings that each contain the color pink. In one of the small watercolor paintings, there is a letter that alludes to the Guerrilla Girls, a movement started in 1985 to bring awareness to sexism in the art world.

Kathryn Knudsen, a featured artist from Utah, said: “I wanted to create something feminine and powerful. Delicate materials working together to become something new and strong.”

Every piece in Rouge: Utah Women’s Voices is available for purchase but it is also there for students, visitors, faculty and staff to enjoy. The museum is meant to exhibit the struggles that women artists deal with and give them a voice.