UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 23, 2024

Red Dirt Girls art exhibit: Stories yet to be told

DSU Sears Art Museum is hosting the Red Dirt Girls exhibit which shows positive vibes in their paintings. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

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Get ready residents of St. George for some red dirt to blow through town, the Red Dirt Girls that is.

The Dixie State University Sears Art Museum is hosting a newly founded art exhibit, The Red Dirt Girls, that will be open to the public starting Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. and will be available for all who wish to see it until Jan. 14 of the following year.

The exhibit is free to all who wish to come and view the works of four local women artists. On opening night, the public can also anticipate a live performance from a local band also known as the Red Dirt Girls.

Kathy Cieslewicz, Sears Art Museum director and curator, said, “I finally got [all the artists] together and they became really good friends and have really supported each other and helped each other get ready for this show, so it has been a really amazing process.”

While this exhibit is predominately women-oriented, anyone can find a way to relate to the art in some form or another. There is talent that resides in southern Utah which the rest of the state has yet to see, Cieslewicz said.

The Sears Art Museum is not only a place to see the works of various artists but to be occupied as a space where students, faculty and staff can come and use it as a safe space on campus.

“I want [students] to feel at home in the Sears Art Museum,” Cieslewicz said. “I want [students] to come here whenever they need solace or a quiet conversation or time to think… I want them to feel comfortable in here and know they are always welcome.”

Time and dedication have been put in by these four artists for over two years in order to make this art exhibit a reality. Each and every piece has been carefully constructed by the artists in order to properly convey a message to all who may view the pieces.

Miriam Rawson, one of the artists being presented, said, “I feel like I am one of the mothers and there is four of us, four mothers who have brought our new babies out for the world to see.”

Rawson said she believes all of the pieces should bring out a range of emotions from the audience. The hope for this gallery is to allow each individual to feel every emotion that may come, but most of all, to bring a positive and beautiful message.

Rawson said because of her optimistic personality, she strives to incorporate that mindset into her artwork.

“I like to look at things as what they could be, maybe rather than what they are or were,” Rawson said. ” I want to present ideas to women who are struggling, that there is a way out, that there’s always some kind of light that can come in and fill up that darkness.”

Because Rawson includes this feeling into her work as well as incorporating her happy memories as a child, she believes it has a great impact on her work and makes her a better artist.

Jenna Lineweaver, another artist being presented in the exhibit, said she hopes this helps all women feel included and to know they are not alone through their trials.

“This is really about how women are so important and that our connections and the way we support one another is really important and that we can make a difference,” Lineweaver said. “As women, we can come together and connect and support.”

Lineweaver said she has worked closely with the topic of women in order to better understand herself as well as her role in the midst of things and because of this, her artwork has been heavily influenced.

“I think I really pore that emotion into my painting, the feeling of who I am and who we are as women and what it means and what our struggles are,” Lineweaver said.

Lineweaver said a lot of her work is about transformation and who we are as individuals. She believes the truth about who we are lies dormant inside of us, but when circumstances are right, our true selves will be awakened.

With the Red Dirt Girls making their way to DSU, there are stories that have yet to be told behind each individual work of art as well as the women who have made them.