‘The Abstract Impulse’ displays artwork, collaboration at Sears Art Museum

The Sears Art Museum is located in the Dolores Dore Eccles Fine Arts Center at Utah Tech University. This art museum showcases a variety of art created by talented students, faculty and staff. Mia Tom | Sun News Daily

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The Sears Art Museum located in the Dolores Eccles building is presenting “The Abstract Impulse.”

The art exhibit features nearly 90 art pieces consisting of about 20 on loan from regional artists and about 70 from the museum’s collection. 

The four regional artists that lent pieces include:

James Peck, Sears Art Museum director and curator, said, “For the museum pieces, the process was reviewing the entire collection, about 3,000 objects, and selecting [the] piece that fit the theme and were also of excellent artistic quality.”

When Peck began his role as the director and curator in January 2023, he immediately started planning exhibition themes. 

Peck said, “Most of the collection had never or rarely been seen by the public, so when I realized the collection contained a core of great abstract works, that is how I decided on Abstraction as a theme.”

Professor of art Dennis Martinez has numerous pieces featured in the foyer of the Eccles building. His daughter, Chelsea Martinez, has abstract pieces featured as well. 

“These works always reflect my personal experiences, no matter the artistic format or mode of expression,” Dennis Martinez said. 

Dennis Martinez, who has been a professor at Utah Tech for nearly 30 years, said this isn’t the first time his daughter and him have had exhibits showcasing their work together. 

“The Abstract Impulse” is the eighth time Dennis Martinez and Chelsea Martinez have exhibited together. Recently, they were two of three artists who exhibited at the Left of Center Gallery in Las Vegas.

One of Dennis Martinez’s students, Elizabeth Matheson, who is also a student worker for the museum, has her art displayed as well. Peck said it was a nice moment to see Matheson’s work in an exhibit. 

Dennis Martinez said, “My hope is that those who view this exhibit come to an understanding of the significance of artistic abstraction and the multitude of the varied modes of application and presentation this encompasses.”

Jeff Jarvis, dean for the College of the Arts, said the exhibit brings art from diverse artists using different styles to the school. 

“Art needn’t be something stuffy or boring, indeed, often college presents a moment for students to experience art for themselves without adults getting in the way,” Jarvis said. “The variety alone makes this worthwhile, but also the possibility of encountering something that steals your heart or takes your breath away.”

The exhibit ends Nov. 10 but is open until then Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. It is free due to grant money from the state, an annual fundraiser and support from the university.