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Monday, June 6, 2011

NEW EXHIBITS (Charles Thomas: Desert Dream; Amado Pena: Painting the Spirit; Dramatic Rembrandt: Permanent Collection Gifts) @ St. George Art Museum (

Press Release for immediate use
Deborah Reeder, 435.627.4525 or museum@sgcity.org
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-5
3rd Thursdays 10-9pm with Art Conversations at 7pm

June 4th through August 13th, 2011
Main Gallery
Charles Thomas: Desert Dream
Mezzanine Gallery
Amado Pena: Painting the Spirit
Legacy Gallery
Dramatic Rembrandt - Permanent Collection Gifts of Dr. Hardy
Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert
Intimate Watercolors from the Diamond K Ranch 1915 -20

Charles Thomas, b. 1960, began his art career as a graphic designer 26 years ago. He spent twelve years as an illustrator before going full time into fine art. His work has been exhibited by the Society of Illustrators, The Scottsdale Artists School and the Oil Painters of America in their National Juried Exhibition. Thomas lives in southern Arizona with his wife, Shirley. "I live in the rural West, a place of incredible beauty. I paint nearly every day, both outdoors and in the studio. My subjects range from the mundane to the spectacular. The beauty of God's creation is everywhere.”
The body of work exhibit here is my response to the mystery of the Colorado Plateau, a limitless source of visual inspiration. Here, amidst the rocks and fantastic natural structures formed over eons, I am humbled by the scale and majesty of God’s creative genius, and taken by the durability of his handiwork. It's hard to capture in a mere painting anything close to the grand sweep of the landscape here, or the sheer visual richness that is everywhere. I have returned to these places year after year, always finding something new and worthy of painting, from the animation in a grouping of rocks to the movement of sky over land, to the unbelievable quality of desert light. The desert is full of secrets and subtleties, and I believe one could spend a lifetime painting it and barely scratch the surface.
My methods are simple, painting from direct observation, memory, and gradually, from my imagination, as I have gotten slowly acquainted over the years with what the desert landscape offers. If the tools and skills at my disposal are crude and basic, they also give me the ability to completely personalize my expressions; I can move mountains or create other elements where none exist in the actual scene, literally fashion my own worlds from the elements all around me. That’s the unmatched joy of painting, a total freedom to independently observe and connect with others on an unspoken level. I hope that these paintings resonate with the viewer, and that some of the excitement and fulfillment that I felt while painting them is shared. For that chance I’m deeply grateful.

Amado M. Peña, Jr. was born and educated in Texas. He earned a B.A. in Studio Art and a M.A. in Art and Education at Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas. He was also an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Scholar at University of Texas in Austin. His work includes acrylic paintings on paper, board, canvas and ceramics as well as mixed media of pastel and Prismacolor. He also creates original monotypes etchings, serigraphs and lithographs. A mestizo of Mexican and Yaqui ancestry, he celebrates the strength of the Native Americans who survive by living in harmony with an adversarial, untamed environment. His art is a superb blending of the landscapes and people of the Southwest.
Although his admirers come from different cultures and traditions, from all ages and parts of the world, the strength of his vision crosses such boundaries and speaks to them of hope, endurance and the unconquerable dignity of man. Peña’s work has been exhibited all across the country and is included in the collections of The Heard Museum, National Museum of American Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, The Peoples Republic of China and many more including the St. George Art Museum. Peña Studio Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the exclusive representative of Amado Maurillo Peña, Jr. exhibits a full range of his original works.
It has been said that my work is the essence of the Southwest, with bold colors, forms and dynamic composition that capture a vision of a people, a land, and its art. The drama of my work is heightened by the intensity of the hues and the unexpected spatial relationships. Abstractions of the landscape merge with exaggerated human forms; blankets and pottery patterns. It is my intent to pay tribute to the people of the southwest, rich with culture and beauty.
The St. George Art Museum would like to thank the artist and also the lenders who have allowed us to share their Amado Peña collections with you for this exhibit: Harvey Johnson, Anne Schettler and K.A. and Jerrie Randall.

The Museum has been graced with a number of gifts of etchings by one of the greatest of all etchers, Rembrandt Van Rijn. Included among the works are New Testament biblical and secular subjects. These small treasures are an opportunity to recognize the donor’s generosity and to study artworks by one of the world’s best loved artists.

Minerva was a ranch woman who stated that she must paint, “…it is a disease.” Growing up and working on a ranch made her perfectly suited to paint the West, like Charlie Russell. Ranching during the day, she painted at night. These works are from the transitional period after she had studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Student’s League in New York under Robert Henri. Raising the money herself to obtain this outstanding education, she returned home to marry Herman Teichert in 1917 and before moving to ranch in Cokeville, Wyoming with her husband. One of the artists chosen for the seminal exhibit and catalog, Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West 1890-1945 (edited by Patricia Trenton), her fame for telling not only the Western Story but the Mormon Story in art in her colorful and energetic style has been spreading and growing. We are very pleased to add these 23 early pieces to the St. George Art Collection through the generosity of our donors and supporters.

June 10th from 6 to 9pm
Free Gallery Walk on Main Street that begins at the St. George Art Museum
Enjoy an evening of art & music in historic & cultural downtown St. George

The St. George Art Museum, a member of Blue Star Museums, is offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Blue Star Museums is a partnership among Blue Star Families (an organization which supports military families and increases awareness of the unique challenges of military life), the National Endowment for the Arts, and more than 850 other museums in all 50 states.
The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five immediate family members.  
Military personnel and their families can explore our current displays and many other museums across the country this summer. To find other participating museums visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Open Monday – Saturday 10am to 5pm • Phone: 435.627.4525
Website: www.sgartmuseum.org • E-Mail: museum@sgcity.org
Every 3rd Thursday Open 10am-9pm with Art Conversations at 7:00pm
Admission Fees:
Ages 3-11.........................................$1
Under 3 ........................................ Free

3rd Thursday 7pm Art Conversations:
June 16th................ Amado Pena, Jr.
July 21st...................Dr. Richard Hardy

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