Sears Invitational Art Show and Sale features hundreds of pieces
By Jyl Hall
Featuring 240 works of art from 120 professional artists, Dixie State University’s 31st annual Robert N. and Peggy Sears Invitational Art Show and Sale kicks off with a series of events later this month.
“This show is widely considered to be among the greatest shows of Southwestern art in the region,” said Dr. Jeffery Jarvis, dean of DSU’s college of the arts. “For 30 years, patrons have enjoyed the selection and quality of this show, and this year will be no different.”
Created as a way to fund the preservation of the art on DSU’s campus, the Sears Invitational Art Show and Sale offers the community the opportunity to enjoy art by some of the most successful artists from across Utah and the nation. The exhibit, which will be on display Feb. 17 through April 1, features representations of landscapes, still life, and figures using media such as ceramic, oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, bronze, and glass.
“Over 200 pieces of art cover a wide range of styles, from photorealism to very abstracted realism,” said Kathy Cieslewicz, director and curator of the Sears Art Museum. “Collectors will be excited to see some of the most collectable art in the West all in one location. It is my great pleasure to work with top artists and to create a beautiful installation for the invitational. We are grateful to the Sears and our many patrons who help us build our collection through gifts and donations.”
The exhibit will open Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the L’Deane Trueblood Memory Garden in the Kathryn Lloyd Richards Sculpture Garden, situated just north of the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Art Center. Trueblood’s contributions to the garden include statues of children featuring childlike expressions and poses that are sure to evoke memories and conversation.
“Her sculptures are prized possessions of collectors around the world and treasured here in the St. George area,” Cieslewicz said. “DSU is grateful to Trueblood for this generous donation.”
The events will continue with a free art symposium presented by the 2017 Sears Invitational purchase prize winner. Alexander Selytin won the award last year for his oil painting “Mystery of the Southwest,” which is now part of DSU’s permanent art collection. The symposium will begin at 3 p.m. in the Eccles Fine Art Center.
The opening gala will be the highlight of the evening at 6 p.m. The formal dinner will feature live music and present ideas for the future of the Sears Art Museum. Before the sale officially begins, attendees will get the chance to preview the art at 4 p.m. and be the first to scout out the pieces they’d like to purchase. Tickets for the black-tie-optional event are $75 per person.
The Sears Invitational will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. All events and the exhibit are held in the Sears Art Museum Gallery, located in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center at DSU. For more information or to reserve tickets for the opening gala, call Jan Maxfield at (435) 652-7790 or visit searsart.com.