St. George Art Museum features Dana Russell, Sayaka Ganz, and Milton GoldsteinSt. George Art Museum features Dana Russell, Sayaka Ganz, and Milton Goldstein

St. George Art Museum is currently hosting three exhibits: Dana Russell’s “Metal Mash Up,” which will remain on display through May 18; Sayaka Ganz’s “Reclaimed Creations,” which will remain on display through April 28; and Milton Goldstein’s “Pristine Land” from the museum’s permanent collection.

In the Main Gallery is “Metal Mash Up,” an exhibit by recent transplant Dana Russell. He has been working with pieces of metal for many years. He chooses metal from places that have meaning for him. Since moving to St. George, he has begun to work with material from his new home here and to find new expressions. Russell selects rusty chains, wheels, remnants of wrought iron, car parts, grids, needle-sized lines, beads, and discs. With significance, he welds various elements into abstractions. An almost musical and storied quality attends the pieces as if they are archaeological remnants that have been rediscovered from a past civilization.

In the Mezzanine Gallery, we present Sayaka Ganz’s exhibit “Reclaimed Creations.” Using various plastic pieces, she creates a wonderland of animals. Whether it is a bird, whale, or polar bear, each piece coalesces into a masterpiece of integration.

“We need to change the way we think about the value of our resources,” said Ganz. “If we can think of these plastic items as valuable, we will naturally waste less. I grew up with Shinto animist belief that all things in the world have spirits. Thus, when I see discarded items on the street or thrift store shelves, I feel a deep sadness for them and I am moved to make these abandoned objects happy. My sympathy goes out equally to all discarded objects regardless of materials, but my current working material of choice is plastic. I use mostly common household items to create animal forms with a sense of movement and self-awareness. I use plastics because of the variety of curvilinear forms and colors available. I manipulate and assemble them together as brush strokes to create an effect similar to a Van Gogh painting in three dimensions.”

“Pristine Lands,” a gorgeously rich collection of photographs by Milton Goldstein, completes the three exhibits. There are now whole islands of plastic and garbage floating in the oceans and seas. Evoking the Western rugged terrain of great beauty, Goldstein allows us to focus on only the pristine land without trash during a time before massive mounds of trash on floating barges and, worst of all, plastic.

This is in anticipation of a future gift of 72 photographs from Martha Goldstein, Milton’s widow. Martha has generously given many works of art in the past, and this future gift will enhance our collection of national-part art as well as fine art photography from this master of the laborious dye-transfer method.

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