Abstraction 

Through March 11 @ UAF Gallery

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A trio of abstractionists takes center stage at the Utah Arts Festival Gallery this month. You can see the influence of African art in the works of Sonya Dinsdale, who, during her undergraduate work, was a research assistant in the Utah Museum of Fine Art’s African Art collection. She later did graduate work studying art history at UCLA. The impressions of her brushstrokes in acrylic have a physicality that expresses her belief in paint as a medium to speak for itself, while her works also have a veneer reminiscent of stained glass.

Since relocating with her husband to Salt Lake City in 1996, Jodi Steen has divided her time between raising their three children, working in a local gallery and painting. But her attention isn’t as divided as you might think. She says, “I see paintings everywhere.” The horizontal lines in her works resemble what abstract expressionist Mark Rothko might have done exploring an expanded color palette.

Todd Powelson’s works on paper in this show aren’t so much abstract pieces as abstractions of comic-book-style heroic ideas, with characters seemingly always caught in midflight. Mister Empty Space meets Ms. Form-and-Function on a Saturday night, and they produce the colicky baby that is the universe. Titled Angels, Demons and Animals, the series will also be available for online download as an eBook via Scribd. Work by Powelson—co-editor and art director for the online art blog ArtDuh.com—has been seen on posters for events like Craft Sabbath and SLUG Magazine’s Localized.

Abstraction @ UAF Gallery, Artspace City Center, 230 S. 500 West, Suite 120, 801-322-2428, through March 11., free. UAF.org/2011-events/uaf-gallery

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