During the past several years, Namon Bills’ organizing influence on the local art scene has almost eclipsed his reputation as a painter. He organized the Angels in the Architecture show at Art Access Gallery earlier this year, as well as 2009’s The Nine Muses at the Bountiful/ Davis Art Center, and Art Access’s Highway 89 Revisited in 2008. The BYU-educated artist creates formal work that engages on an emotional level using spiritual elements. His iconography utilizes the Hegelian concept of synthesis.
Justin Wheatley’s mixed-media work looks at human effects upon the world of nature. Architecture and geometry impose their will on the landscape, creating a synthesis that somehow feels organic, or at least sustainable. Even the traces of ravages left in the wake of human contact somehow have a glow that feels alive and endemic. His work, too, was part of the Highway 89 show, and his collages used elements of maps, photographs, relics and signage to create a mental travelogue.
Together, their work is larger than the sum of their parts—both appearing like a phenomenon of nature as well as something consciously built and designed, molded by human hands to find its own way in the world. That route is sometimes circuitous, seemingly familiar but also able to be seen afresh in the act of revisitation.