Jennifer Rasmusson, A Gallery, 1321 S. 2100 East, 583-4800, through March 31. Reception: Friday, 6-9 p.m. One of A Gallery’s most popular artists, Rasmusson is best known for abstract oils. A couple of years ago she began working in mixed media on canvas, combining representational still life elements with abstracted collage backgrounds (see “Two Sushi,” above right). She works in series, and this show consists of 30-40 pieces. A Gallery’s Aly Graham said, “Each has such a unique feel. There’s a story behind each one. She uses lots of color and texture with an Asian flair.” Rasmussen said, “The opposite elements together in the paintings create a yin-yang quality and balance.” Born in Provo, Rasmussen now lives in Enoch, near Cedar City.
Earl Denet, Hopi Kachinas, UTah Artist Hands, 61 W. 100 South, 355-0206. Receptions: Friday, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. The Spring Show at UTah Artist Hands celebrates the season primarily with two-dimensional artwork, though there’s always pottery, sculpture, fiber art and even wind chimes, all made by Utah artists at this 3-year-old gallery. Owner Pamela O’Mara said she is featuring Denet’s kachina dolls because “on the reservation, this is when the dancers start to show themselves.” O’Mara’s goal is to have artists share their stories as well as their work. Denet will be at the gallery Saturday talking about kachinas: the Badger, the Clown, the Grandmother, the Monsters. Made from cottonwood tree roots, the dolls (and dancers) represent the spirits of all aspects of nature. Denet lives in Riverton, but he’s originally from the East Mesa village of Sichomovi, Ariz. His traditional “Old Style” kachina dolls resemble those made around the turn of the last century.
Ned M. Weinshenker, Digital Images, The Distinctive African-American Art Gallery, 357 S. 200 East, March 18, 6-9 p.m. 232-2720, through April 15. It’s a stretch from organic chemistry and pharmaceutical research to photography and digital art—sort of a left-brain/right-brain transcendental leap. But Weinshenker relishes developing his creative side after a life devoted to science. After a doctorate from MIT and postdoctoral work at Harvard, he moved to Utah in 1992 to become president & CEO of Iomed Inc. These days, he sits on the board of directors of The Leonardo at Library Square Foundation, and 20 percent of sales of his work will be a tax-deductible donation to that organization. His computer and photography skills are mostly self-taught, but “I have been accumulating experience over the last 15 years … I now have a veritable junkyard of inkjet printers, as I continually search for the ultimate print.” Images in the show include pictures from his honeymoon in Papua New Guinea, shots taken while hiking the Wasatch and macro-photographs of flowers—showing amazing detail—taken at Cactus and Tropicals. Gallery owner Gordon Dew acknowledges that African-American art isn’t a huge draw in Salt Lake City, but adds, “We’ve been here 12 years.” The gallery’s extensive African artifact collection includes sculptures, plates, bronzes and patinas as well as paintings and prints by local and national African-American artists.
Art Alerts: The Groutage Gallery opened last weekend in Sugar House featuring the excellent work of Logan’s Harrison Groutage and of former student Paul Butler. Located at 1058 E. 2100 South, it’s a few doors away from One Modern Art and Chroma, in the Rockwood Studios building. The funky Poor Yorick studios Spring Equinox 2005 show includes work by about two dozen established and emerging artists. Friday’s Gallery Stroll affords a rare chance to visit the space at 530 W. 700 South.