‘Winter Group Show’ blends past, present, future

The Phillips Gallery is presenting its Winter Group show this month, opening Nov. 15. Photo Courtesy of Phillips Gallery.
The Phillips Gallery is presenting its Winter Group show this month, opening Nov. 15. Photo Courtesy of Phillips Gallery.

The expression “opposites attract” is an overused statement in the world of relationships. Nonetheless, this cliché fits comfortably in the art realm.
Working to intermingle the contrasting genres of painting, 3D art, photography and print- making is Phillips Gallery. Located in downtown Salt Lake City, this art house is known for its eclectic collection and display of talent.
Reaching for its goals, Phillips Gallery will premiere the annual “Winter Group Show” this Friday, an event designed to represent the past, present and future of the exhibition space.
“We show all the artists that we represent in our gallery on a continual basis,” said Hadley Rampton, Phillips Gallery’s fine art consultant. “Although we do take advantage of these group shows to show some new artists that we are trying out.”
Demonstrating the gallery’s past is the work of Lee Deffebach. Until her death in 2005, Deffebach’s creations were constantly on display throughout the state. Now it is hard to come by her formations of color field painting and ideas of abstract expressionism.
In its years as an art space, Phillips Gallery has showcased Deffebach’s creations. And for its “Winter Group Show,” they are lucky enough to exhibit one of her paintings.
From past to present, Phillips Gallery is showing the new and old side by side. Shawn Rossiter and Liberty Blake have collaborated to make an intricate collage piece. Their work has never been at the gallery and is a great way to show what artists are fashioning in the present day. Also, by mixing painting with collage work, the building is following its tradition of placing different art mediums on the same wall.
This Friday, the space will also offer a glimpse of its future exhibition with a landscape by Connie Borup titled “Tangles,” which plays with the intertwining of tree branches.
Borup is an artist who works with oil and strives to depict the up close patterns of nature. Her paintings will be the headlining act of Phillips Gallery’s January exhibition. For January’s show, Borup’s theme is water.
“This show is looking at plants growing in water, leaves floating on water and sometimes looks into deep water,” Borup said.

With its wide variety of art, Phillips Gallery takes a lot of time to hang its pieces and properly display them. Since there is a wide variety of artwork to display, a lot of planning went be- hind the “Winter Group Show.” When explaining the process of demonstrating an extensive exhibit, Rampton used the metaphor of a puzzle.
“In terms of putting it [the gallery] together, hanging it and making it work cohesively, it’s kind of a puzzle,” Rampton said. “We put things on the floor and start seeing what works together. Think of the way a puzzle works. It’s very much that way. This [art] works with this. This isn’t working over here. Let’s try it over there.”
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