Art Exhibit Features Scenes from the Route of John Wesley Powell’s Expedition

As the Uintah Basin is coming closer to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of John Wesley Powell’s expedition we can certainly look forward to great activities and fun memories. However we are not the only ones. A group called Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploration Expedition (SCREE) are planning to retrace the expedition with a three month trip. As part of that, an expanded art exhibit titled “Contemporary Views of the Arid West: People, Places and Spaces,” will be featured at four museums along the route. Each museum will have different pieces that are all part of the same exhibit, meaning people will need to visit all the museums to experience the totality of the art. The exhibition at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Page, Ariz., and the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, Utah, are already open. The exhibition at the Sweetwater County Museum in Green River, Wyo., begins May 14 , while the Uintah County Heritage Museum in Vernal, Utah, hosts an exhibition beginning May 30. The exhibit has works from eight artists including oil and watercolor painting, woodcut relief prints, cast and laser-cut sculpture, and digital and wet-plate photography. SCREE’s lead artist Patrick Kikut, who is an associate lecturer in painting at the University of Wyoming, states, “besides the exciting idea of making a road trip of close to 1,000 miles, the venues we have lined up are compelling. Most of the spaces don’t often feature contemporary art and focus their attention on historical exhibitions. I believe that placing our work in the context of historical items will bring in new understandings, as well as questions, to the current dialogue assessing John Wesley Powell and the role of artists in the exploration and, ultimately, the exploitation of the West.”

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