January Finch Lane Gallery Exhibition


Square One: Helper Artists of Utah

January 12 through February 23

Once an abandoned mining town, Helper, Utah is now a thriving art community. The success of Helper was an unintended consequence of the desire of a number of educators, led by art professors David Dornan and Paul Davis, who found that the lonely town offered not only the solitude they needed for creativity in their own work, but affordable space to teach serious art students the fundamentals of drawing and painting contemporary realism. Armed with the mantra, “learn your craft,” the Helper school opened in the spring of 1995. The school’s teachers didn’t just tell students how to paint, they showed them how to paint. Dornan noted “…if a student wants to paint a better apple, show them how to paint a better apple, don’t start talking about the relevance of an apple.” For Paul Davis, the school offered space for clarity, “after a while it got so that you could see what a student was thinking while looking at their drawing or painting, then you could help them to understand that the problem had nothing to do with mere talent, but that the issue was more about the way in which they focused their minds.”

The lesson they hoped to teach students is that draftsmanship along with extended periods of immersion in one’s craft are among the fundamental building blocks for creativity. This exhibition examines the work of a number of extraordinary artists who studied at the Helper school and who attribute their level of artistry and success to the generosity and talent of its teachers. These distinguished artists sell work throughout the country, some directly from their studios in Helper. While they share the lineage of their craft, with slight and subtle veins of thematic and stylistic similarities, each has a distinct style.

Those artists include 25 Painters and 3 sculptors:

Lane Bennion • Ryan Peterson • Brad Slaugh • Patricia Kimball • Brian Blackham • Doug Braithwaite • John Erickson • Rob Adamson • Ben Steele • Kathryn Martinez • David Dornan • Marilou Kundmueller • Charley Snow • Anne Kaferle • Kate Kilpatrick • Wendy Chidester • Zachary Proctor • Andrew Skorut • Aaron Memmott • Paul Davis • Hadley Rampton • Janell James • Erin Berrett • Charles Callis • Anne Morgan Jesperson • Kathleen Royster • Sylvia Davis • Nick Frappier