A look at the winning artworks from “Traces of the West” | News, Sports, Jobs

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“Poker Face” by Theresa Otteson, Best of Show.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

2 / 6

“Woodruff, Utah” by Natalie Shupe, Jury Prize.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

3 / 6

“Noble” by Reggie Peterson, honorable mention.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

4 / 6

“Two Man Job” by Jerry Hancock, honorable mention.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

5 / 6

“Going After the One” by Allen Brockbank, honorable mention.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

6 / 6

“Indian Creek and a Setting Sun” by Gregg Batt, honorable mention.

Photo provided, Eccles Art Center

When artist Theresa Otteson began painting a new western-themed series, she thought material would be hard to come by. But she didn’t need to look far.

“I’ve found traces of the ‘Old West’ are all around us, in rodeos, ranches, ghost towns and people who love the feeling of nostalgia and romance of the West,” says Otteson.

Otteson taught art classes at the Bountiful Davis Art Center for five years. His oil paintings are in collections across the country, Europe and Japan. Painted on fine oiled linen, his piece ‘Poker Face’ won Best Show at the Ogden Pioneer Days and the Eccles Art Center Galleries exhibition ‘Traces of the West-2022’.

The exhibit features western-themed artwork submitted by Utah residents, including landscapes, Native Americans, cowboys, cowgirls, native wildlife, and domestic animals. . The exhibit opened July 1 at the Eccles Art Center.

Otteson has only been painting Western art since May 2021, when she took a chance and saw a stylized photo shoot.

“It was a genre I had never tried before and I wanted to push myself to do something new,” says Otteson.

She spent four days on a ranch. She watched “Poker Face” model Willey sit down one afternoon to play poker. The only light in the room came through the door and the window next to the model.

“The light illuminated his left side and the right disappeared into shadows giving a beautiful glow. Everyone was laughing and joking, but Willey never smiled. The lighting and his serious expression made the whole scene mysterious says Otteson.

The 2022 Traces of the West Jury Prize went to Natalie Shupe for her landscape entitled “Woodruff, Utah”. Shupe is from Odgen and grew up on a small farm with animals, fruit trees and a “living room”. She started oil painting at age 11 when her attempt to learn the piano failed – she never wanted to go in to practice. Eventually, she studied with Osreal Allred and Carl Purcell at Snow College.

Shupe says she “enjoys researching new landscape subjects through hiking, roaming, and exploring.”

Another Jury Prize winner is Joe Deru for his turned wooden bowl entitled “Molasses and Cream and Stir”. This is a food grade mixing bowl made from natural white ash.

Deru is a longtime resident of Weber County. Last December, the State of Utah Art Collection selected Deru’s Box Elder Bowl for the state’s permanent collection. 2022 is Deru’s 16th year performing at “The Celebration of Fine Art,” a 10-week winter show in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Wood has an uplifting natural beauty. Its colors, figures and patterns elevate my soul and bring me closer to the divine,” says Deru.

Allen Brockbank received an honorable mention for his landscape entitled “Going After the One”. It features a cowboy searching red rock cliffs for his lost cow.

“I’m a big fan of the Grand Escalier-Escalante landscape. He can be so remote, peaceful and lonely. This piece needed the human presence to give it scale as well as a touch of color,” says Brockbank.

Brockbank lives in Centerville. Although he is a digital video game artist, he also enjoys the joys and challenges of painting landscapes in his backyard. “Outdoors are good for the soul. Utah is a painter’s paradise and a ‘university’ for the education of the plein-air artist. Despite the brutal influence and expansion of man, Mother Nature continues to express itself in the western landscape. I love that vastness and find it easy to pull myself back to that idealized ‘Old Western’ point of view in movies and literature,” says Brockbank.

Other artists who received honorable mentions in the 2022 Traces of the West competition are (1) Jerry Hancock for his painting “Two Man Job” depicting two cowboys marking a calf; (2) Madison Hope for her portrayal of “Pretty Nose,” a portrait of a beautiful Native American Indian woman that also won the People’s Choice Award; (3) “Noble” by Reggie Peterson, a black and white portrait of a brave warrior with an ornate chest piece; and (4) “Indian Creek and a Setting Sun” by Gregg Batt.

Visit Eccles Art Center, 2580 Jefferson Ave., to view the exhibit through Saturday, July 30. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is closed on Sundays and public holidays. The exhibition is also accessible online at ogden4arts.org.


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