A new art gallery featuring the work of Nick Bontorno opened in the Spori Building on October 23.
On opening night, the gallery opened at 7 p.m. Those who attended, whether they were university students or members of the community, had the opportunity to talk to Bontorno.
According to the Brigham Young University-Idaho’s website, “BYU-Idaho’s Spori Art Gallery provides students and the local community with a unique opportunity to embrace the fascinating world of art.”
The art gallery does not charge an admission fee.
“The purpose of the art gallery is the same as the purpose of theatrical and musical productions, and anything else that’s cultural on campus; it’s intended to educate the students about the performing and visual arts,” said Gerald Griffin, Gallery Director.
The art gallery is a great place, where you can have the experience of seeing great artwork up close, right in school, said Megan Randall, a third semester student at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Art is important; without it, the world would be an ugly place, Randall said.
Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss, the President of Washington College, explained the importance of the arts in an interview with the Huffington Post, “We challenge our students to develop life-long skills such as analytical thinking, clarity in written and spoken expression, collaboration, and creativity. These skills can all be developed through the arts and are valuable in any career.”
Art is important; when looking at art, you can feel the spirit testifying of truth, said Kelsey Eyre, a first semester student at Brigham Young University. Art is beautiful; it testifies of Heavenly Father, Eyre said.
The Spori Gallery hosts three or four exhibits for the community every semester. Each exhibit is different than the previous, encompassing new ideas and aspects of art.
“Last month was a painting show, this is a printmaking show. We have sculpture and ceramic shows, and graphic design shows, and so we have a whole variety of different things,” Griffin said.
The variety of art is provided by local and regional artists, in addition to works from the University’s permanent collection, according to BYU-Idaho’s website.
The title of Bontorno’s show was “‘Salt and Woodsmoke Intaglio Prints.” Most of Bontorno’s featured work was created through etching, aquatint, drypoint, and monotype, or a combination; which are techniques in which the artist scratches their design on a given medium, such as metal or wood. His works will be available until Nov. 19.
Bontorno’s Artist’s Statement read “My work comes from my feeling, thinking of people and places around me. My work is all from life at some point; but as I execute a print I simplify and redesign my subject to better match what I am trying to express.”
This is his second show featured at the Spori, with his first being two years ago, Bontorno said.
Bontorno created his unique images using traditional methods of intaglio printmaking. With this exhibit, he explores portraiture and the western landscape, according to BYU-Idaho’s website.
Bontorno is an alumnus of BYU-I, and is currently an art teacher at BYU.
This is the second art show featured during the fall 2015 semester, with one more planned. The last show that will be featured at the Spori gallery will be a student art show. The gallery will open Dec. 4, and will be available until Dec. 18.
The student show will contain art works of current BYU-Idaho art students, which will be selected and judged by the art department faculty. “This exhibition is an excellent opportunity for the visitors to see the art produced by students in various forms & mediums,” according to BYU-Idaho’s website.