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U of U Department of Art and Art History Presents Lectures

Scott Duce, "Wanderer's Breeze" 72 x 84, oil on canvas, 2004.

Jan. 27, 2006- The University of Utah Department of Art and Art History will present two free public lectures, the third and fourth in the 2005-06 Carmen Morton Christensen Visiting Artist/Art Historian Lecture Series. On Thursday, Feb. 9, painter Scott Duce and multimedia installation artist Robin Starbuck will be the featured speakers. On Tuesday, April 4, sculptor Anika Smulovitz will present a lecture on her work. Both presentations will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the department lecture hall, room 158, of the University’s Art Building, 375 S. 1530 E.

“The Visiting Artist Lecture Series is a superb experience for both our students and the Salt Lake community,” notes Kim Martinez, assistant professor in the U’s Department of Art and Art History. “Our program provides art and art history majors with an opportunity to dialogue with artists and art historians who have impacted the national and international art world. These lecturers also meet with art students to critique and interact with the students’ work. This process gives students information about their work that may have a tremendous influence on their conceptual and formal art making skills.”

Duce’s paintings establish a simulated memory of place by combining recognizable images in an inner panel, surrounded by an abstract enclosure that is generally produced from the observation of actual fragments of surface texture. The fragments may be based on wall surfaces, tile patterns, or less specific visual memories. The inner and outer images of the paintings represent very different types of visual space; however Duce retains a close relationship between them through the use of similarly referential color or texture, or through the emotion engendered by color combinations. He instills energy in his work by creating a contrast between the tranquility of the inner image and the expressionistic, though more flat, outer image.

“The work focuses on the combination of my interest in color and my empathy with nuances of changing light in nature,” says Duce. “Although much of my work portrays vistas, trees and skies, the images do not correspond to specific sites or places, but, rather, are composites of my travels throughout Europe, South America and my experiences from living in several regions of the United States, including the Northeast, Southeast and Rocky Mountains.”

Duce received a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree from the University of Utah and a master of fine arts (MFA) degree from Boston University. Upon graduating, he accepted a teaching position at Wesleyan College, where he became a tenured professor. Currently, Duce lives and paints full-time in New York City. His work is owned by many museums, private and corporate collections and his paintings are featured in galleries in New York, Atlanta, Greenwich, Chicago and many other cities.

Robin Starbuck’s work is an investigation of psycho-symbolic development in Western culture. The primary focus of her work has involved an application of Freud’s theory of trauma to aspects of American cultural identity. Her current studio orientation is in installation with aspects of interactive media-sound and video, sculpture and comic-style painting. Starbuck is currently developing several video and installation works, including “Limping Past the Barbed Wire Fence” for exhibit in Colorado later this year.

Starbuck received her BFA in multimedia art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has received multiple awards and grants for her work, including Quaker and Gardner Foundation grants, Fellowships for Schloss Plueschow in Germany and inclusion in the Intermuseum competition in Moscow, Russia. She currently lives in New York, where she maintains a studio and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and Pratt Institute.

Smulovitz’s scholarly and artistic work draws on the rich history of the field of metals and jewelry. Her current research focuses on the non-neutrality of materials, issues of adornment, beauty, taboo and conformity.

Smulovitz has received scholarships and grants from the Women’s Jewelry Association, the Society of Midwest Metalsmiths, the Albert K. Murray Fine Arts Educational Fund and the Glenn Allen Scholarship from the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work has been featured in the books “Fabulous Jewelry from Found Objects” (Lark Books, 2004); “1000 Rings: Inspiring Adornments for the Hand” (Lark Books, 2004); and “Art Jewelry Today” (Schiffer Publishing, 2003). Currently her work is shown at J. Crist Gallery, in Boise, Idaho.

Support for the Visiting Artist/Art Historian Lecture Series is provided by the Carmen Morton Christensen Foundation Endowment.

For more information on the upcoming art lectures, contact Assistant Professor Kim Martinez, in the Department of Art and Art History, at 801-581-6513.