Winter Tollgate

“Winter Tollgate” is one of 30 paintings in Michael Parker’s upcoming exhibit at the Community Fine Arts Center. The public is invited to the opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 15.

ROCK SPRINGS — The Community Fine Arts Center is featuring Michael S. Parker’s landscape paintings in the gallery Aug. 15 through Sept. 28. A reception open to the public is being hosted from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15.

“Everyone is invited to meet the artist at the reception before he participates in Art on the Green that weekend,” CFAC director Debora Soule’ said. “It has been nine years since we first had Michael exhibit at the CFAC. The beauty of his work, whether the subject is people, wildlife or landscapes, continues to attract attention. When he returns to Art on the Green each year, he draws a crowd watching as his painting evolves.”

Parker was born and raised in Green River. He studied illustration at Brigham Young University and fine art painting at Laguna College of Art + Design. Today he is a practicing illustrator and painter, focusing on the landscape and narrative figurative works. He also teaches drawing, figure drawing, and artistic anatomy at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. Parker currently lives in Springville, Utah, with his wife and four kids.

In his artist statement, Parker describes the influence of the Western landscape: “Growing up in Wyoming and living in Utah has allowed me to spend lots of time hiking, camping, and recreating outside. Having so much space has also allowed me to explore the familiar landscapes through my painting studies. The practice of ‘plein air’ painting, or painting out on location in the landscape, has also been a big part of my development as an artist. It is a pleasure and a challenge to be out in nature and try to capture a scene quickly.

“The time one has to paint when out on location is limited, due to constantly changing light and atmosphere. Hence, the smaller canvas sizes, which allows me to work up a complete painting in a shorter amount of time. I will often head out to paint when painting in the studio becomes stagnant and being out-of-doors gives me time to creatively reset.”

The exhibit consists of 30 images ranging in size from 6” x 8” to 11” x 14”. The scenes from this collection of paintings comes from areas near Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork and Payson in Utah, and areas surrounding Green River, Wyoming.

The public is invited to the reception Thursday evening and to visit through September to see this exhibit as well as the collection owned by Sweetwater County School District No. 1. The center’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The CFAC is a department of the Sweetwater County Library system in collaboration with Sweetwater County School District No. 1 and the city of Rock Springs.

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