Two installation works by Gallery Director and Lecturer Kirsten Furlong are featured in the exhibition “This Earth: Notes and Observations by Montello Foundation Artists” at the Southern Utah Museum of Art SUMA from Oct. 16th through Dec. 23rd, 2021. https://www.suu.edu/suma/exhibits/ . The exhibition and catalog were curated/written by Hikmet Loe and Stefan Hagen.
The deserts of Nevada and Utah have been potent landscapes for artists to render since first traversing these regions. Drawn to vast vistas, unique flora and fauna, and the subtle changes in geographic proportions and colors, there are extensive interpretations of nature and its meaning.
The Montello Foundation, founded by Stefan Hagen, has a direct mission statement: it is a “foundation dedicated to support artists who foster our understanding of nature, its fragility and our need to protect it.” Each year, international artists apply to the foundation, whose work is centered around a residency program. This solitary retreat is where artists can experience the vastness of the region from a base camp, or small building that provides a living space and a studio space. The residency affords a unique landscape for inspiration and creation, a place that provides a shield from distractions in the solitude of the desert.
Annual residencies have taken place since summer 2015, with an ever-expanding roster of artists who find their work aligns with the foundation’s mission. This Earth: Notes and Observations by Montello Foundation Artists brings together, for the first time, work by 37 artists who present a broad understanding of experiences with nature.