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Utah museum displays works of artist James C. Christensen and two daughters
Visual art » Springville museum displays works by James C. Christensen and two daughters.

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The work was inspired, she wrote in an exhibit description, by a moment of clarity she had while listening to a sermon on Jesus’ sacrifice.

The petals are coming down from the sky like a gift, she writes. They are "mallow, which is a symbol of gentleness. As they touched the figure, they took away her impurities, leaving her clean and perfect. The red petals symbolize the blood that Christ spilled for us … and all the figure had to do was look up and accept the gift."

At a glance

See the exhibit, more photos

Curiouser & Curiouser: The Artwork of James Christensen, Cassandra Barney, Emily McPhie & Family” is on exhibit at the Springville Museum of Art, 126 E. 400 South, through April 6. View photos of the artwork at sltrib.com.

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On display also is a tree whose branches are laden with knives.

While on a college campus, Barney began thinking about the fact that knowledge can be a tool — or a weapon. She intended the piece to be provocative, but has been surprised by viewers’ reaction to the scariness of "knives dangling over people."

McPhie also has a tree painting, with branches growing out of a woman’s head, ears and chest.

"You plant a seed and you don’t know where it is going to come out," she says. "It was a chance to express the inner self — looking inward and outward."

Art is not a job, it is a "way of approaching and interacting with the world," McPhie says. "It is the way of showing how I feel. It is a reverence for the everyday aspect of life."

This exhibition, writes Springville curator Rita Wright, "explores and celebrates the creative synergy that is developed in such a family of artists, where a culture of curiosity, exploration and pushing the limits of the imagination are fostered."

And it was all born in a home where colored markers are commonplace and a studio is mandatory.


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Twitter: @religiongal

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