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"Art exhibitions - past, present and future" was the title of last week's visual arts story. Again this week, we take a look at the past, present and future - but this time in terms of Utah artists.

-When we think of outstanding collections of early Utah art, we immediately think of the Springville Museum of Art, the Museum of Church History and Art, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, the Utah State's Permanent Collection, etc.Not too many people are aware that the Utah State Historical Society also has an outstanding collection. But once they see the show at the Utah State History Museum, they won't soon forget it.

When selecting the works for the show, guest curator William C. Seifrit made some wise choices. They range from the an 1874 landscape by Alfred Lambourne (the oldest work owned by the society) to contemporary works.

Some of the eye-catching works by early Utah artists include "View of Salt Lake City, 1907," by H.L.A. Culmer; "Pioneering" by George Ottinger (1833-1917); and "Haying Time" by Lorus Pratt (1855-1923).

More recent works include Keith Eddington's painting "Father Escalante Discovers Utah Valley," Alvin Gittins' portrait of Orrin Porter Rockwell, and Pilar Smith's stoneware sculpture, "Dominguez Escalante, 1776."

The show will continue at the Utah State Historical Society, 300 Rio Grande St., through September.

-Painter Kent Wallis dips into the style made popular by the French Impressionists for his one-man show. It currently livens up the walls of Williams Fine Art in downtown Salt Lake City.

Few Utah artists have become so successful in such a short period of time. And Wallis' 31 paintings in this show will prove why.

The artist has a keen sense of value and atmospheric perspective. But perhaps the most exciting element in his work is his color. He seems to know just the right amount of warm color to include in a painting to whet the visual appetite.

Gallery owner Clayton Williams said he has watched Wallis paint. He was amazed to see that the colors Wallis mixed on the palette were just the right colors when placed on the canvas. Anyone who has tried his hand at oil painting knows that takes real talent.

Williams added, "I'm also impressed by the confidence with which Wallis approaches a painting - the way he scoops paint up with his brush and the volume of paint he uses."

When working large, the artist realizes that if he's going to spend a lot of time and use up a lot of paint, the final results had better be good. And Wallis succeeds in "Floral Field Leading Home," "Hidden Away," and "Sunlit Winter Woods."

But there are some smaller jewels as well - "The Red Shed," "Morning Mist Study" and "Lined with Hollyhocks."

This is Wallis' first one-man show in Utah. It will continue through May 26 at Williams Fine Art on the second level (suite 2011) of the First Commerce Center, 175 W. Second South. For more information, call 534-0331.

-At the Kimball Art Center, Fahimeh Amiri, Rebecca Nielsen and Sue Weeks search for their imagery in today's topsy-turvy world and record their findings in their own unique fashion.

Fahimeh Amiri is a master of the collage technique. Whether pasting paper or painting acrylics, she reduces her subject matter to simple, flat areas, but with an unerring eye for color, design and spatial relationships.

Born in Iran, she began drawing and painting early in life and spent many years deeply grounded in the tight disciplines of traditional art. Fortunately, however, her own individuality remained intact.

Gallerygoers who have kept up with Rebecca Nielsen's watercolors will find a few new works hanging next to others that have been exhibited in previous shows. The two newest are "Creamy Ice" and "Sugar Cereal."

Nielsen takes a close-up view of consumer world goods - pizza, hamburgers, balloons, popcorn, candy bars, etc.

Sue Jensen Weeks takes an unusual, courageous approach to painting. After dropping and/or brushing watercolor across the surface, she bends, folds, rolls, crunches and tears it. She then mounts these molded sculptures on Plexiglas.

These works continue in the Main Gallery of the Kimball Art Center through May. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

-A searching look at the student art exhibit at Brigham Young University reveals some young artists who are bound to make more than a small ripple in the art world. And believe me, some gallery owners are already zeroing in on them.

About 50 students got their works into this juried show. And, for the most part, the show is strong. However, don't judge it by just looking at works in the B.F. Larsen Gallery. The cream of the crop is hiding in the Secured Gallery.

Highly impressive are works by Brad Aldridge, Gary Barton, Sydney Bowman, Marie Burnett, William Carman, Steven Griffin, Martha Harding, Jennifer Hillam, Cynthia Hudgens, Brian Kershisnik, Gary Killpack, James Robertson, Neal Slade, Robert Sumner, Keiko Tanifuji, Martha Tarnawiecki, Jed Thomas, Everlyn West, and Eva Marie Xavier.

Guest juror for the show was Theodore Wolff, art critic for the Christian Science Monitor. The show continues through May 26. Be sure to go when the Secured Gallery is open (9 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday).