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- Artist Bill Barber hasn't let any grass grow under his feet since the last time I interviewed him five years ago. He recently stopped by my office to bring me up to date.

Over the past five years, he has continued to paint and sculpt. He has entered a number of art competitions and won many awards.For three years now, he has participated in the Rock Springs Ranch Show in Idaho. In 1988, he not only captured first place in the oil painting division, but he sold everything he entered in the show - nine oils and three bronzes.

Last year, in addition to other awards, he won another first place in oil painting. This year he walked away with first and second place in the painting and first place in bronze sculpture. The painting that won first place was his Western oil "Old Friends." It was later purchased by the owner of the Cameron Trading Post in Cameron, Arizona.

Barber is able to capture the believability of Western subject matter because, he said, "I have lived a lot of it. When I was a kid, I worked on farms. Later, I became a prospector, cowboy, horse wrangler, horse packer and outfitter."

He finds it easy to dip into this wealth of experience to come up with his compositions.

To make his works more authentic, he spends time researching in libraries. But he emphasizes that more important than authenticity is capturing the color, the value and the mood of a scene.

Barber is a self-taught artist. And he's a full-time artist as well. That's the only way he would have it.

"Being a full-time artist leaves me loose and free," he said proudly. "And that kind of freedom gets in your blood." He admits he's one of those cowboy artists whose motto is "Don't fence me in!"

He and his family live in Heber. His paintings and bronze sculptures can be seen in Park City's Meyer and Art Masters International galleries. Out-of-state galleries carrying his work are Trails West in Sun Valley, Idaho; American West in Loveland, Colorado; and Old Cameron Trading Post in Cameron, Arizona.

- Sculptor Brent Gehring is exhibiting his latest work at the Springville Museum of Art. The installation, "Pink Sharp and His Friends," includes 10 polychromed wood figures that are larger than life-size. Expressions on the porcelain faces range from the grotesque to the beautiful.

The work represents a new direction for Gehring. Previously, he has been known for his bronze, steel and stone sculptures.

His show runs through July 15.

- Early this month, 41 artists from across the country competed for the world's richest art prize - the $250,000 Hubbard Art Award for Excellence. Among them were Utah artists Michael Coleman and Grant Speed. The winner of the competition was Howard Terpning, a 62-year-old artist from Tucson, Arizona. His prize-winning painting, "Transferring the Medicine Shield," depicts a ceremony of the Blackfoot Indians. He worked on the painting daily for 2 1/2 months before completing it.

Other finalists were William Acheff of Taos, New Mexico; Joellyn Duesberry of Littleton, Colo.; Dean Mitchell of Kansas City, Mo.; Richard Schmid of Evanston, Ill.; and Jamie Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pa. Wyeth is the son of American painter Andrew Wyeth.

- A two-day workshop for descendants of early Utah painter, author and critic Alfred Lambourne will be held on Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1. During the late 1800's, Lambourne painted extensively throughout the West and wrote over 14 books of poetry and prose.

The workshop will begin with a research session at 9 a.m. on Saturday. It will be in Room 158 of the Arts and Architecture Building at the University of Utah. Afternoon tours will be conducted in area museums and galleries Saturday and Sunday. A private dinner is planned Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn. For reservations, call Ms. Kekaula at 532-7000 before June 27.

- The Pioneer Craft House is looking for talented artists to sell their handcrafted arts and crafts at the annual summer festival on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30. Hours will be from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Pioneer Craft House is located at 3271 S. 500 East. For more information, call Eva Mae Cook, 571-7449.

- Lectures, workshops, classes, etc.

Monday, June 25 - Friday, June 29, Kimball Art Center, 649-8882 - Painting workshop by Carl Purcell on "Painting the Spirit of Park City."

Wednesday, June 27, noon, Salt Lake Art Center, 328-4201 - Art-lunch lecture in which Randy Burks will perform the Japanese Tea Ceremony in celebration of exhibition "Spouting Off-Teapots."

July 9-13, Kimball Art Center, 649-8882 - Workshop of basic silkscreen techniques with Jen Shurtliff.

July 10, noon, Salt Lake Art Center, 328-4201. Noon lecture series featuring Mary Francey, assistant professor of art history, U. of U. She will lecture on "Surrealism/Abstract Expressionism."

July 10, 5 p.m., Salt Lake Art Center. Sue Vogel, president of Utah Lawyers for the Arts (ULA) will present a lecture "Moral Rights of Artists." This is the second in a series of lecture/-discussions focusing on law basics for artists.