All four established artists are well-known throughout the region and country, and each of them have settled here in St. George, where they became fast friends and continued fabulous art careers. Blakley is a beloved ceramic professor at DSU and is internationally known by his articles, photography, ceramics and art trips. Butera's photography career careened him into fame as the Art Director of Car and Driver magazine. Abbott has worked in many places around the world and his art can be found in homes of the rich and famous, and Lefkow taught high school art in New York in the heyday of the Modernist.
“An interesting phenomena happens when friends create art influenced by their joint travel, conversation, and experiences,” says Kathy Cieslewicz, DSU Sears Art Museum Gallery curator. “Although they have not worked collaboratively, these artists continue to teach each other and to be inspired by each other’s inspiration. When it really comes down to it, they care about each other and the art they make.”
Also as part of the fall exhibit, the Eccles Fine Arts Center Grand Foyer will feature “DSU Homecoming Alumni Artists,” highlighting the work of the renowned artist Al Rounds and photographer Les Smith. DSU can claim these artists as its proud alumni. Rounds is especially known throughout the country for his fine art. Interestingly enough, the duo has some great stories to tell about their long friendship and their student days at Dixie.
"Les and I became friends at Dixie College when we both quietly realized that no one else was willing to spend all weekend hiking in the cold and wet or scorching heat waiting for something brilliant to happen,” Rounds said. “Our quest was for that 30 seconds of wonderment that would become a painting or a fantastic photograph. Sometimes I would get ideas and Les would know how to get us there. Other times he would get an idea, and I would talk him into doing it.
“Forty years later, we still share the same passion for that which expresses emotion without words,” Rounds added. “We continue to search for beautiful lighting and composition to inspire the creativity within us."
For more information on the all the DSU fall exhibits, contact Sears Art Museum Gallery curator Kathy Cieslewicz at 435-652-7909 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.