The Sears Art Museum Celebrates the 36th Annual Sears Art Show & Sale
By Lauren Larson
One of the biggest art events in Utah, Utah Tech University’s annual Sears Invitational Art Show & Sale is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year with a VIP Gala Reception and art sale to benefit the Sears Art Museum.
The Sears Art Museum will hold a preview for gala ticket holders from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. and the VIP Gala Reception and Pre Sale will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 in the Sears Art Museum in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center on the campus of Utah Tech University. The free art show will be on exhibit for the public Feb. 19 through April 2.
The Sears Invitational Art Show will feature more than 240 works of art from 140 renowned artists from Utah and the U.S. Kathy Cieslewicz, curator and director of the UT Sears Art Museum, said this year’s show will feature strong representation of landscapes, genre, still life, figures, ceramics and sculpture, including a variety of styles from super realism to extreme abstraction. Media used in this year’s selected art range from oil, watercolor and pastels to acrylic, bronze and glass.
“Viewers will find a full scope that they would expect to find in some of the biggest art shows across the country,” Cieslewicz said. “Lying at the heart of this significant collection of artworks are artists who have created wonderful pieces and then presented in an effort to raise money to support the Sears Art Museum. We encourage art lovers and collectors from near and far to participate. Culture has always been important in our area and artists continue to be drawn to our beautiful Southern Utah landscape.”
Martin Blundell, the 2022 Sears Invitational Art Show Purchase Prize winner, will adjudicate this year’s show. His artwork “Western Land” joined the UT Sears Permanent Art Collection last year. He will have a piece for sale in this year’s show titled “Pink Sky over Kiabab.”
Since the inaugural Sears Invitational Art Show & Sale, a portion of the proceeds from each piece purchased has been allocated to help fund the Sears Art Museum. The show made its debut in the new museum in 2005, and appropriately enough, the museum bears the name of the show’s founders, the late Robert N. and Peggy Sears.
The goal of the Invitational is to give people the opportunity to purchase art, gain a purchase prize to add to the UT Permanent Collection, educate UT students and the community, and for the enjoyment of all. Because the invitational is a fundraiser for the Sears Art Museum, 37 percent of the purchase price is a tax-deductible donation.
“It is my great pleasure to work with professional artists and to create a pleasing installation of magnificent artwork that is surely enhanced by the uniquely evocative setting of the Sears Art Museum,” Cieslewicz said. “We are very grateful to the Sears family and our many patrons who are helping us to fulfill our mission and to help us continue to build our collections through gifts and donations. We are excited to greet thousands of people who make this a yearly destination.”
Cieslewicz is retiring as curator on February 1st of this year, “Being Director and Curator has been a wonderful opportunity for me and beyond my dreams. Please support the new Director and Curator James Peck. He comes with impressive museum experience. I foresee him taking the Sears Art Museum and the Sears Invitational to a higher level.”
Tickets to the VIP Gala Reception are $50 and available to purchase by calling 435-652-7903. The UT Sears Invitational Art Show will be on display Feb. 19 through April 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free. To learn more about the Sears Invitational Art Show & Sale, visit searsart.com.