Block Prints by Young Poet and Vagabond Everett Ruess on Display at Gallery East

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USU Eastern’s Gallery East presents Everett Ruess Block Prints, a Utah Arts Council Traveling Exhibition which includes a selection of block prints created by artist and writer Everett Ruess, depicting his travels throughout the Western United States in the early 20th century.

Running from Nov. 14 through Dec. 14, the prints included in the exhibition are those he created during the five-year period prior to his disappearance in the Escalante canyons in 1934.

A young artist and writer, Ruess roamed throughout the Southwestern U.S. during the early 1930s. In order to pay tribute to and preserve his memory of the desert and mountains he respected and loved, Ruess recorded his travels in poems, essays, letters, watercolors, sketches and lino-cut block prints.

As his wanderlust became an obsession, Ruess would sell or trade his artwork to help fund his travels. In 1934, at the age of 20, he mysteriously disappeared in the Escalante Canyons and was never heard from again. Today, he is known as a folk hero and symbol of the wilderness conservation movement.

The mystery surrounding Ruess’s disappearance has fueled his legendary status. His artwork and poetry serve our curiosities about this wistful young man who wandered the wilderness of southeastern Utah.

“The exhibit is a popular one,” says Noel Carmack, director and exhibit coordinator at Gallery East. “I have tried for some time to bring Ruess’s work to Price and the exhibit has always been booked at other museums and galleries. I am really happy it’s here, so that students and other visitors can learn a little more about him and his work. He really was a talented young man.”

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Utah Arts Council combined efforts to restore the original lino-cuts in this collection. These specific images chronicle his travels along the California coast, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and among the deserts and canyons of Utah and Arizona.

Everett Ruess Block Prints will be on display at USU Eastern’s Gallery East with accompanying educational materials available in the northwest corner of the SAC Building.

Gary James Bergera, a biographer and editor of Ruess’s poetry and writings, will be at the opening reception on Friday, Nov. 18, from 7-9 p.m. to discuss his life and work. Students, faculty, and visitors are welcome to attend.

Gallery East is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed Fridays, weekends, and holidays. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the gallery at: 435-613-5327; or contact Carmack at: 435-613-5241 or noel.carmack@ceu.edu

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