Pop Artist Steve D. Stones brings Colorful Carnival Midway Paintings to Gallery East

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USU Eastern Press Release

Price, Utah—In the first exhibit of the Spring 2017 season, Ogden painter and art educator Steve D. Stones will display his amusing, odd, and sometimes freekish pop art paintings at Gallery East. The exhibit, entitled Carnival Pleasures, will run from January 9 through February 10.

Stones’s exhibit will feature a selection of 28 acrylic paintings and collages that draw upon the fantastic, bizarre world of carnival sideshows. “In the fall of 2011, I was approached by a business owner in my community to create large scale paintings of carnival and freakshow banners for his haunted house,” Stones explains. “Many of the works in this exhibit were created for the haunted house, or inspired by the work I did for the haunted house.”

As is common with pop artists, Stones finds his inspiration in images, logos, and designs that are created for the consumer or a mass audience. Stones borrows this imagery for his own purposes: “My interests in painting lie in deconstructing, appropriating and dismantling pop-culture and mass media images and symbols. My attempt is to present these images in a new context in order to change how the viewer normally views these symbols.”

American pop art originated in the late 1950s with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein, who used the imagery of packaging design, comic books, and advertising ephemera. Pop art was made famous by Andy Warhol and Mel Ramos in the 1960s but continued by contemporary artists such as Keith Haring, Burton Morris, Boudro, and the Hagan Brothers. “My sources include food packaging, advertising, comic book imagery, carnival banners, animated characters and famous paintings,” says Stones. “I appropriate these images to communicate parody and humor in my work. My process involves acrylic paint, collage, airbrush and mixed media techniques.”

Steve Stones is a native of Ogden, Utah. He earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Illustration at Weber State University in 1996. He went on to earn a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in painting at Utah State University in 2000. He has been teaching in the Department of Visual Art & Design at Weber State University as an adjunct instructor of art for 17 years.

Stones will be at Gallery East for a closing reception and gallery talk on Friday, February 10 from 6 -8 p.m. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited. The gallery is located in the Central Instruction Building on the Utah State University Eastern campus and is free and open to the public during the academic year, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Any questions can be answered by Noel Carmack, Gallery East curator, at 435-613-5241 or email at noel.carmack@usu.edu.

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