Two Southeastern Artists Show Their Work at Gallery East


USU Eastern’s Gallery East features the work of two Southeastern Utah artists, Richard Lance Russell of Blanding and Suzan Woodward of Moab.

Each artist shows exceptional skill in their chosen medium, and represents the variety of talented artists that resides in Canyonlands communities. The exhibit, Close to Home: Paintings by Richard Lance Russell and Pottery by Suzan Woodward, is representative of this kind of homegrown artistic talent.

Russell, a painter and graduate of BYU’s art program, is concerned with capturing the reality of what he sees. Whether it’s a landscape or figure, he focuses on capturing the essence of that subject, believing that paintings are the most personal, direct representation of vision.

When Russell approaches a subject, he tries to recognize what about that subject resonates with him, what specific elements draw him to this face or that landscape. Then, he tries to emphasize those elements and soften other components of the subject, just as the eye does. He feels that in this way he can show the viewer the beauty and complexity of each individual subject as he himself sees it.

He explains, “When you really observe people and places, you begin to look beyond their basic features and you can start to understand the interrelation of gestures and colors and shapes that really makes them different from everyone and everywhere else. Your eye recognizes a few key features that are unique to them. That’s what I try to capture in my paintings.” The exhibit will feature some of Russell’s latest work.

Woodward’s earthenware pieces reflect the rugged qualities of her surroundings. She graduated from Utah State University with a double degree in art education and ceramics. She taught 12 years, then started making pottery full time while she and her husband raised their two daughters in Arizona.

Two years ago, Woodward returned to her hometown and resumed producing her colorful ceramic pieces from her studio. “It is all hand painted and then fired to stoneware temperatures,” she explains. “This process gives my work an incredible beauty and earthiness that only those temperatures can create.” Woodward has exhibited locally and continues to show and sell her work in this region.

The painting and ceramics exhibit will be on display at USU Eastern’s Gallery East from Oct. 10 through Nov. 10.  The artists will be on hand during an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. Students, faculty, and visitors are welcome to attend.

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

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