Sandstone, Silver, and Time: An Exhibit by Michael Plyler

Michael Plyler

Michael Plyler

Frontier Homestead State Park and photographer Michael Plyler present “Sandstone, Silver, and Time,” an exhibition of black and white photographs celebrating the beauty of Zion National Park during this centennial anniversary year of the creation of the National Park Service. This exhibit is made possible by the support of the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau.

Springdale resident Michael Plyler works with a 4 x 5 large format film camera to interpret the beauty of his backyard, Zion National Park. His prints are traditional “wet” darkroom prints individually hand-crafted by the photographer. The title of this show is a meditation on the constituent elements that contribute to the imagery. Just as erosion over time shapes the sandstone, time and silver conspire to sculpt the film’s emulsion and bring Zion’s beauty to the fore.

Ponderosas' Guardian

Ponderosas’ Guardian

Michael Plyler is the Director of Zion Canyon Field Institute in Zion National Park. He has been making photographs and exhibiting his work since 1982. In 1983 he received a commission from the Guatemalan Tourist Institute for his portrait work of the highland Maya, resulting in his first international exhibition. In 1993 he was awarded a prestigious Visual Artist Fellowship from the Utah Arts Council. In 2013 he had the distinct honor of having 56 pieces from his Mayan portfolio added to the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. His work has been exhibited widely here and abroad, and is held in numerous public and private collections.

In 2010 Utah State University Press released Plyler’s and writer Logan Hebner’s book “Southern Paiute: A Portrait.” The book was the culmination of a ten year project wherein Hebner interviewed, and Plyler photographed, Southern Paiute elders from Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. The show will run from September 1 through October 31 at Frontier Homestead.

Last Light II

Last Light II

 

 

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Pick Your Park: A Southern Utah Watercolor Society Exhibit

suwsFrontier Homestead State Park Museum is pleased to announce a special exhibit by the Southern Utah Watercolor Society (SUWS).  The public is invited to an artist’s reception on Saturday July 23rd, from 2:00–4:00 p.m.  The reception is free to the public. Following the reception, the regular entrance fee applies.

SUWS encourages those in the community with a passion for water media painting, or a desire to learn to come meet the artists and learn more about the watercolor society.  SUWS-Cedar City Chapter has been busy this year working together to bring new and interesting programs, demonstrations, and plein air events to Cedar City.

Big Bend - Elizabeth Pickett watercolor

Big Bend – Elizabeth Pickett
watercolor

Bear Trap Canyon Fall- Ray Pittman - watercolor

Bear Trap Canyon Fall-
Ray Pittman – watercolor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To go along with the Centennial of the National Park Service, the theme of this year’s exhibit is “Pick Your Park.” Each artist was challenged to exhibit pieces reflecting their favorite places of natural beauty. The exhibit features the work of 17 local artists, with many of the works available for purchase. Additionally, there are a number of unframed prints offered for sale.

Biscuits in the Oven  Carol Stenger - watercolor

Biscuits in the Oven
Carol Stenger – watercolor

The exhibit will continue at Frontier Homestead through August 30.

 

Featured Artist: Travis Humphreys

Rabbit Brush and Cliffs by Travis Humphreys

Rabbit Brush and Cliffs by Travis Humphreys

Aside from our regularly exhibited artifact collection, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum has a rotating special exhibit gallery that is used by artists and artisans of many disciplines to showcase, highlight, and sell their work. Opening September 1 and running through October 31 we are pleased to feature the work of artist Travis Humphreys.

Born in Blackfoot, Idaho, Humphreys now makes Cedar City his home. He says he has been involved in art since age 13, with his first formal lesson from his uncle. He won many awards through high school and started selling artwork at a young age. His first gallery invite came in 1988 after winning awards in watercolor at the George Phippen Memorial art show in Prescott, AZ. He has won scholarships and talent awards to major universities but decided to attend B.Y.U in Provo, Utah. He graduated in 1993 with a BFA in illustration. Travis considers the greatest award that of selling artwork. Travis works in every common medium but prefers oil and acrylic and works in every scale from miniature to monumental. The landscape is his dominant subject matter. He also paints murals and does one-of-a-kind art projects for interior designers and decorators. A constant experimenter; he says, “The funnest part of painting is the process.” Humphreys also creates custom framing for artists throughout the country, a talent for which he is held in high regard.

“Humphreys is a talented and accomplished artist.  It’s not unusual for incredible talent to be found in places of limited population.” says Todd Prince, Park Manager, “ It just so happens that Travis chose Cedar City as him home, and we are better for it. The Museum is honored to exhibit his work.”

Frontier Homestead is open Monday – Saturday, from 9am to 5pm. Don’t let the opportunity to see this amazing artistic collection pass you by. Remember, the exhibit closes October 31.

Coal Creek Falls by Travis Humphreys

Coal Creek Falls by Travis Humphreys

Southern Utah Watercolor Society

Frontier Homestead State Park Museum is pleased to announce a special exhibit by the Southern Utah Watercolor Society (SUWS).  The public is invited to an artist’s reception on Saturday July 11th, from 2:00–4:00 p.m.  The reception is free to the public. Following the reception, the regular entrance fee applies.

SUWS also encourages those in the community with a passion for water media painting, or a desire to learn to come meet the artists and learn more about the watercolor society.  SUWS-Cedar City Chapter has been busy this year working together to bring new and interesting programs, demonstrations, and plein air events to Cedar City.

SUWS holds monthly meetings/programs on the third Monday of the month and are free to the public.   For more information about the exhibit, or the Southern Utah Watercolor Society, please contact SUWS President Larry Laskowski via email at larrylas@gmail.com.

The exhibit will continue at Frontier Homestead through August 30.  SUWS

A Look Into Our Collection: Canning Jars

In 1795, Nicolas Appert invented a process for preserving food cooked in a jar and then sealed to eliminate outside air.  In 1858 John L. Mason patented a screw top closure and a glass jar with a unique shape that allowed the jars to be sealed on the narrow shoulder of the bottle.  Home canning became popular beginning in the early years of WWI and continued through WWII when families were encouraged to grow and preserve their own produce. Preserving the surplus from these “victory” gardens proved a great incentive to do home canning utilizing commercially available glass jars.  Many people still practice this method to preserve their crop for later use. The following are only a few of the jars in our collection:

Ball Mason's Pint Jar

Ball Mason’s Pint Jar

 

Pint Ball Mason’s Patent November 30, 1858 Canning Jar

Frontier Homestead State Park Collection

Circa 1886-1896

Ball started making jars in 1885 in Buffalo, New York.  Ball moved to Muncie Indiana and started making jars in the new plant in 1888.  Because they acquired molds from different companies, they used the generic Mason’s Patent November 30, 1858 for a few years.  They added “Ball” beginning 1892 to some jars.  The block lettering and the lack of the identifying “Ball” name makes this jar one of the two oldest in the collection.  Note the rubber seal on the shoulder.  It is rare to have the rubber seal still in place. The shoulder and vanishing threads were the features that John Landis Mason patented in 1858.

 

Drey Ever-Seal Pint Jar

Drey Ever-Seal Pint Jar

Pint Drey Ever Seal Bail Top Canning Jar

Frontier Homestead State Park Collection

Circa 1917-1938

In 1882 Henry Putnam used Charles De Quillford’s patented wire toggle type closure with a glass lid in what is called a “Lightning” closure.  Many companies produced this type of jar and closure over the next few years.  Older jars have a wire going completely around the neck to hold the wire bail assembly.  (Note: During America’s Bicentennial of 1976 many reproductions of the lightning style canning jar were made.  Usually the correct year is embossed on these jars, but some are accurate antique reproductions or knock-offs.

 

 

Atlas Strong Shoulder Quart Jar

Atlas Strong Shoulder Quart Jar

Quart Atlas Strong Shoulder Mason Canning Jar

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1902-1964

The Hazel-Atlas company was in business from 1902 to 1964. During 1940s and ’50s, the company was one of the largest producers of canning jars along with competitors Ball and Kerr.  As an innovation when bead seal jars replaced shoulder seal jars, Atlas came up with the Strong Shoulder Mason which has prominent shoulders and heavier glass below the jar neck to prevent the jar from cracking easily.  Cracking on the shoulders was a weakness of the early shoulder seal jars.

Next Time: Groovefest

A Look Into Our Collection: Bottles

Frontier Homestead recently acquired a large collection of glass bottles and canning jars from local Cedar City resident, Lois Bulloch. Over the next two weeks, we are excited to give you a look into the stories these bottles and jars tell. First, some history. Glass bottle production began with hand blown free form bottles, a labor intensive process, with most of the workers being young boys.  In 1904 the automatic bottle making machine, patented by Michael Joseph Owens, allowed for faster, less costly, and more consistent bottle production.

Machine made bottles have very refined vertical seams, identification marks on the bottom, and usually a small circle where the molten glass was automatically cut in the bottle machine.  Modern glass is thin walled and very clear. Antique glass is thicker and may contain bubbles of entrapped air.  Occasionally, older glass is tinted green or blue due to iron impurities, a lack of manganese, or because the tint was thought to be desirable.  Shades of purple and blue glass can be attributed to exposure to sunlight over  time, causing a chemical reaction in the composition of the glass. The following are only a few of the bottles in the collection:

 

Wine Bottle

Wine Bottle

Wine Bottle

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1865-1920

This wine bottle was mouth blown in a dip mold. A dip mold forms the body of the bottle and produces bottles with slightly narrower bases which expand to larger shoulders, making it easier to get the bottle out of the mold.  The top was free-blown hence the slightly asymmetrical appearance.   Because dip molds are one piece units, there are no vertical mold seams, but there may be seams horizontally around the shoulder where the glass separates from the mold.  Generally no embossing is seen on dip molds.

 

Chamberlain Medicine Bottle

Chamberlain Medicine Bottle

Chamberlain Medicine Bottle

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1900-1930

This bottle was hand blown into a bottle mold based on the rectangular shape with lots of embossing and the hand finished mouth.  The shape of the mouth this bottle indicates that it was probably fitted with a cork stopper.  The embossing says: “CHAMBERLAINS PAIN BALM, Chamberlain Medicine Co., Des Moines, IA, U.S.A.”  The company also made cough medicine, liniment and colic, cholera and diarrhea medicine.   The company has been in business for well over 100 years continues to make medicines today.

 

Whiskey Bottle - Post Prohibition

Whiskey Bottle – Post Prohibition

Whiskey Bottle – Post Prohibition

Lois Bulloch Collection

Circa 1932-1964

This bottle is tied to the post prohibition era, after 1932, as indicated by the embossing: “FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE”.  The federal government wanted the revenues of the liquor trade after the repeal of prohibition in 1933 when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment (1920).    Along with a requirement to destroy used bottles, marking bottles this way was supposed to keep bootleggers from using bottles that had already been taxed and thus avoiding taxes themselves.  Bootleg alcohol cost half as much as the fully taxed and legal variety so the profits made it worth the risk for these lawbreakers.  Other embossing on this bottle says: “MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN” and on the bottom is the bottle manufacturers mark, year and government registration number.

We have many more bottles for you to see in the museum. Our intrepid museum volunteer, Pete Wilkins has created an informative exhibit highlighting this collection.

Next Time: Jars