Granary exhibit features local abstract artist
By Robert Green
EPHRAIM—Richard Gate, an abstract artist who likes to create hard-edge collages from mixed media, will be presenting a retrospective of his life-long work at a solo exhibition called, Anthology, at the Granary Arts from now until May 10.
Gate, who lives in Mt. Pleasant during the winter, will be on hand to discuss his paintings at an artist’s reception on Friday, April 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Granary Arts Gallery in Ephraim.
As a boy growing up in Southern Utah, Gate liked to hike among the red rocks and search for Indian relics and petroglyphs; he developed a great interest in archaeology and cultures that go back a long ways.
In his art, he often incorporates images of tranquility against modern forces of aggression. “It’s not unusual in my collages to show a petroglyph next to a nuclear collider, signifying what the world has become,” Gate said. “All these things are mashed together and somehow related.”
There will be about 135 of Gate’s paintings displayed at the Granary Arts exhibit. Some of them will be for sale.
All of them present symbols that are important to Gate. Many will have petroglyphs, spirals, butterflies, swallows, fish and a three-headed flower, pulled from an Arabic design book Gate found in the Snow College Library when he was looking for symbolic ideas.
“All the pieces in the show are related to mixed media or collaging,” he said. “They are also influenced by hard-edge color painting from Los Angeles, or even pop-art. Most of my pieces are not like a typical collage.”
Some of the show’s art will go back almost 30 years, to a time when Gate was studying art at BYU. “The exhibition is really a nice survey of what I’ve been doing for much of my life,” he said.
Gate was born in Ontario and still spends his summers at the family fishing resort at Lake of the Woods. He comes back to Mt. Pleasant to work in the peace and quiet of winter. He lives with his wife Natalie, who teaches music at Wasatch Academy.
Gate never lost his attraction to the outdoors and continues hiking, fishing, boating and river running.
He has displayed his work for most of his life at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica. The gallery has since closed and he has brought all his paintings home with him to Mt. Pleasant.
He received his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in California, where much of his work became colored by the Los Angeles art scene.
He served an LDS mission in Switzerland and the South of France, where he encountered the world and landscape of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin. He received a BFA from Brigham Young University.
Recently his large piece Catfish – Serpent – Star was awarded Best of Show in the Utah Statewide Annual: Mixed Media and Works on Paper 2016 and is now in the State of Utah Alice Merrill Horne Collection. More information on him can be found at www.richardgate.com.
Granary Arts is funded primarily by Ephraim City and supported in part by the Utah Arts and Museums and the National Endowment of the Arts.
“As a non-profit enterprise, our primary focus is to provide quality art and community events to the people of Sanpete County,” said Granary Art manager Adah Bennion.
In addition to art shows, Granary Arts offers classes on art and yoga and provides free family workshops on drawing, painting and other arts. They switch up exhibitions four times a year. For more information, go to http://www.granaryarts.org.