Thunderbird Bookstore brings culture to its walls
By Robert Stevens
EPHRAIM — The owners of Ephraim’s Thunderbird Bookstore are launching a new project to help cultivate art and artists in Sanpete County.
Titled “Art on 89,” Thunderbird Book owner Ryan Roos says the project is intended to become a professional art gallery space located directly along historic Highway 89.
“What we have discovered in living alongside beautiful Highway 89 for the past year is an exceptionally vibrant art culture in dire need of a centrally located full-time venue for local and student artists to hang their work,” Roos said.
“Our desire is to display the works of promising student artists, talented local artists and noted artists of that same Mountain West region through which Highway 89 winds, and bring greater exposure to all through free-to-the-public gallery showings and lecture events.”
The first work to be displayed as part of the Art on 89 project is that of John H. Clark of Manti. Clark is a graphic designer who not only works for Snow College but also earned a degree in art there. His art on display for the initial gallery run is a series of retro-art posters that highlight various national parks and are inspired by travel posters released by the historic Scenic Highways Association in the 1920s.
Clark said the original posters were meant to inspire motor travel along U.S. 89, and his retro art style harkens back to those days.
“I love so many of the components of this style, it just seemed natural,” Clark said. “I love vintage advertising, old automobiles, history and the simple color design style that has strong similarities to graphic design. I’ve studied in most of the traditional forms of art, and this one suited me and my background.”
Roos says he plans to have Clark come to the gallery in January and put on a free talk for art lovers, artists or even just curious passersby. After Clark’s talk, Roos plans to continue a series of talks by artists and authors — all of which will be entirely free to the public.
The Art on 89 project gallery isn’t all Roos has planned to proliferate local art.
Roos said he hopes to raise the necessary funds to set up a 500-square-foot communal artist workspace adjacent to the gallery itself for Snow College art majors and lay members of the community to enjoy at no cost and at their leisure.