The Experiments in Visual Thinking class, taught by Amy Jorgensen, had an exhibit this week organized for the work of Benson Whittle; a California-born sculptor who settled in Utah.
He has worked in several different mediums including paint, woodcarving, and sculpture.
The class was first introduced to his work when they took a trip to the Fairview Museum of Art and History. Several of Whittle’s works were on display there, which led them to a discussion about another particular piece of his called “Snow.” Donated to the school some time ago, this concrete sculpture stood on display on the west side of the Lucy Phillips Building.
It stood there against the wall until one of Snow College’s past presidents found the artwork offensive for portraying nude figures. He had it taken down, and placed it in storage. Eventually, “Snow” wound up on a pallet next to the softball fields.
It has since been exposed to the elements, and has experienced some damage in its time outdoors. Now, what is the point of the exhibit? To help this work of art find a permanent home on campus.
Whittle tried several times to find a proper place for the piece to stand. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2011 before anything could be arranged. The Experiments in Visual Thinking class has taken pictures documenting its misuse and passed out petitions requesting Snow’s reinstallation on campus.
They are using “#bringitback” as a rallying cry. They believe it is important for the appreciation of students, staff, faculty, and the greater Snow area. All art is important.
The exhibit opened April 13, and will be open for another two weeks. There are plenty of petitions to be signed, and as part of their show, the piece in question is on display in front of the Humanities Building, just outside the southeast entrance. We need all the help we can get. Even if you only visit for five minutes, please sign out petition to #bringitback and honor Benson Whittle’s wonderful contributions to culture and society.