An exhibition by Mary P. Fairbanks & P. Kent
4th Floor Gallery, Utah State Capitol
October 3, 2022 – January 5, 2023
Monday – Thursday: 7:00 am–8:00 pm
Friday – Sunday, & Holidays: 7:00 am–6:00 pm
Enter through East Doors
“I am thrilled and fascinated by sunbeams. The way the light hits anything is everything to me. A field that looks a bit dry and dreary can be transformed in seconds by shafts of light hitting a crop and turning it to gold, or light filtering through mist, making the mundane mysterious and subtly intriguing. Sheep grazing in a field are more interesting when highlights give them some zing—until shadows ground them.
The paintings displayed here are from plein-air competitions organized by Spring City Arts, from my travels throughout Sanpete County, and from my own backyard in Ephraim. For me, ideal painting subjects are beautifully clean skies, farmland, farm animals, birds, and gardens.
My husband Kent and I acquired a derelict Victorian farmhouse on a whim while studying at Snow College. Kent—the architect—planned to save the little gem’s life and give it another hundred years.
I held on to my life-long dreams of having a walled secret garden, a tree house, an orchard, and a barn with a studio on top. All of those plans and dreams were realized! They came true with the added bonus of a busload of wonderful new friends: turkey raisers, artists, gardeners, hikers, poets, farmers, world travelers, theater aficionados—salt of the earth, good people.”
About the Artist | Artist Website
Mary was born and raised in rural Idaho. Her earliest exposure to fine art was a magazine that featured paintings by LeConte Stewart and books with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. When Mary first saw an original Renoir, she burst into tears at the vibrancy of the colors. The reproductions in textbooks were muted and usually dark.
During her high school years, Mary painted murals for proms, signs for Five & Dime stores, and a Christmas mural for a bank.
Mary studied education at Ricks College and linguistics at the University of Utah. She also studied painting under Judi Betts, Jeremy Lipking, G. Russell Case, and Michael Workman.
One art journey Mary took was to own and operate Magpie’s Nest Gallery, and later, Pickett Fairbanks Gallery. There were art retreats to Italy and friends made among the gallery artists, many of whom currently produce exceptional fine art.
“I find great satisfaction and fascination in the colors, geometric forms and textures in the landscape and in the creations of man. I’m captivated by seeing nature and man collide and then over time meld together. I hope my photographs attest that man and his creations are ultimately a part of nature.
I feel that documenting the things and people around us is not enough. My photography should augment and enrich our experience of a place and time.
As a practicing architect for 45 years, I have gained an appreciation for texture, color, lines and forms in art and photography. In a way, many of my photos are “photopaintings” created not to document reality but to express feelings. A successful “photopainting” should allow personal and emotional interpretation of the subject being photographed and the unique beauty and qualities they possess. “
P. Kent Fairbanks
About the Artist | Artist Website
Before attending university, P. Kent lived in fourteen different locations. He graduated from the University of Utah’s Architecture program in 1969. His wife is an accomplished painter. They have seven children and 16 grandchildren.
He served his internship with a large architectural firm in Philadelphia, PA, where he worked for six years. He returned to Utah to help design many buildings and facilities for ski resorts.
Kent received his architectural license in seven different states. As an architect, he designed many buildings including university housing and classroom buildings, high schools, ski resorts, high-rise office buildings, churches, medical clinics and hospital additions, banks, retail stores, and shopping centers. He used photography extensively as an architect for 45 years. He is now retired and spends all of his time with family and photographing.
Kent’s love of Utah’s byways began as a young architectural student when he was hired by the Utah Heritage Foundation and the National Parks Service’s Historic American Building Survey to spend two summers documenting historic buildings throughout the state. 349 of those photographs are now in the Library of Congress.