Community members are invited to Weber State University’s Stewart Library for an exhibit of Everett Ruess Block Prints, depicting the artist and writer’s travels throughout the western United States in the early 20th century.
Available from Aug. 21 to Oct. 16, the prints included in the exhibition are among those Ruess created during the five-year period prior to his disappearance in the Escalante canyons in 1934.
The show, sponsored by WSU Friends of the Stewart Library as part of the Utah Arts & Museums’ Traveling Exhibition, includes four original blocks, 25 block prints, and 11 photos of blocks. The Ruess work was selected to display during the library’s grand reopening event, Aug. 31.
As a young artist and writer, Ruess roamed the southwestern U.S. during the early 1930s. In order to pay tribute and preserve his memory of the desert and mountains he respected and loved, Ruess recorded his travels in poems, essays, letters, watercolors, sketches and lino-cut block prints. As his wanderlust became an obsession, Ruess would sell or trade his artwork to help fund his travels. In 1934, at the age of 20, Ruess mysteriously disappeared in the Escalante Canyons and was never heard from again. Today Ruess is known as a folk hero and symbol of the wilderness conservation movement.
"The Ruess exhibit is a great opportunity for art and history lovers of all types to get a rare look at original wood carvings by Everett Ruess, as they are seldom allowed out of the Utah Arts Repository, said Jamie Weeks, university archivist. “The exhibit itself is packed with beautiful works and becomes historically fascinating when one imagines the time period and age of the artist.”
The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Utah Arts & Museums have combined efforts to restore the original lino-cuts in this collection. These specific images chronicle his travels along the California coast, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and among the deserts and canyons of Utah and Arizona.
Everett Ruess Block Prints will be located in the Stewart Library (3921 Central Campus Dr.) and will be part of Ogden’s First Friday Art Stroll on Sept. 1.
The Stewart Library is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Accompanying educational materials are available. For more information on viewing the exhibition, please call 801-626-6509 or go to library.weber.edu/newsandevents/exhibit-list.
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