Black cats, skulls and a two-headed man with his chest torn open are some of the pieces comprising the Dixie State University Halloween Art Exhibit in the North Plaza building.
Students and community members are displaying their Halloween-themed artwork in the gallery near the front doors of the North Plaza through Oct. 31. In addition to the Halloween Art Exhibit, which is the first of its kind at DSU, this is the first semester a Halloween class has been taught at DSU.
The exhibit opened with an art show Oct. 7. Jeff Yule, associate professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences, teaches the Halloween class and said he was the was the visionary behind the Halloween Art Exhibit.
“I’ve always been interested in Halloween,” Yule said. “There are as many ways to be into Halloween as there are flavors at Baskin-Robbins. And [the Halloween Art Exhibit] is great because it brings the community together to campus to see really unique art you can’t see anywhere.”
Samantha West, a junior English major from Salt Lake City, was one of the jurors for the art show who decided which artwork was accepted to the exhibit. She had her own colored pencil piece of a Halloween scene with a black cat placed in the exhibit.
“The Halloween gallery is kind of introducing Halloween to St. George,” West said. “There really isn’t any other place in the community that displays Halloween art.”
McGarren Flack, another juror for the exhibit and faculty member in the art department, said there were over 75 pieces of artwork submitted, including sculptures, paintings and photographs.
“For the first year with late notice, to have 75 submissions, that’s pretty good,” Flack said. “The majority of the submissions were really creepy stuff.”
He said they had to eliminate about half of the submissions because they didn’t fit the “cliché of Halloween” they were going for.
Flack said the competition to get accepted into the exhibit was stiff. He said students in his Business of Art class, which was designed to teach students how to market and sell their artwork, all submitted pieces to the exhibit. Out of the 30 students in the class, Flack said only six of them had pieces accepted to the Halloween Art Exhibit.
“After that, a couple of the students were like, ‘I don’t want to submit to shows anymore,’” Flack said. “I was like, ‘dude; this is only one art show.’ Making a living selling to art shows isn’t always easy for an artist.”
The Halloween spirit in the North Plaza building won’t end when the Halloween art exhibit closes after Oct. 31. Yule’s Halloween class will keep studying the history, traditions, literature and artwork of Halloween until the end of the semester. Yule said his Halloween class is probably going to be offered again if it gets enough support from students wanting to take it in the future.
“[The Halloween class] is kind of a cross between a seminar and a Choose Your Own Adventure,” Yule said. “The course includes some reading about Halloween, class discussions and Halloween-based projects.”
West, who is one of the 18 students in the Halloween class, said she loves learning about all the different elements of Halloween in the Halloween class.
“It’s a really fun, hands-on class,” West said. “Halloween is really about nostalgia for me because everyone was so into it as a kid. I just love learning about the weird stuff and the creepy stuff around Halloween because it only comes around once a year.”