J GO Gallery readies an opening-night reception for ‘Of Dance,’ an exhibit featuring works inspired by movement
Exhibit features works by Stephanie Hock, Carole Wade and Marketa Sivek
J GO Gallery will leap into “Of Dance,” a new exhibit inspired by the art of movement, which will open Friday.
The exhibit was inspired by the dance performances held at the gallery’s home, the Rockwell Listening Room, and will feature dance-inspired works by Salt Lake City-based artist Stephanie Hock, Carole Wade of St. George, and Marketa Sivek, a new J GO artist based in Chicago, said gallery owner Jude Grenny.
“Of Dance,” which will run through Aug. 2, will open with a reception that will include music mixes spun by a live DJ, and an optional participation of the Fox School of Wine’s Recess at the Rock wine tasting, according to Grenny.
“Marketa and her wife will be part of the wine tasting, and I will stream it live on my Instagram feed,” she said. “When the tasting is finished, my friend DJ Monkey Fez, will play some music.”
DJ Monkey Fez offers music that includes the 1950s and 21st century exotica, jazz, Polynesian and Loungecore favorites, Grenny said.
The idea for “Of Dance” came to Grenny after watching Michele Wiles of Ballet Next rehearse and perform on the Rockwell’s dance floor.
“She uses the floor for rehearsals, and in the month of July, she will do some ticketed performances,” Grenny said. “So, I started thinking about how I could collaborate with her. While I don’t have dancers, I thought I could show art related to dance, because visual artists understand the time and appreciate the time, effort and practice required to create art.”
While brainstorming the idea, Grenny decided on Hock, Wade, and Sivek.
Sivek is new to the J GO Gallery’s roster.
“Marketa originally approached me about potentially becoming part of the J GO family, and I took a look at her work as I was considering this show,” Grenny said. “She has several bodies of works, and has a series of balletlike costumes that she calls ‘The Dress Series.’”
Grenny knew Sivek’s work would fit with the show’s concept.
“After I saw that series, we had the conversation and she said she had painted several new works related to dance,” Grenny said. “So I told her that we were not only going to represent her, but we are going to do a show right away.”
The gallery owner also reached out to Wade, who is also known for painting figures.
“Carole recently got married and hasn’t been able to spend much time in the studio,” Grenny said. “So I reached out to her and asked her if she wanted to be a part of the show, and she has done one piece.”
Hock was actually the first artist Grenny contacted for the show.
“Stephanie is a natural, because she does figurative works, and I remembered seeing a painting she did of a dancer in the past,” Grenny said. “I approached her and she was excited about the idea, so we ran with it.”
Hock, the owner of Stephanie Hock Fine Art (stephaniehock.com) in Salt Lake City, is honored to be part of the exhibit because of her family’s connection to dance.
“My great grandmother Lucille Thurman was a dancer and taught dance at Granite High School and had her own studio in the 1920s,” Hock said. “So, this month, 100 years ago, she was putting on a show with all of her students, and it’s like a cool connection for me to do something creatively related to dance a century later. It’s interesting to think how both of our art, even though she lived so long ago, can carry on and connect us through different times and struggles.”
Many of Hock’s nine paintings were directly inspired by her great grandmother’s dancing.
“While cleaning out her house, I found all of these sketches she had done of different dance poses,” Hock said. “They were basic stick figures and really gestural, but I was inspired by the line work and movement she used, and I tried to incorporate some of that in my paintings.”
One of those paintings was “Showing Up,” which depicts three young dancers putting on their ballet shoes in front of a mirror that has reflections of dancers based on the sketches, she said.
“It was fun to think of how I can connect her work with me,” Hock said. “I also love painting humans. Figures in motion are so beautiful to me. They aren’t posing, but actively doing something with their bodies and living life.”
Hock cites her mother, Debbie Brown, a sculptor who is known in Utah for carving the butter cow each year at the Utah State Fair, as her main artistic influence.
“She had studied art in college, but dropped out because she had 7 children and was interested in raising her family,” Hock said. “But when I was 13, she realized her mom and her grandmother had bachelor degrees, and if she didn’t finish her degree, she would have broken that cycle.”
Hock remembers her mother taking home study courses and driving to Park City to take art classes.
“She motivated me to get my bachelors degree, and to continue with art,” said Hock, who always selected art as an elective in junior high and high school.
“Art was a great way to create things out of nothing that would express feelings and thoughts I had,” she said.
After moving around different colleges, Hock graduated with an art degree from Utah State University, but she had lost her passion for it.
“I had many professors who were highly critical, as they should be, about my work, and I felt I wasn’t as good as my other classmates,” she said. “So I decided to do something else, and worked safe office jobs.”
That began to change after Hock met her husband, Adam Hock.
“When he heard about my art, he gave me three tubes of paint for a wedding present, and said he believed in me,” she said. “It was so motivating.”
During their first Christmas together, Adam gave Hock a huge blank canvas.
“It was so big that I just hung it on a wall, and it started to excite me to think of what I could fill it with,” she said.
After talking with other artists for advice, Hock began taking classes and studying as much as she could.
“I took a workshop when I was 8 months pregnant, and people thought I was crazy and asked why I was there,” she said with a laugh. “I said, these years are going to be chaotic anyway, so I could just enjoy the chaos and still do things for me.”
Hock didn’t slow down, even after her children were born.
“My husband would take over making dinner and the childcare things so I could paint,” she said. “I would also paint during my kids’ nap times. It has been a fun and wild ride, and I’m happy to be here.”
When: 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25
Where: J GO Gallery, Rockwell Listening Room, 268 Main St.
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