George Barnhill

My artistic journey encompasses a wide range of experiences. I began studying Design and Drafting Engineering Technology. (Associates-Ricks College, Idaho) In the summer before my last semester and graduation, I did some artistic projects, which reawakened the creative and artistic elements that I enjoyed so much in high school. This time I researched the major that would allow artistic expression, but that would also be financially secure compared to that of an artist.

Graphic design (Bachelor of Arts-BYU, Utah) was the next emphasis for study, which was a great foundation for design principles. But, two dimensional design was not opening the doors to the unknown medium for which I yearned. I took a class in hand bookbinding, which gave life in a new application and medium involving three dimensional design. This led to an internship in bookbinding and book conversation at the BYU Conservation Lab. While attending college, I worked at a museum quality frame shop making karat gold frames. I started making hand carved, gold boxes for my hand-bound books, which launched my passion for artistic expression. I spent two years making gold boxes and carved wall plaques, and was then able to start my own business.

My business, Au Books-Boxes-Frames, manufactured mostly gold, antique replica frames. My time was focused on frame design, karat gold gilding, finishing, and management. After nine years I decided to find the paths that would allow me to focus on art.

I was privileged to work as an assistant with motorcycle sculptor, Jeff Decker for two years. This was the key that opened the door to the balance I was seeking for in my art work. Sculpting and bronze castings filled the void that had been lacking.

Having been associated with gold surfaces and the patinas associated with antiquing, bronze and patina was a natural involvement for my design. The tactile and hands on aspect of creating has been very important in all that I do as an artist and craftsman. I love the integration that I can now achieve with my favorite materials, bronze and karat gold. I have been fascinated with organic texture, patterns, and colors. The discoveries of the hidden and underlying foundations, symbols, and textures of nature have been the passion for my sculptural designs.

The journey and path of discovery for my art endeavors has been for the intrinsic search of ‘art’ representing a higher level of beauty and design that stands as a light and beacon to assist in rising above the bitterness of the world. This search has inherently integrated itself into the process of unraveling:

‘Eunomia’ - “the proper order of things, or the way things should be,” and

‘Anamnesis’ – “the act of recalling what we have seen somewhere before.”

As an artist, my philosophy of art and the journey of discovery is summarized and encompassed fully with the following quotes.

“Art provides a patina, a glow to the underlying dull surfaces of life. Without it we lack certain wholeness, a certain balance, a certain refinement.” Gordon B. Hinkley

“Beauty is an agreement between the different parts of a whole, an agreement in which the parts and the whole are all in accord with the ‘principal Law of Nature.’”

Ten Books of Architecture, Alberti,

“Once organic character is achieved in the work of art, that work is forever. Like sun, moon, and stars, great trees, flowers, and grass it is and stays on while and wherever man is.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Spring Salon – Springville Museum of Art - April 1999

The Art of Book Binding – Ricks College, Rexburg Idaho - 2000

Annual Utah Valley Wood Sculpture Show - Spanish Fork – 1st Place - 2007

Annual Utah Valley Wood Sculpture Show - Salt Lake-1st Place - 2008

Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah - Springville Museum of Art – 2007, 2008

The Sum of All Parts: Art of Julie Buckley, Carin Fausett, George and Kirsten Barnhill. Springville Museum of Art – October 2010

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