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The Logan Gallery Walk showcases the importance and diversity of art

Reinier Dominguez and Kelie Hess. Dominguez is smiling at the camera and wearing a suit. Hess is painting on a canvas.
Reinier Dominguez and Kelie Hess displayed art at the Logan Gallery Walk on September 23.

Last month, the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with fine art. The Institute featured two artists in Logan’s Gallery Walk, offering a glimpse into different styles, cultures and ways of thinking about color, light and air.

The Fall Gallery Walk featured more than 75 artists who displayed their work in local businesses. One of them was Kelie Hess of Ogden.

“I really like working on big canvases,” she said. “That’s not convenient for me because I’m a pretty small person. So often I am working on pieces of canvas that are much taller than I am.”

In addition to her work as an artist, Hess is an employee of the Institute.

“I've done a series the last couple of years called consciously breathing. And, to me personally, even though it's all abstract art, I tried to express the idea of living consciously and with intention," Hess explained. "I think a lot about air, even the air that we breathe in and out. I, myself have a very compromised respiratory system. And so in this series of paintings, I've tried to suggest air or light or wind, and using color and design, try to express just different emotions connected to a meaningful life.”

Artist Reinier Dominguez is connected to the Institute through his wife, Martha Reyes, who works there as an executive assistant. His art experience is extensive; he earned two art degrees in Cuba, where he was born. He has lived in the United States for the past six years.

“I did painting, different styles and mediums,” he said . “Because of painting, I was able to travel to Mexico, do a cultural exchange with the country of Mexico. And I met another set of Cuban artists. I became acquainted with the leader of a collective of artists that I belong to."

“I actually switched the way I paint; I learned another technique," Dominguez added.

The art collective, called Los Transferincistas, started in 2013 and is led by Lazaro Martinez. Together with other members of the collective, Dominguez has exhibited in Mexico, Cuba, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Columbia, Italy and the United States.

“We all have our own paintings and also collected paintings or art," Dominguez said. "This kind of work has to do with the death of the ego.

The collective’s guiding philosophy is to diminish the sense that art belongs to its creator.

“And precisely because of that, the title of each painting is not a regular name. It will use letters and numbers,” Dominguez said. “Each person will interact with the artwork according to the knowledge that they may have.”

The works Dominguez displayed at the Gallery Walk were painted by him, but the collective’s influence was still represented. His paintings, and many of those done by Hess, are abstract.

“Abstract is tricky for me, it really kind of pushed me out of my comfort zone," Hess said. "But I also really love it because I think through the style of abstraction, you can evoke emotions without being so obvious or literal. And I like that, I like people to pull out their own meaning when they view my art. But for myself, I want people to feel joy and happiness.”

While the two artists’ styles are very different, they both find wonder in the experience of creating art.

“Art has become just something that I need to do,” Hess said. “Kind of pushing that that line of, ‘What do I know, what is uncomfortable to me? Am I willing to push past that?’”

“It's a way in which I can reach the unknown,” Dominguez said. “When you like what you do and when you are part of a collective or a group like this, you feel something special when you’re performing. It helps others see art in a different way.”

The Cache Valley Center for the Arts coordinates with downtown Logan businesses on each Gallery Walk. Visitors can wander through the art displays for free four times a year. The next one takes place on December 16.

Editor's Note: JoLynne Lyon is an employee of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice.