At the heart of the Jacob E. Spori Building on the BYU-Idaho campus, a virtually brand new set of paintings hang in The Jacob Spori Art Gallery. Typically, the gallery does two to three shows over a single semester, but the current exhibit featuring Argentinian artist Jorge Cocco Santángelo has been on campus since March.
“This is the first time these paintings have been shown anywhere,” said Kamille Gee, a junior studying communication, who works as a gallery assistant. “This a unique opportunity the school has been given to see these artworks before the rest of the world.”
According to BYU-I’s website, the gallery reopened Sept. 14, the beginning of the fall semester. The gallery was previously showing these paintings in the winter 2020 semester, but had closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Students like Isaac Stirland, a senior studying biomedical sciences, weren’t aware of this fact.
“I do enjoy the gallery,” Stirland said. “I don’t have many classes by it though, so sometimes I forget about it. I assumed it was closed this semester.”
The current gallery consists of paintings based around the Book of Mormon and was done to relate to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Come Follow Me program. Santángelo describes his style as sacrocubsim or religious cubism. Coming to the art gallery next is “Light & Life: Stories and Photographs of a Global Faith” by Leslie Nilsson and Cody Bell. It will run from Nov. 2 through Dec. 16.
The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.