PARK CITY, Utah. — When a work of art speaks, the audience has no choice but to listen and absorb what’s being expressed. That’s what happens when viewing Jackson-based artist Connor Liljestrom’s work; the layering of rich colors, shapes, and figures on his canvases seems to tell a story to those viewing it.
“Each piece serves as an opportunity to come back to the thesis statement. One piece is related to the next, but overall required to hit from a few different angles to get back to this one main piece that started it all,” said Liljestrom, whose work will be on exhibit through February at a pop-up art gallery by New West Fine Art at 625 Main Street in Park City.
Liljestrom describes the color, balance, brushstrokes, and the energy with which he paints as a few of the elements that help synthesize his work into a series, or artistic essay. As a former division 1 rugby athlete at the University of Wyoming, Liljestrom channels the power of movement and energy into his work.
“I do think that one of my responsibilities as an artist is to investigate things that I’m sincerely interested in or something I’ve noticed,” said Liljestrom, whose observations and life experiences lend him the inspiration to paint.
His work differs from the artwork seen on a stroll through Historic Main Street’s fixture galleries. It has a boldness to it that leaves the eyes searching for more between each brushstroke. When asked about the color red and its presence in nearly every painting in this pop-up exhibition, Liljestrom described it as ‘beautiful.’
“Within red there’s so much depth to how it can be adjusted,” he said. “Warmer, cooler, darker, lighter. Tones and tints and shades. It’s a very rich color.”
This summer, Liljestrom and his New West Fine Art Gallery family (his mom Allison is the gallery manager) are hopeful to gear up for a country-wide tour.
“I love painting,” Liljestrom said. “I just have to keep communicating clearly what my boundaries are for maintaining the way I want to feel with my work and making it. Ultimately, I’ve brought something into the world that I want to look at, that I get to enjoy.”