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A Parliament Of Owls



Artist Scott Gustafson has of late been inspired by aphorisms and the turn of a phrase including most recently the Fine Art Limited Editions Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil and Birds of a Feather Flock Together. Birds have the type of unique collective nouns that send Gustafson into inspired flights of fancy. A peep of chickens, a band of jays, a conspiracy of ravens, a murder of crows and yes, a parliament of owls! This Great Horned orator speaks with commanding authority and while the front row struggles to stay awake, most of the others are rapt listeners.

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Birds Of A Feather Flock Together





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Hear No Evil



The proverb of the Three Wise Monkeys, commonly known as “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” most likely originated in Japan hundreds of years ago. Since then it has become an internationally recognized image, interpreted by artists around the world. Scott Gustafson adds his own playful touch to the three wise monkeys in his latest contribution to the SmallWorks™ collection.

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Hold To The Rod, The Iron Rod



Hold to the rod, the iron rod;
’Tis strong, and bright, and true.
The iron rod is the word of God;
’Twill safely guide us through.

(Joseph L. Townsend, The Iron Rod, LDS Hymns, no. 274)

As we walk the road of life, we tend to collect things that make us feel safer and more sure of ourselves. These may be material possessions, titles or responsibilities, but in the end they amount to the same thing: a fleeting and superficial sense of security. It is only by holding fast to our beliefs that we can navigate life with any confidence.

The character in Hold to the Rod finds himself so burdened with the mundane objects he has collected that, while he hopefully eyes the rod, he cannot reach up to hold it for fear of losing something else. The man has become little more than a vehicle for his adornments. He demonstrates that what is truly important is keeping sight of our true belief and faith, that they alone will guide us through.

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Low Tech





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Oops!



Well, you never know, it could happen!

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Outside The Box



This hunchback “Everyman” of James C. Christensen’s symbology is not only thinking outside the box, he is outside of his box. He’s arrived and if he had any trouble getting here, it’s behind him now. It’s like getting up very early in the morning, before everyone else, to take quiet time to reflect. It’s a perfect moment, sitting on the checkered gameboard of life and contemplating a cloudless future. In a couple of hours he may be joined by others, or maybe not, but for now the sky’s the limit, the air smells great and the possibilities are endless.

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Pilates





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Tempus Fugit (Time Flies)



"This is the look on my face when I glance up from painting and realize an entire afternoon has passed. I'm like the guy in the painting. Things always take more time than I think they will."

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The Blind Leading The Blind



The Parable of the Blind is one of the best-known sections from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. It reads: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” Jesus used the metaphor of the blind men to suggest to his followers that they examine their own hearts and souls before calling attention to the flaws of others. James Christensen has taken the parable in a new, more light-hearted direction in The Blind Leading the Blind. Christensen sees his blind men as archetypal figures, embodying the different ways people deal with difficult situations. All four men are lost, but their expressions reveal their attitudes: one man is unhappy, one is content with his lot, one man is confused and one has tumbled into the pit entirely. The Blind Leading the Blind is a whimsical reminder to remain humble—and to give others the benefit of the doubt.

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The Candleman



If you wander through the cobblestone streets at night, you can feel secure in the circle of light cast by The Candleman. Here, the children, wide-eyed and wondering, will be safe though it’s late and they’re far from home. The trusty Candleman will escort them through the still silence of the snow covered streets by the light of his torch and his hat abrim with burning candles. In James C. Christensen’s marvelous world “just a little left of reality,” The Candleman, like a friendly crossing guard you may remember from your school days, keeps a loving and watchful eye on everyone in his care.

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