Snakes, Sheep, and Shaman part of museum art exhibit

Joseph Venus, one of Utah’s finest painters, and Francois Gohier, an international photographer, both part of new museum exhibit
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Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 5:29pm

Rock art photography and Fremont Indian paintings by two renowned artists encompass USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum’s gallery from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12.

Francois Gohier, an international photographer, has created a rich collection of images of rock art of the Southwest United States with emphasis on the Fremont Culture of Utah.

Gohier grew up in the Basque Country in Southwest France. He developed an interest in wildlife, geology and photography while hiking and climbing in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

He volunteered in archaeological excavations of caves occupied by Paleolithic people in the foothills of the Pyrenees while in high school. After studying mathematics and physics a the University of Bordeaux, he worked as a land surveyor, but a class in natural history photography at the National Museum in Paris brought a change of direction in his life.

Traveling and documenting the natural world became Gohier’s passion. Beginning in South America, he photographed landscapes and wild life from the High Andes of Chile and Peru to the rainforest of Bolivia, the plains of Brazil and Venezuela and the steppes and shores of Patagonia in Argentina.

Years of work photographing the gray whales in the lagoons of Baha, Calif., and Mexico led to work with other species of whales and dolphins from Alaska to the South Pacific.

His interest in European prehistory led him to search for traces of Native Americans’ past, which introduced him to the Southwest and developing his collection of images of rock art and the Fremont Culture of Utah. He resides in San Diego, Calif.

Joseph S. Venus, one of Utah’s finest painters whose photo-realistic work includes people and animals painted in the natural background they live today, just as they did in the past. His paintings are known for their brilliant and natural colors.

He paints wildlife, Native Americans and prehistoric subjects, which are part of the permanent collections in museums and private collections worldwide. Some of his work can be seen in USU Eastern’s Museum in the Hall of Archeology.

As a signature member of the Worldwide Nature Artists Group in Clayton, Ontario, Canada, he belongs to the exclusive international society of world-class nature artists.

The museum is open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sunday. Its art gallery is located on the second floor mezzanine.

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