Art Rowdy and Reverent
If all of Kerry D. Soper’s art were displayed in one show, unknowing patrons might question why the curator chose to bring together the works of two very different artists. On one wall might hang an oil painting of a dusk-lit pastoral landscape; on another, a satirical jab at academia via a rowdy set of cartoon characters.
The humanities professor first ventured into art as a cartoonist for his high school and college newspapers. On a whim, he entered a national contest and won the Charles M. Schulz Award for outstanding college cartoonists—judged by the award namesake and Peanuts creator himself. Years after receiving his BFA, Soper continues to cartoon, drawing comics to accompany satirical essays he writes for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
After grad school, Soper moved to Spring City, Utah, and turned to landscape art, inspired by the quiet, reflective vista of Mount Nebo. It’s a place, he says, that has “a lot of personal, emotional resonance.” Soper schedules in one day a week—more during the summer—to paint, and he displays his work at a few art shows every year. “I feel fortunate,” says Soper, “to pursue a craft that brings so much satisfaction and that complements—and provides the occasional break from—my teaching and scholarship.”