Eyes Toward the Past

Bicentennial Paintings of Northern Utah

The “Eyes Toward the Past” Art Exhibition features paintings that were produced from 1974 to 1976 as part of the Weber State University Bi-Centennial Art Exhibit. The exhibit, originally organized by Bill Critchlow, commissioned twenty-four of Utah’s best artists of the era to paint sixty-five paintings featuring northern Utah’s history. Artists including LeConte Stewart, Farrell Collett and Lee K. Parkinson painted historic scenes that included the discovery of the Great Salt Lake, the Fort Buenaventura, the Bamberger Railroad, a Miles Goodyear horse drive, the Ogden Tithing Yard, and the construction of Ogden High School.

For several decades these paintings have been preserved in the Weber State University Visual Art Department's collection until just recently, the Weber State University Storytelling Festival started a project to locate and photograph each of the paintings and then produce short documentary films about each painting’s history. Many of the paintings are now on display in the McKay Education Building on the Weber State Campus. Documentaries about 20 of the paintings can be viewed on the WSU Youtube Channel