Anyone who ever attended the Festival of the American West pageant at USU knows the artwork of Cache Valley painter Glen Edwards. You simply couldn’t miss it.
Two towering portraits, one showing a cowboy and the other a Native American chief, flanked the massive stage at the longtime Logan pageant, while the concourse of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum was lined with several more of Edwards’ Western-themed paintings, including an epic 80-foot wide mural depicting scenes of frontier life.
The Preston-born painter and former Utah State University art professor, who died Saturday at age 83, is being remembered for those artworks and many other things as news of his passing spreads in the community and among his former art students.
“I had the privilege of taking several classes with Glen during my undergraduate studies at Utah State. I now teach at a community college myself and often recall and share lessons he taught to my own students,” wrote Dave Roholt on the guestbook for Edwards’ online obituary. “When I think of Glen, the clearest memories of all include his very gracious and kind demeanor. Glen’s influence will live on in the many people and students whose lives he touched and changed as a force of goodness and hope.”
Edwards taught at USU for 32 years while doing some watercolor and oil painting on the side, then he turned to painting full-time after retirement from the university in 2000. He garnered several awards for his work and for years has had pieces on display in galleries in Santa Fe, Park City, Jackson and Sun Valley, among other Western tourist meccas known for showcasing regional artists.
His wife and fellow painter Barbara Summers Edwards said her husband’s hallmark as a teacher was connecting with the young people in his classes.
“He was an incredibly gifted artist and an incredibly gifted teacher who truly cared about his students and to this day has stayed in…