Heroes and Villains: Woodbury superhero exhibit

Why are the paintings black and white? Because the public is invited to come act as the colorist for the huge comic panels.

Bringing myths and comics together

UVU assistant professor Chad Hardin, who has worked on comics about Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, organized the exhibit by calling upon his fellow comic book artists to bring the oft-discussed but rarely illustrated concept to life: there are no new stories, only new ways of telling them.  Icons like Spider-Man and Batman are simply retellings of classic myths with larger-than-life heroes who dwelled on Mount Olympus.


The exhibit features massive ink-only versions of common archetypes of heroes and villains drawn as classic characters from Greek mythology. Why are the paintings black and white? Because the public is invited to come act as the colorist for the huge comic panels. Each image has a guide, and in steps similar to painting by numbers, amateur artists have been applying their paint pens to canvas to give the exhibit life.


“The idea came up to do some sort of community art event where the community could come in and somehow participate in a gallery event,” Hardin told the Daily Herald. “Then the idea came up for a giant coloring book. … What if we had comic book artists do pencils and inks and then turn the entire gallery into a giant coloring book that the community can come in and color?”


One painting features two of the most famous from the Pantheon - the twins Artemis and Apollo. But unlike their traditional design, this Artemis has an afro and Apollo has a top knot. They're modern, but timeless, and ultimately still as heroic as ever. Another is an interpretation of Sailor Moon.


“I hope that it introduces them to comics, and I hope they realize comics are basically American mythology" Hardin said. "One of the things we’re talking about is that these art types have basically been around forever — ever since humans started telling stories. Maybe they’ll get a little bit of education and enjoy a comic or maybe they’ll go read ‘The Iliad’


Head to the Woodbury Art Museum before September 15 to see the wonderful pop art for yourself, and maybe even have a hand in making it more colorful!

Painting the exhibit

July 28 - September 15

The heroes and villains of comic books reflect the enduring influence of the character types rooted in Greek Mythology. In this one-of-a-kind exhibition, comic book artists explore how our favorite heroes and villains have evolved from the legends of the ancient world. Led by Chad Hardin (Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman), the artists invite the public to help bring to life our own comic book of mythical proportions as we line the walls of the museum with a living comic book ready to be painted by you!