Book Awards | Literary Arts

2017 15 Bytes Book Awards: Art Book Finalists

The 5th Annual 15 Bytes Book Awards is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Art Book Award.

As with all nominees, finalists were eligible for consideration if they were published professionally in 2016 and had a connection to Utah via themes, setting, or author’s residence. The finalists were determined by 15 Bytes’ staff and guest judges based on two criteria: quality of writing/artistry and that indefinable quality that makes a book special and unforgettable

This year’s finalists include the following (in no particular order):


Saints at Devil’s Gate: Landscapes Along the Mormon Trail (Church Historian’s Press), edited by Laura Allred Hurtado

Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Church History Museum, this beautifully packaged catalogue celebrates the historic Mormon Trail through visuals and text. Paintings by John Burton, Brian Mark Taylor and Josh Clare depict contemporary scenes along the historic trail in a variety of seasons and light while diary entries from pioneers as well as other historical documents, selected by Bryon C. Andreasen, provide rich context to the visualsIn her introductory essay, Hurtado adroitly contextualizes the project, as do interviews with the artists that appear at the end of the volume.

You can read our review of the exhibition and book here.

Branding the American West: Paintings and Films, 1900-1950 (University of Oklahoma Press), edited by Marian Wardle and Sarah E. Boehme

As the six writers in this 224-page hardbound catalog point out, artists of the American West were always engaged in a process of branding, of providing a hungry public with a sometimes shifting but always simplified version of the region—whether it was the wild and dangerous West needing to be broken, like the bronco in a Remington bronze, or the mystical lands of the Southwest where the last remnants of the vanishing Native were to be found. Branding the American West weaves a rich tapestry of the American west in all its various and complicated narratives,

You can read our review of the work here.


Beginning Acrylic (Walter Foster Publishing), by Susette Billedeaux Gertsch

Utah’s own contribution to the art how-to genre from Heber artist Susette Gertsch is a beautifully designed introduction to the variety of artistic possibilities in acrylic paint. For the introductory student, the book introduces basic information on principals of design and color theory,  and provides step-by-step exercises in painting, with a special emphasis on Gertsch’s forte, plein air and landscape painting design and techniques.

You can read our review of the work here.


The winner of the award will be announced in September during the Utah Humanities Book Festival. Stay tuned for the award ceremonies and readings.

15 Bytes and its publisher Artists of Utah thanks everyone who nominated a book for this award and for their support of the literary arts in the Beehive State.

Congratulations to the finalists!

Categories: Book Awards | Literary Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.