The exhibition began with an empty space — one of the best in Salt Lake City. Artspace Forum Gallery offered Artists of Utah the opportunity to create a unique exhibition featuring Utah artists 35 or under. With support from the Salt Lake City Arts Council and other sponsors, 35 x 35 was a great success. Despite the fact that the exhibition took place during the busy holiday season, a record number of visitors came to the gallery, oftentimes waiting at the door first thing in the morning.
35 x 35 became much more than just another exhibition. With the involvement and support of the exhibiting artists as well as other artists and members of the art community, the exhibition was an example of what can be accomplished when the art community is brought together.
The opening evening, on December 18th, proved a unique opportunity for artists from all across the Wasatch Front to interact, meet and discuss. Thanks to the efforts of exhibition coordinator Nance Thunell the end of the show was equally exciting due to the mentorship evening on January 17th.
For the mentorship program, established artists were invited to make short presentations on various subjects of interest to the exhibiting artists. Daryl Thompson spoke on perseverance and commitment, Allen Bishop on public projects and large commissions and Bill Paterson on photography and the market in Salt Lake.
Collage cropped up in a number of works from various locations. Casey Smith and Linnie Brown, both Utah County artists, incorporated collage into their work, as did Logan artist Whitney Leary in his piece “Misinformation Age.” Anthony Siciliano, a Salt Lake City artist known for his collage and photo montage works, also exhibited at the show.
Figurative work played a dominant role in the exhibition, though the form of the figuration varied greatly. Holly Pendergast dissects the planes of her figures with her pencil before applying sensitive swatches of color. Nathan Florence tackled a classical theme in his “Annunciation.” The largest of the figure pieces, Shawn Harris’ Succession of the Sacred Spirit, was both a crowd pleaser and a jury pleaser. It won the People’s Choice Award as well as a Juror Cash Award.
Jennifer Suflita won a cash award for her piece, “Josh,” a closely cropped vertical portrait piece. Kim Riley, the third to receive a cash award, also won for a figurative work, this time a photograph.
Nathan Florence’s Close to Understanding Revisited (2002, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″) which depicts a woman revealing her C-section scar, was chosen for the Artists of Utah’s Board of Director’s Award. Florence will be featured in an article in an upcoming edition of 15 BYTES.This article originally appeared in the February 2003 edition of 15 Bytes.