35x35 | Visual Arts

35×35: Where are they now?

In the fall of 2009 we held our second 35×35 exhibition, 35×352. The exhibit featured thirty-five young Utah artists, creating work in a variety of media including painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, performance, video and installation. While a number have left the state to pursue graduate work or other professional options, many of them now regularly exhibit in Utah. We decided to check in with the some of the artists to find out where they are now and what they are up to professionally.


With her small watercolors of animal life encased in jars Myranda Bair won a Juror’s award at the 2009 35×35 show. She continues to be busy winning accolades and 2012 was a particularly important year. She finished and installed a commission for Vanderbilt University titled “ from A to B” which consists of 13 dioramas that depict native Tennessee flowering plants and beehives with the use of watercolor on paper cutouts, brass wire and cork displayed inside a wall made from old card catalogs. She also received a grant to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, participated in several group shows, and relocated to Las Vegas, where she works as a freelance artist and illustrator.


Sculptor Ben Hammond was probably the most traditional of the artists who exhibited at the 2009 35×35. He continues to create expressive bronze works and in the past three years has received a number of commissions, including from the Football Hall of Fame and the Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. He will be featured in an exhibit at Provo’s Terra Nova Gallery in an exhibit that opens February 1.


Since the 35×35 show Erin Berrett continues to exhibit widely and frequently, and her interest in the still life has not abated. “The paradox of the term ‘still life’ inspires me. There’s a fundamental tension between the still and the life, and that’s what I try to capture when I paint. To me, objects are never completely motionless, or emotionless for that matter, but seem to tremble and vibrate. The vibrations are produced not only by the construction of the object, but by the external forces exerted on it — the angle of the light, for instance, and the perspective of the viewer. I push myself to be as abstract as possible in the details but still achieve the perception of reality.” She continues to pack a lunch every day and log forty hours every week in her studio under the watchful, faithful eyes of her dog Pam.

In 2010, Matt Glass moved to Michigan to attend Cranbrook Academy of Art where he received his Masters of Fine Art degree last May. For the past few years, he’s been concentrating more on film-making, animation and music, as well as puppetry. He has been experimenting a lot with Puppetry as well. He recently completed a ” strange, puppety short film and installation called ‘Citadel.'” An installation view is below. Right now, he’s in the pre-production stage of making a short film titled “Moon Blink Slow” and is moving to L.A.


Van Chu was just finishing up his MFA when he exhibited at the 2009 35×35 exhibition. Since then he has graduated, gotten married, become a father and found a position as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah. He also teaches photography classes at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City. One of his “Trees and Mushrooms” works recently received an award at the Utah Statewide Annual exhibition. He is represented by A Gallery in Salt Lake City and by Verve Gallery of Photography in New Mexico.

Christine Baczek continues to experiment with chemical photography as a medium while she works a day job as Collections Photographer and Digital Media Producer for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. In January of 2012 she premiered three new bodies of work at Nox Contemporary and is currently preparing for an exhibition at Panopticon Gallery in Boston. Her artist-in-residence at the U’s Rio Mesa Center in southern Utah, was part of an article in the December 2012 edition of 15 Bytes. Her lightboxes, pictured here, are an example of her works’ focus on the object. She says, “I’ve realized that the work is becoming more and more about the object. Everything continues to have a conceptual base but the aesthetic and material qualities of the resulting objects is the most important aspect for me.”


Travis Nikolai was still an undergraduate when his work was accepted into the 2009 35×35 exhibit, where it won a People’s Choice award. A year later he graduated and relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he is pursuing an MFA in the Visual Studies program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He performs gallery coordination duties for two spaces at the college while working part time at an installation space called PLACE, where he will be curating a show called Ministry of the Interior, a group show looking at ways we codify, archive and fictionalize memories. He continues to exhibit regularly, and below is a detail image from a recent installation titled Joy @ Last to Know There is No Happiness in the World.

Linnie Brown says not much has changed for her since 2009. She’s still living in Lehi, still painting, still raising two daughters. Her youngest is in school full-time now, which means she’s been able to increase her painting time – a fact evidenced by a number of recent exhibitions: “Related” (a collaborative exhibit with her father) showed in several venues in 2010 and 2011, and “Cut & Paste: Painterly Collages,” a solo exhibit, just came down at the Kimball Art Center. “Currently, I’m creating lots of mixed media works on paper, practicing figure drawing (in preparation for a group show this summer at the Alice Gallery), agonizing over how to get into a gallery, and looking forward to starting my MFA degree this fall.”


After traveling for a couple of years – first to Thailand to study permaculture, then to Arkansas to welcome a newborn – Brody Froelich has returned to Utah. He’s been creating VFX and 3D animations for feature length films, documentaries, commercials, and touring musical acts. And he still travels, with frequent trips to Japan and California. Above is a recent shot of a winter sky over Salt Lake City.


Joe Norman is now working as a full time sculptor, working primarily in recycled materials, especially things that have a past history or emotional resonance — reclaimed wood, truck hoods, bicycle parts, bullet casings, vintage motorcycles, and the like. “I have had the good fortune to work with some very creative homebuilders, retail shops, collectives, galleries, corporations, and individual clients who all have had a love for art and the questionable sense to involve me in their lives.” He recently completed an Artist-In-Residency at Great Basin National Park where he created this table by including shapes from the Bristlecone pine tree and satellite imagery of the agricultural area surrounding the park. He is represented by Gallery MAR in Park City and the Sugarhouse Gallery in Salt Lake. In March he’ll be having a solo show at Art Access Gallery. Be sure to catch his work there because you won’t see it at the next 35×35: Joe missed the age cutoff by a couple of months.


Paris Gerrard was a young college student in 2009 when she was accepted to the 35×35 exhibit. Since, she has graduated Summa Cum Laude from Westminster College with a BFA in painting and drawing and is now a full time painter. You can find her work at 15th Street Gallery in Sugarhouse, as well as Relics, in Holladay.


35×35 was the first time Loggins Merrill exhibited his design as art. When his piece “Connections” was purchased by a local collector after the show it inspired a series of similar sculptures, like the one below, featuring bottles. It also spurred him into a career in fine art that continues today.


Justin Wheatley continues living, teaching, and producing art in Salt Lake City. He, along with nine other artists from his Rose Park neighborhood, will be having a show at Art Access, opening January 18th. Wheatley Is involved with several other shows this year, including “That Thing You Hate,” at the Alice Gallery in April, “12 x 12” at Kayo Gallery in February, and “300 Plates” at Art Access in May. He also has two solo shows, one at USU Eastern in April, and the other at Finch Lane Gallery in August.


If you don’t see Hadley Rampton at Salt Lake’s Phillips Gallery, where she is a fine art consultant, you’ll probably find her doing one of two things: painting on site in the Rocky Mountains or traveling to paint her impression of foreign cities and cultures. Rather than changing her circumstances, relocating, or even trying on a different subject matter, she says she has enjoyed “delving into what I know only to discover the new and stimulating there. In my artwork, I continue to be moved and inspired by the energy of being outside, on site and in the balance between chaos and order that exists in our modern world, the natural world, within myself and inherent in the painting process.”

“I know that people say that art is about either sex or god or death. But I think it’s all about death.” Mary Toscano’s wry line was the perfect attention getter for our trailer to Work Zone, the feature documentary on the 2009 35×35 artists. Her best lines, though, are the ones in her drawings, and they have continued to receive plenty of attention since she won a juror’s award at the 35×35 exhibit. “Draw a Line,” shown below will be featured in an exhibit at Pinnacle Performance this month entitled “New Topographies, Altered Landscapes and other Identities.”


Namon Bills, who lives in Orem and works as a web designer in Provo, is still active with his art career. This year he had work in the LDS church’s International Art Competition and in the Spring Salon at the Springville Museum of Art, hung two solo shows, and curated two group shows — “Untitled” at the Rio Gallery, and “E Pluribus Unum” in the Tippetts Gallery at Utah State University. Below is a 2011 work on paper, with graphite, conte crayon and red iron oxide.

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