Visual Arts

Announcing Utah’s 15 (Vol. II)

Every five years, we check in with our public to answer an important but not always easy question: Who are the state’s most influential artists? These are not necessarily the “hottest” artists, they are not the most “honored” artists, but these are the artists who make a difference in Utah.

We left it to the public to decide what they felt “influential” meant. We wanted these artists to be nominated by their peers, those that have been able to see their influence first hand. We didn’t want the final 15 to be selected by some small committee of “experts.” Nor did we want it to be a popularity contest, with people’s Facebook accounts filled with pleas of “vote for me.” So we asked a pool of more than 150 people — artists, writers, administrators, patrons — to winnow the list down to 15.

And these are Utah’s Most Influential Artists:

Pat Bagley
Edward Bateman
Connie Borup
Geralyn Dreyfous
Stefanie Dykes
Jann Haworth
Amy Jorgensen
Beth Krensky
Kim Martinez
Joe Ostraff
Pilar Pobil
Jorge Rojas
Linda C. Smith
Tony Smith
Stephen Trimble

As we did with our first round of Utah’s 15 in 2014, we’ll be celebrating these artists with an exhibition and a book, both to come at the beginning of 2019.




Jan.18 – March 8, 2019
Rio Gallery
Curated by Kandace Steadman

Join us Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, 6-8 p.m., for a book release party and artists’ reception at Salt Lake City’s Rio Gallery
Or Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, 6-9 p.m., for Gallery Stroll.

This exhibition is the culmination of a project that began with a simple (or not so simple) question: Who are the state’s most influential artists? The public responded, and here are the state’s most influential artists:

We’ll be celebrating their careers with examples of their works.

Location & Hours

Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande St. (455 West), Salt Lake City

  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon. – Fri.
  • Closed Sat. and Sun.

Utah’s 15: The State’s Most Influential Artists (Vol. II)

As part of our Utah’s 15 project we have been working on a book to examine the influence of these 15 artists.

Bound in gray linen, 90 pages, with essays on the artists by some of Utah’s best writers, photo portraits by Simon Blundell, and examples of their work, this is a unique publication on some of Utah’s most important artists.

You can pre-order your copy (or copies) with a (minimum) $25 donation/per book to Artists of Utah (if you would like your copy shipped, we will bill you separately for shipping costs).

This book is published with the support of:
The Doctorow Family Foundation
Utah Division of Arts & Museums
Salt Lake County Zoo Arts & Parks

Salt Lake City Arts Council
Sam & Diane Stewart Family Foundation

Essays by Laura Durham, Geoff Wichert, Scotti Hill, Maddie Blonquist, Hannah Sandorf Davis, Laura Hurtado, Shawn Rossiter, Calvin Jolley, Ann Poore, Amy Brunvand, Jann Haworth and Frank McEntire.


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6 replies »

  1. I guess I can’t wait to see the show, either, and the photo array is making my spidey sense tingle anyway, so here goes:
    There are 15 artists, 9 of whom are wearing glasses, or 3 out of 5.
    There are 3 rows of photos, & 3 artists wear glasses in each row.
    On the top row, glasses are worn at positions 1, 2, & 4, left to right.
    On the second row, glasses are worn at 1, 2, & 4, right to left.
    On the bottom row, glasses are worn by the three in the center.
    There are 5 files of photos, 3 in each.
    In files 2 & 4, all 3 artists wear glasses.
    In file 1, glasses worn in top position.
    In file 2, glasses worn in bottom position.
    In file 3, glasses worn in middle position.
    So the composition is doing something seemingly impossible. The whole s resembles nothing so much as an IQ test, and the subliminal message might be “these are 15 of the smartest artists.”

  2. Smart and unvarnished (unglamorized) by the camera, which to me elevates their credibility as the real deal.

  3. Actually, they did ask you. You were just too busy, or too important to bother. I nominated five artists, three of whom were selected by a public vote. I’ll renominate the other two in five years, when Volume 3 comes out. If they don’t make it then, and if I live another five years, I’ll nominate them again for Volume 4.
    It’s no bother . . .
    . . . and good art is timeless.

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