Like for many, the events of 2020 have caused considerable disruption, heartache, and stress in my life. As I look back on this tumultuous time, I could easily dwell on the canceled: travel plans, artist residency, exhibitions, conferences, kids summer camp, and school, as well as the loss of friends and family members. Instead, I would like to focus on the positives.
As disorienting, sad, and stressful as the pandemic has been, it would have been a lot worse without art. I’m an introvert and can be quite happy alone for long periods. Just lock me up with my art supplies and I’ll be fine.
The primary requisite of an artist is the ability to remain in one place. Once it was in front of an easel; today it might be a computer terminal. So let’s just call it the studio. To succeed, an artist must stick to that spot against temptation, against distraction, and most of all, against loneliness and self-doubt, until the task is done. Here for the artist is whatever form the studio takes on a given day, and for an artist to say I am still here is to say I am still an artist.
As COVID hit and unraveled several plans for travel, exhibits and presentations, my wife and I did what a lot of people did that were stuck at home: We began cleaning and organizing around the house. As a result my wife finally got to a project she had been wanting to do for years — to photograph all of our children’s artwork that we had stored for over 30 years. In the process she came across a series of drawings our youngest son did when he was three (he’s now 26) that had an uncanny likeness to the shape of the coronavirus.
With our “Still Here” series, we are checking in with members of Utah’s art community to see what the past six months has meant for them. Salt Lake City artist Claire Taylor holds a Master of Science in Environmental Humanities and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Art […]
With our “Still Here” series, we are checking in with members of Utah’s art community to see what the past several months has meant for them. Jim Frazer studied painting with Fairfield Porter while an undergraduate at Amherst College, after which he studied photography with John McWilliams while in […]
I’m still here.
Like I had anywhere to go.
In May, working at Saltgrass Printmakers, no one else around, I was listening to the New York Times’ “Sugar Calling” podcast with Cheryl Strayed. Strayed was interviewing author Alice Walker. Snippets of that interview have stayed with me since:
Clint Whiting, Jordan Brun, Erin Berrett, Valerie Hollstein, Jamie Kyle Take Top Awards at Holladay Art Show
The Holladay Arts Council has announced the winners of its annual Fine Art Show. Many of the winners will remain on display and available for purchase until November 16th at City Hall. You can view a slideshow of all the winners at holladayarts.org Professional Acrylic 1st Place Professional […]
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the SLCC Community Writing Center have chosen 18 writers in seven categories as the winners of the 61st annual Utah Original Writing Competition. The winners were selected from a total of 291 entries from Utah-based writers. Category A: Novel, judged […]
With our “Still Here” series, we are checking in with members of Utah’s art community to see what the past six months has meant for them. David Habben is an illustrator, artist, and educator. His unique work has been featured in children’s books, magazines, and even on snowboards. […]
With our “Still Here” series, we are checking in with members of Utah’s art community to see what the past six months has meant for them. Hikmet Sidney Loe, born and raised on the east coast, Hikmet Sidney Loe fell in love with the arid desert lands of Utah […]
With our “Still Here” series, we are checking in with members of Utah’s art community to see what the past six months has meant for them. James R. Swensen is an associate professor of art history and the history of photography at Brigham Young University. His research interests […]