Artists of Utah
P.O. Box 526292
SLC, UT 84152

15 Bytes and Artists of Utah
Shawn Rossiter, Editor

Items for our Message Board and Exhibition Listings

7 replies »

  1. I think you do not spend enough time or focus enough on the southern artists. I went to the University of Utah, maybe a hundred years ago, and was taught by Alvin Gittins. There are some great artists here in the St. George area both known and more unknown. I know many of the older artists of northern Utah. But no one seems to care about myself or others here in St. George.

  2. Ronald,
    You’re probably right that our coverage of the artists in southern Utah does not match all that is going on down there. Our writers and photographers are volunteers, so a lot of our coverage depends on what they are willing or able to do. From time to time we get a chance to cover artists in the Dixie area, but that is usually when one of our writers from the Wasatch Front is heading down there for another reason (we have a small travel budget but generally not enough to cover trips to St. George), or when someone in the area volunteers to write something.

    Thanks for reminding us to keep the southern portion of the state in our loop, and if you know any writers in the area, encourage them to contact us if they are interested in covering your scene.

    best regards,
    Shawn Rossiter
    Editor, 15 Bytes

  3. Sounds like you need a writer/photographer volunteer in St. George.
    I’ve been following 15 bytes for some time and come to the conclusion that what you mean by “The Wasatch Front” is Salt Lake City – I’m from Utah County and would say the same thing as Ronald. There are some exceptional artists here, and some wonderful venues. I can’t remember seeing any coverage.
    This 35X35 upgrade thing is what was most on my mind. I usually join whatever group I think maybe helpful. Seems like I signed up for this, but I’m not sure. You have a place to sign up; but no place to log in. Also, is the $25 upgrade fee a one time fee, annual, monthly – so much unsaid.
    Then there is the young artist thing. I know age discrimination when I see it. I’m 67. I studied art and architecture at the U. I started producing art 4.5 years ago after I completed my arch. career. I suspect that many of the 30 somethings have been creating art much longer. I shouldn’t complain though as in the last 3 years I have had 3 solos, and been in a lot of show. SLC though is as tough to break into as LA. Who you know means a lot.
    Sorry, I think I vented more than Ronald…

  4. Guilty as charged. And wish it weren’t so.
    Yes, I’m sure 15 Bytes is SLC-centric. I haven’t gone back and counted up all of our articles, but I am sure if we did we would find that the vast the majority of the articles are Salt Lake-centered. It’s not by design.

    Take for instance this month’s edition (and yes, I realized we happened to get lucky with the timing of this discussion). Kev Nemelka from down in Provo contacted us about a possible article and BAM! we did a two column piece on three Utah County artists. And the lead for it appeared on page 1. It ran, as chance would have it, next to an article on Heroes and Monsters, the BYU exhibit. And our lead, the Artist Profile was on Heather Campbell, a Logan artist showing in Park City. And if we wanted to bump up our argument we might throw in the page 9 piece on the film project focusing on the Utah County Art & Faith movement.

    Our December edition featured an article (again on page 1) on Roland Thompson, a Utah County artist showing in Utah County.

    Our October edition featured another review of a BYU show, as well as an article on Kirk Richards — a Utah County artist, but he was showing in St. George. Don’t know if that would satisfy both locales or neither. And the Artist Profile was an Ogden artist, who works in Logan.

    Yeah, okay, I’m at an advantage, I’ve got all these things stored up in my memory and so can find a few examples to bolster my argument. Which is why I conceded at the beginning that 15 Bytes, unfortunately, is SLC-centric.

    Let me explain a few reasons why I think that is.

    Capital cities like Salt Lake, especially ones that are also economic centers, have this tendency to attract and concentrate artistic talent and interest. Not that nothing else is happening elsewhere, but the majority of it does happen in Salt Lake. Over two-thirds of the venues in the state of Utah that will put up new shows this month are in one city: Salt Lake. My guess is that an equal percentage of the artists in the state live here.

    But sure, things are happening elsewhere. They just are harder to cover.

    Almost all of our regular writers, i.e. the ones that frequently volunteer to write articles, live in Salt Lake City. The stuff they know, the shows they see, are in Salt Lake. One of them used to live in Sanpete County, and during that time we had a lot more articles from there. Another lived in Utah County, and so we had a lot more coverage of that area. But both have ended up in Salt Lake.

    And it bears repeating, these are volunteers. I don’t sit around my big editorial table, a cigar in my mouth, ordering my cub reporters around, telling them what to write on, and then paying them a pittance they can use to pay the rent on their leaky apartment. Some of our writers might suggest that’s who I think I am, but the bland truth is:

    1) I have no big editorial desk, just a crowded hand-me-down item tucked into a corner of my house which so depressed one of my writers when he came by to visit that he immediately wanted the email list of the 15 Bytes writers so he could take up a collection to buy me something he wouldn’t be embarrassed by.
    2) I don’t smoke
    3) I do like to boss people around but it doesn’t work well because (see item 5)
    4) The writers get to decide what to write on and are frequently the ones pitching ideas.
    5) We don’t pay them anything. Leaky roof or not.

    So, if something is happening in Provo, Logan or St. George, first we have to hear about it (and that doesn’t always happen!) Then we either have to find someone there to cover it, or we have to convince one of our Salt Lake writers to go there. And, sure, we’re willing to dig up some gas money for them, but still we’re talking an hour there, an hour back, time to see the show or talk with the artist, then write the thing up, set it aside, polish it, send it to us, go over final edits, etc, etc. All for free. So yes, it’s unfortunately rarer than we would like that we can find a writer to cover things outside Salt Lake (though one of our writers did travel to Provo this month for an article that will appear in the February edition).

    Available writers are the main factors, but if we wanted to look for other reason things are the way they are, finances are another. From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense for us to cover things outside of Salt Lake. Our overhead isn’t huge, but it does exist and most of the money that pays for it comes from Salt Lake. More than 70% of the individual contributions to 15 Bytes come from Salt Lake County (but hey, you other 30%, we love you too). Throw in money raised from our underwriting program, private foundations and municipalities and more than 90% of the money Artists of Utah operates on comes from Salt Lake.

    But don’t get me wrong. This is not an extortionist fundraising plea. It’s not a Jerry Maguire SHOW ME THE MONEY! moment. It’s really not. Whether or not we get another cent from Provo, Price or Panguitch, we REALLY want to cover what’s going on in the state. We really do. But here’s the thing, SHOW ME THE WRITERS! That’s what we need. Writers, photographers, filmmakers, people in your communities that want to work with us to reveal to the world all the cool things happening in your neighborhood. Should we rely on Salt Lake City writers to cover Provo, Moab or St. George? That would be just another form of Salt Lake-centrism. So, show us the writers. Please step up. Come forward. Be heard. Make this your community. Email us ( . . .

    Well, talk about rants. No, it’s really not. I’m not angry or defensive, and certainly this isn’t directed at Lloyd, who I just assume is expressing something many of our readers have thought. Actually, I’m really excited (it might have something to do with the fact that I just came back from skiing with my daughter and for many hours was able to suck in air that wasn’t going to kill me). I’m excited about how far 15 Bytes has come and a lot of the things we have lined up for the future. And I want to convey that excitement (though don’t hold your breath for a video of me dancing around shirtless yelling “Show me the writers” ala Cuba Gooding Jr.) I want you writers out there, or photographers or videographers, to be excited, to join us, to have your voice heard.


  5. And see it really wasn’t about the money. I had to exert a good deal of self-control but I did not include a link to donate.

  6. And Lloyd did have a couple of other things on his mind, that also might apply to others.

    The “35×35 upgrade” thing was probably confusing on our end. We sent out an email today that included two separate things.

    The first was about Artist Listings. For $50 you can get a new listing (it’s a one-time, no need to renew fee). If you already have a listing (to see if you do click “People” in our menu bar then look up your last name under “Utah Artists”) you can upgrade to our new format for $25. You can find information on the Artist Listings at

    The second item was in regards to the 35×35 show. Lloyd isn’t the only one who — either seriously or tongue in cheek — has bristled at our age-oriented show. I’m no lawyer so I imagine I’m open to counterargument on this, but I think age-discrimination is an issue related to employment, which this is not. This is an art exhibition. Years ago, when we first did the show, Art Access was doing an octogenarian show, the Kimball Art Center was doing Arte Latino and the AAUW holds a biennial Women Artist exhibit. So our show is not without precedent. Because these artists are young, most are “emerging” but it is not presented as a show about “emerging” artists (because, if one were to do that show, how would one define “emerging”? Would Lloyd be excluded because he has had 3 solo shows? Someone else because they have sold too many paintings? You would run into all kinds of headaches and the solution would be to open the show to everyone. Those shows already exist: Springville Salon, UAC Statewide Annual, BDAC statewide annual, Eccles Art Center statewide annual, etc. ) This is a show about a generation of artists.

  7. You’re right Shawn. As we get older, the more bristled we get ;o). I believe, at the moment, I was thinking in terms more of years as an artist…. that would make me quite young, but there are a lot of talented artists who started later in life. Count my blessings!
    I hope I can get up there to see 35×35. You can teach old dogs new tricks. I’ll continue to get the message out about the need of a local writer.

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