John Sproul is well known to many in the Utah arts community. A gregarious, if soft-spoken figure, Sproul crafts textured paintings that encase human figures in layers of pigment, inviting a rumination on both the formal qualities of his artmaking and the psychology of his subjects alike.
Until November of this year, Sproul also owned and operated Nox Contemporary, one of Salt Lake City’s foremost art spaces. Just as its emergence on the scene in 2010 came during a period of artistic possibility, many lament Nox’s impending closure at a time when enthusiasm in Utah’s artistic landscape is once again accelerating.
Lisa DeLong uses geometry to reflect the order of the universe through artistic traditions rooted in sacred beliefs. James Madison is a Tulalip carver who keeps his culture alive with every totem pole he carves.
The mural is hard to miss when passing Midvale’s Main Street. It may not be the brightest or the largest, but it’s the talk of the town.
The earth-toned piece, on a tattoo shop’s outer wall, depicts a woman embracing a man, while a dark presence in a cape and wings creeps nearby.
Whether children should be exposed to the piece depends on the eye of the beholder. Some neighbors brought the matter to the City Council. As they described its “pornographic” hints, they asked Midvale officials to cover it or have it removed. For others, however, any suggestion that the piece is sexually explicit seemed “far-fetched.”
The art in Embodied Ecologies—an exhibit and meditation on the ways that disability, health, and the environment intertwine—takes many forms: sculpture, painting, poetry and mixed-media. A film, flickering with the nostalgia of analog, layers footage of artists at work over blue-hued landscapes. The emotion in the gallery ranges from grief and despair to passion and euphoria. Colors span from the dull browns of anthropogenic decay to the brilliant pinks, yellows and greens of ecstatic nature.
Abstract painter Sunny Taylor learns that joy and sorrow are intertwined like bittersweet vines, and that there is beauty in experiencing both. Jack Baumgartner recognizes his divine identity as much through painting as he does through farming.
UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Categories: Mixed Media