11/11 BYUTV ARTFUL: Michael Malm / Kichaa Man Chitrakar
Michael Malm encounters challenges while creating a painting for his church. Kichaa Man Chitrakar draws closer to his family through his artwork.
Shalandrea Houchen moved to Salt Lake to dream. After living in big cities like Los Angeles and New York, she developed a blended skillset of artistry and education that created a robust community. In 2019 Shalandrea created What’s Ya Vibe, a community-based organization that curates everything from workshops to activations to gallery shows. Shalandrea describes the ethos of the organization best— “What’s Ya Vibe is literally a check-in, a moment to ask yourself, how are you doing?” she says “It’s about bringing people together and unifying through art and wellness.”
After a few years, Shalandrea decided it was time to relocate.
Esther Hi’ilani Candari tells how she switched from sculpture to painting, and why she paints the female religious experience. Bruce Smith shares how he came to paint religious art with techniques from the Old Masters.
For artist Bianca Velasquez,reconnecting with her ancestors through art was a journey that began by accident. Rather than throw away the canvas she tore while painting, Velasquez began to repair it with a needle, thread and beads. “It just grew, and I filled the entire canvas with beading,” she says.
Despite creating art her whole life, this was the start of something new. After her family immigrated to the U.S. from Honduras, much of their history and tradition was left behind under pressure to assimilate. Even though the beadwork was deeply reminiscent of the traditional artwork made by her ancestors, Velasquez still felt distanced from the form.
“I’m glad I fought as hard as I did to get that Charlie Glass mural up,” says Chip Thomas, alias Jetsonorama. He’s referring to the twelve-by-thirty-nine-foot photo of a Black cowboy he recently installed on the exterior of the Moab Area Travel Council building after months of fielding implicit and explicit pushback from Grand County officials who were hesitant to approve the mural on their property.
Thomas, a Black artist whose photographs and murals highlight people of color in the Southwest, had been commissioned by the city’s arts and special events department, Moab Arts, over a year ago to install two murals in town.
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.