Best Of | Visual Arts

Poor Yorick Studios: Mike Jensen

Twice a year — generally around the equinoxes — Poor Yorick Studios opens its doors to thousands of Utah art lovers for their open studio event. Located in South Salt Lake, the studio complex comprises four adjacent and connected buildings and is home to dozens of artists working in just about any medium you might think of. But it has been more than two years since Poor Yorick last opened its doors (in September, 2019). The outbreak of the COVID pandemic in March 2020 slammed the door shut on that year’s Spring open house, and subsequent waves of the pandemic have kept the doors closed to the public.

For our 2021 version of “Best Of,” we decided to slip in to Poor Yorick to see what some of the artists have been up to and for them what has been the best of 2021:


Mike Jensen says he has used positive affirmation statements to help guide him through 2021. “It has been a year of introspection and growth. With everything going on in the world, and all of the isolation, my fear was that I would struggle. Fortunately, I’ve learned to thrive … and I have created more artwork than any other year.”

The Salt Lake City artist has been an assistant professor at Utah Valley University for the past 29 years. “I am committed to reduce, reuse, and recycle. That commitment merges with my creative process,” he says. “I pick up discarded objects everywhere I walk, and also comb through thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales. My assemblage sculpture work varies from the whimsical to social, religious, and political themes. My goal is to provide new life to otherwise unwanted and/or discarded items that can speak to a variety of people. The pieces typically begin with a solitary item that draws to it the other necessary pieces to create the finished work.”

The father of three is a fan of dogs, commuting on public transit, mountain and urban hiking, pickle ball, music, and cooking competition shows. “It will be rejuvenating to share my art with attendees at the Poor Yorick Open Studio events again,” Jensen says.

“Bot Squad”

“Thoughts and Prayers”

Categories: Best Of | Visual Arts

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