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:
After working for 50 years with his family at Quality Stamp and Sign, Paul Vincent Bernard retired in October 2019. Just in time for COVID-19 to hit. “Three vaccinations and four negative tests later, I still feel as if I am sneaking around like a thief to Home Depot, the studio, going to the river to walk the dogs and increasing my list of Life Birds,” says Bernard, referring to the birder’s count of specifies identified in the wild. “160 birds at this point.”
Bernard has been a longtime resident of Poor Yorick Studios, where he occupies two adjacent studios in the D wing. “I have not done as much art but I am getting back to it,” he says of his studio practice. “Why is it so hard to feel normal? I have lost friends and acquaintances, and have known many who contracted this virus and luckily survived.”
“I look at my work. It is something about permanence and homelessness and forms that change with the slowness that geology allows. Our world is changing, climate change and all. We are but a brief interruption in the progression of how planets and stars move.”
You can see more of the artist’s work at https://paulvincentbernard.com