Museums, hikes, restaurants — parents expose their children to a variety of experiences, never knowing what might stick. Shauntel Clements’ parents couldn’t have known that, when they stopped to tour the Maynard Dixon home, the experience would remain with their 10 year-old daughter, and inspire her artistic career. “Throughout the years afterwards, I would always remember the day that we toured [Dixon’s] home, and would recognize his name every time I saw one of his paintings in a museum,” Clements says of that formative experience.
Clements would go on to receive scholarships to study art, first at Snow College and then at Utah Valley University, where she earned her bachelors in 2021. While studying at Utah Valley University, Clements began to study Dixon’s paintings more closely, including an Independent Study course that concentrated on the artist. She says she “gravitated towards [his] beautiful, desolate, landscape paintings.”
When after graduation she moved with her husband to Monticello, in the southeast corner of the state, she felt a further connection to Dixon. “The scenery in this area closely resembles the scenes in his paintings; from the red rocks and plateaus, to the monumental cloud formations billowing up through the sky.”
She is focusing on painting full-time while being a stay-at-home mother. “I find my inspiration when I’m out in nature hiking, camping, or going on long car rides across Utah’s dry deserts,” she says. Clements has exhibited several times in Moab, her work was featured in UVU’s 2022 publication Utopia: A State of Abstraction and a large painting will soon be displayed at the Canyonlands Regional Airport.
And she’s still keeping her eye on Dixon’s work, most recently at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art’s exhibition Maynard Dixon: Searching for a Home.
During the month of February we ask Utah artists about a specific piece of art or artist, living or not, local or global, that has sparked their curiosity or influenced their work. We run their responses throughout the month.