This month we bring you Stephen Trimble—one of Utah’s most influential artists in Utah’s 15 (Vol. II). Among his other honors: The Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation; The National Cowboy Museum’s Western Heritage “Wrangler” Award; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Colorado College.
Trimble’s latest work includes an anthology of the best writing about Captiol Reef, The Capitol Reef Reader, to be published by the University of Utah Press in June 2019. His introduction to the Reader (his 25th book) grew from this piece, “The Blue Gate.”
One snowy day in 2011, Stephen Trimble and his wife, Joanne Slotnik, arrived at a grove on the lower slopes of Mount Rainier with the ashes of his father. Trimble was born in Denver in 1950 to Don and Isabelle Trimble. Isabelle grew up in a small Montana town. Don was a geologist who worked his way through college and graduate school as a hard rock miner at the tail end of the Depression. He was responsible for Steve’s interest in photography and the natural world, Isabelle for his interest in people, and both for his respect for storytelling. “Every vacation was a new national park, and on our road trips Dad kept up a running commentary on Western history and landscape,” Trimble remembers. “His stories sounded more like parable. He retold them to communicate his values.” With reverential regard, Don Trimble, who hailed from Toppenish, Washington, referred to Mount Rainier as “The Mountain.”
Dale Thompson explores the Tutored by the Land exhibit at Artspace, and the workshop that inspired it.