The year was 2001: George W. Bush was in the White House; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone dominated the box office; people were listening to their music library on the newly released iPod; and Utah’s art magazine was born.
That summer, at the Sugar House Art Festival, local artist Shawn Rossiter collected the email addresses of 37 people eager to learn more about Utah’s art scene. Then, the Tuesday after Labor Day, the first edition of 15 Bytes was posted online.
What was happening in 2001?
The Salt Lake City Main Library was still located in its original building (now home to The Leonardo), and the Atrium gallery on the top floor hosted several interesting shows that year: the digital collages of Anthony Siciliano, the photographs of Craig Denton and a collaborative exhibition of young artists fresh from BYU: Shawn Bitters, Sunnie Bybee, Janelle Howington, Ashley Knudsen, Jared Latimer, Casey Smith.
Jeff Hein, who was finishing up his degree at the University of Utah, staged his first exhibition off campus at Annette Dunford and Mary Pickett Pierson’s Magpie Gallery, in the Avenues.
And the Utah Arts Council’s annual statewide exhibition featured the work of 47 Utah artists in sculpture and mixed media.