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What’s New: For Susan Jarvis, 2018 is About Loosening Up with Abstract Work

Susan Jarvis in her studio.
Susan Jarvis has always been an artist. Her first art job, she says, “was scribbling all over my mother’s white chenille bedspread with ruby red lipstick. I don’t remember it but I’m told that it wasn’t received very well.” She scribbled images of her siblings onto paper and took every possible art class available in school. She was torn between art and music and took years of piano, voice, guitar and banjo lessons before settling on an art major at the University of Utah. Now, art is her day job: She teaches adult art classes and workshops and paints in a studio in the heart of Salt Lake City.In 2018, she tells us, “Instead of painting still life and landscape, my focus will be a series of works about people. I’m preparing for “Art & Soup,” “Art In the Afternoon,” and my first abstract show at 15th Street Gallery. Just a couple of months ago, Lucy Heller of the 15th Street Gallery challenged the realist painter, whose work has become “tighter and tighter over the years” and “appeared stiff and a little clinical” — in the artists’ eyes, at any rate — to create some abstract pieces. “I took her up on the dare and . . . it was so liberating to express myself in a wordless, colorful style that I found myself recoiling at the thought of painting another traditional piece. In 2018 I’ll merge both styles into something new . . . not sure what to call it, but it is the breath of fresh air that I needed for this new chapter in my life!”

To see more of the artist’s work, visit http://susannjarvis.com

Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.

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