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February 2007
Published Monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization.
Christine Baczek
Artist Spotlight: Salt Lake City
Christine Baczek: An Interview with the Artist
by Jim Frazer

Christine Baczek started photographing when she was thirteen and living in South America. After her family moved back to Salt Lake City, she studied photography at the University of Utah. She is now education coordinator at the Kimball Art Center and collections photographer for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Her work is the subject of two recent exhibits: Contact, which was on display during December and January at the Main Library in downtown Salt Lake, and Vertical Landscapes, which is at the Finch Lane Gallery through February 23.

Jim: You’ve got two exhibits which on the surface look very different. Do you see them as being dissimilar or do you see them as being connected?

Chris: They’re connected by the use of multiple images. Most of my work deals with the idea of needing a lot more information than just one photograph to have an experience. The big color collage work in Contact is more about thought processes - about how do you actually observe something? How do you deconstruct it and then reconstruct it again, not only to make sense out of it but to convey the experience of seeing something. I’m trying to give the viewer an idea of how I observe things. With the black and white vertical landscapes, it’s more about creating a space that you walk into that’s more intimate than the overwhelming landscape. What I’m trying to do there is to present a space that is enormous in a very small scale and in a way that you feel you are actually looking up and down and you’re in the space.

Jim: The vertical landscape ones are about four inches wide by 20 to 30 inches tall; so you’d have to stand very close to look up and down.

Chris: When I started making those pieces about two years ago I was trying to create an intimate space for people; because the frustrating thing for me with landscape photography is how to separate it from the pretty postcard picture into something that you can actually feel like you’re in the place. A place is more than just the color of the leaves or the shape of the mountains. A place is about an experience and not really the forms.

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Exhibition Reviews: Utah County
Art Destination: Utah County
by Elizabeth Matthews

Utah County may not immediately come to mind when looking for great art in this state, but I consistently find art in the area that satisfies. With two major educational institutions, a spattering of galleries, and three distinctly different Art Museums, a smorgasbord of art work is available, something to delight any taste. I sampled some of the current offerings during the first week of February and found the Woodbury Museum's UVSC Faculty exhibit and Terra Nova's Still Life is Still Alive delectable.
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Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
The Chosen Place, The Timeless People
Kathleen Peterson & Blanche Wilson @ Phillips Gallery
by Geoff Wichert

It’s hard to imagine how two bodies of work by two established artists, each making original and mature art and each working at the top of her form, could look more comfortable together than these two. When artists show together they sometimes divide the gallery between them like a bedroom shared by quarrelling siblings, but in the rambling main space of the Phillips Gallery in downtown Salt Lake the figure paintings of Kathleen Peterson and the landscape prints of Blanche Wilson share the same walls and rub shoulders like old and very dear friends. Despite contrasting subjects and mediums—and only the most casual glance could fail to notice two very individual sensibilities at work—the show coalesces in a harmony built around similar formal concerns and a common feeling for what it means to be human.

The harmony begins with interlocking subject matter. Peterson’s oils are all figures: in fact, they are all women, mostly in pairs or groups. She presents them without settings, in order to clarify and emphasize relationships between them. Wilson’s prints portray locales, primarily specific to the Ogden area but all familiar western scenes, that often feel like stage sets waiting to be peopled by the viewer’s imagination. Although Peterson’s figures represent women from all over the world, it’s not too far-fetched to mentally place them into Wilson’s sometimes urban, sometimes wild, but always nature-sensitive environments.

Both artists’ approaches imply narratives but don’t spell them out. Both are suffused with emotional keys, including a wealth of specific details done so as to convey broad meanings, with a light touch underscored by deft handling of light and the colors it reveals. And both courageously convey a simple faith in the conviction that if we just look at the right places and people, we can see that creation is unfolding exactly as it is meant to do.
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Hera by Patricia Kimball at Terzian Galleries