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     June 2011
Published monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization    
Jeff Juhlin in his Salt Lake Studio, photo by Shawn Rossiter

Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Master of Wax
The Art of Jeff Juhlin

At age 64, Jeff Juhlin is a man of many accomplishments, not the least of which is his seminal role in the emergence of encaustic works in Utah. In over a decade of working in the medium he has established for himself a national reputation, all the while introducing scores of other artists to the possibilities of pigment mixed with beeswax. His efforts are recognized in three separate exhibitions this month: a solo show at Salt Lakeís A Gallery; his participation in a curated exhibit of national artists working in the medium, going up this month at Park Cityís Kimball Art Center; and his curatorial involvement in FUSE, also at the Kimball, which showcases Utah artists working in encaustic, including many of his students. This new-found recognition is the culmination of a long and dedicated career in which abstraction, whether in acrylics, printmaking, steel sculpture, or encaustics, has been his calling.

Juhlin was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived here all his life but for a 1970ís stint in San Francisco at graduate school. His father was a commercial artist and fashion illustrator who encouraged him to follow a similar career. Juhlinís enthusiasm for creating art helped him overcome the childís natural inclination to rebel against a parentís pressure, and he has continued to make art for the past forty years.

Feature: Process Points
Some Like It Hot
Encaustic Everywhere You Look

Though encaustic has been around for more than two millenia, it seems only in recent years that its capabilities have caught the eyes of a growing number of artists and patrons. Now that it has taken root it seems --as you'll find if you visit galleries and museums this month -- to be popping up all over. The interested viewer will find a dazzling array of work in the medium this month at Park City's Kimball Art Center, which hosts two curated shows: one, a show of artists from across the country exploiting the textile quality of the medium, and the other, FUSE, a selection of work by local artists. To explore the medium I visited three local artists who will be showing at the Kimball. Jeff Juhlin, Gia Whitlock and Nancy Vorm invited me into their studios and showed me their processes, which varied slightly or significantly from each other.

Exhibition Review: Springville
Too Big To Handle?
Springville's Annual Salon

Statewide annuals -- those exhibits that solicit entries from all artists across the state of Utah and submit them to the judgment of a juror or jurors -- happen all over Utah. The most well-known is up right now at the Springville Museum of Art. Though it's almost a century old, the Springville Salon is not Utah's oldest statewide exhibition of Utah art (that honor goes to the Arts Council's Statewide annual) but it is certainly the state's biggest. The French Salons of the 19th-century, for which Springville's exhibit is named, attracted huge crowds and gave inspiration, or indignation, to the pens of countless critics. Despite its notoriety and size, though, relatively little is ever written about Springville's Salon. I can only remember ever seeing a couple of articles on the Salon in 15 Bytes. This year the Salt Lake Tribune has been silent on the exhibit, and the Deseret News' article on the show gives most of its column space to discussing the number of entries, which reads very much like their article on the 2010 show. No one, however, seems to talk about the art on display, and that may be because the Salon is too big to handle.

Size is one of the Salon's strengths. Where else can you see so many Utah artists (and a few from Idaho, I noticed) in one place. Many of the artists will be household names to people interested in Utah art. When the artists aren't pushing themselves this can make the Salon seem repetitive; but when things are good you are delighted to discover a new direction for one of your favorite artists -- like Sunny Belliston Taylor's darker, stripped down series of abstracts with an apocalyptic feel, one of which won a third place prize. The exhibit's size also means you're likely to discover new artists, either young and fresh on the scene, or even experienced artists who so far have not entered your radar.

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Horizon by Sunny Belliston Taylor

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