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Published monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization    
Paul Vincent Bernard in his Salt Lake studio. Photo by Zoë Rodriguez.

Artist Profile: Salt Lake
Paul Vincent Bernard: Between the Lines
A printmaker turns his tools to painting
If you have visited the semi-annual events at Poor Yorick Studios, you probably have noticed the working space of Paul Vincent Bernard. Anchoring a corner of the west side, the studio is a monument to artistic creation and expression that is at first overwhelming. After making your way through the tight space, past tables and presses, you will find a Salt Lake City artist firmly grounded in tradition who over a fruitful career has produced an oeuvre that has proven obliquely challenging, cautiously defiant, hauntingly different and loudly intelligent. Bernard is a printmaker’s printmaker, an expert in the historical form, but in recent years he has become equally known for his paintings. A current series of these, on exhibit later this month at Art Access, are large abstractions on aluminum created by thousands of minute lines. They reveal the scale and scope of Bernard’s ability, and the fact that Bernard the painter has stayed true to his roots as a printmaker.

Culture Conversations: Architecture & Design
Raze to Raise
Polishing gems in Salt Lake's Granary District

“We don’t want another Gateway” is the common refrain echoed by those who live, work, and play in the Granary District. Almost everyone interviewed by a group of University of Utah students over the past year concurred that the success of the district itself, as well as the value it brings to the region, relies upon protecting and enhancing its unique qualities. Instead of beginning with a “tabula rasa” -- a clean (or literally, erased) slate, as Gateway did, it is essential to recognize these gems and polish them. Rather than raze what is there to start anew, we need to raise up from what already exists.

Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
If You See Something, Say Something
Dollar Daze at Mestizo Arts
From an 8-foot section of wall, a constellation of some 70 human eyes returns the viewer’s gaze. Each watercolor image measures 3 by 5 inches, and while all share the fundamental anatomy of a human face, no two have so much as a color scheme in common. In fact, none is colored realistically, and neither human variation nor the question of the gaze provides an exhaustive reading of the work’s meaning. The title, "Debe Un Ojo De La Cara"—the Spanish equivalent of "It will cost you an arm and a leg"—hints at something deeper. In fact, the work falls into a large body of recent artworks that may be a response to the waning of sensationalism and the increasingly futile effort to shock. These have in common a quality of under-statement, of stubbornly enduring in the mind while multiple meanings, none dominant and none mutually exclusive, slowly accumulate around them in the viewer’s mind. One person has two eyes; the world has fourteen billion. Two nimble eyes can penetrate the material world, while too many tend to crush individual insight beneath the irresistible weight of their expression. Conversely, the “I” of the ego can see what it wants to see, while sooner or later the witness of the people bends from private delusion towards verifiable fact.

The woman who made the eyes begins each day by painting one, a variation on the Zen practice of clearing the mind and centering the self by meticulous, ritual preparation leading to a spontaneous, creative gesture. Ink painting. Poetry writing. She traces the importance of the eye to the months following 9/11, to her observation that so many of the eyes she saw around her in her Lower-Manhattan neighborhood showed the effects of daily exposure to smoke and dust, which were also the effects of grief and growing despair. Her husband, meanwhile, noticed how hard times eroded the pride that led hard-scrabble entrepreneurs to display the first dollar they ever made prominently alongside their business license. Where she explored those eyes, he experimented with the possibilities for self-expression provided by the one-dollar bill.

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Esperenza Cortes' Debe Un Ojo De La Cara at Mestizo Arts
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