Artists of Utah News
Show a Little Love
So here I am on vacation in Cyprus.
Well, okay, maybe not (my hair isn't quite that long). This is obviously a poorly photoshopped image of me inserted into Botticelli's "Birth of Venus."|1| But I did recently go to Cyprus (see my article page 5), and while there I visited the Rock of Aphrodite, proudly wearing my 15 Bytes t-shirt.|2| This spot on the south end of the island is the place where the goddess of love supposedly rose from the sea. Botticelli made a painting about it. When we visited, there weren't quite as many trees as Botticelli imagined, and the Zephyrs and Ores were replaced by a gaggle of Russians dipping in the still-chilly waters, but we did get to visit where love was born.
But this article isn't about love, it's about money.
Note: My inner-businessman tells me starting a pitch for funds by showing your audience photos from an exotic vacation may not be the brightest idea (my inner-man-of-experience tells me that embarrassing photos of me panhandling,|3| or of kittens,|4| or of me panhandling while surrounded by kittens,|5| work much better).
So, no, we don't need funds so I can pay for my "jet-setting" lifestyle (frequent-flyer miles and an uncle's spare room took care of most of my expenses). The point I was thinking of making was that, a couple of years ago, I would never have been able to go to Cyprus when I did, the week of publishing 15 Bytes.
But since we've hired more staff to take on an increasing amount of the workload, my life has become a little more flexible (my kids also like me better). And I think the publication has greatly improved.
My "job" as editor is still not a clock-in/clock-out, leave your work at the office type of thing. In fact, last month I had to finish my review of Mary Toscano's show (see the April edition) en route to New York, after a late night of packing. Thanks to in-flight internet access, when I was done I was able to send it to Laura Durham for a quick editorial run-through. Then, while I waited in JFK, our image editor Shalee Cooper went through the entire edition one more time before we hit the send button.
Ten years ago, when we started 15 Bytes, it was me in a basement with a computer and a couple of friends helping out with articles. Now we have scores of writers and photographers (who work on a volunteer basis), and five paid staff (plus myself) to keep the whole thing running professionally.
Here's the funny thing about paid staff: They like to get paid.
I like to get paid too, but, to keep this thing going, I've been willing to go months and months without a check, figuring money would come in at some point (and even then the payoff wasn't exactly huge). But the staff, they want a paycheck. On time. Like the first of the month. Every month. Or they need to find other work.
So our expanded organization comes with some great benefits: I can take a vacation. But it has its disadvantages: Now I have to make payroll.
The good news is, we're still able to do all this -- all the images, the stories, the videos, the message board, the artist listings, the blog content, the expanded arts coverage -- for less than one person's full salary. That's right, our operating budget last year was about $35,000. So no one around here is getting rich (or paid vacations, sick days, health benefits, etc). And any trips to see the birthplace of gods is being paid for by some other type of work.
Speaking about the birthplace of gods . . . The funny thing about Aphrodite's Rock is that although Cyprus is a Christian (and Muslim) country, people still visit the Greek god's birthplace as a shrine and leave votives (hey, no reason to petition only one god when love is at stake, right). They tie a piece of cloth to a nearby bush to make their wish. Here's what it looks like.
Writing this now, I look at that photo of the bush and think, "You know, if every one of those pieces of cloth was a check for $50, we could make payroll and keep 15 Bytes going for another 6 months." So, I guess this article is about money. And love.
So, if you can, show us a little love . . .
Donate or make a pledge at our Spring 2012 Fundraiser.
Up and Upcoming: To The North
Exhibition Listings in Northern Utah
Spiro Arts UPCOMING: , a chance to meet and view the work of this year's residents, Meghan Wilbar,|0| Paolo Fortin, and Sonja Hinrichsen. Paolo Fortin's paintings focus on the arbitrary absorption of images in our daily lives. Often working with oil on canvas and paper, Fortin has also embraced adhesive vinyl, wool duffle and western arctic sewing techniques to address the constant flux of images and transitory moments experienced during travel.|1| Sonja Hinrichsen, whose work manifests itself in immersive video installations and interventions in nature, examines urban and natural environments through exploration and research. She is interested in the intersection between place and human perception thereof, throughout history.|2| A painter, Meghan Wilbar is interested in man-made landscapes that contrast and mirror the rock formations and landscapes of the natural world.
Kimball Art Center UP: Everyday Art: Wasatch Back Student Art Show in all galleries.
Eccles Community Art Center UPCOMING: Faces are the planned theme for May in the Main Gallery. Noted Utah artists, Osral Allred, Heather Barron,|3| Robin L. Farr, Jerry Hancock, Irene Rampton and Paul Trentelman have been asked to provide formal and informal portraits of people for this exhibit. Ceramic artist, Leslie Salinas’ work will complement the Faces exhibit. The Carriage House Gallery will feature the paintings of Dianne Paskett. Opening reception May 4, 5-9 pm.
BDAC UP: Annual Davis School District High School Exhibition. Awards will be given in Study and Original work, 3-Dimensional work, Illustration and Photography.
Western Heritage Art Museum UP: Annual Uintah School District Art Departments Spring Art Show.
Brigham City Museum UP: Two-county High School Juried Art Competition and Exhibition.
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art UP: Bang! Thwack! Plop! %#$&!!!
Comics: an Influence on Contemporary Art. AND: Fragments of Terror: Drawings by Jim Starrett features approximately 25 drawings showing, in the words of Patrick E. White, how Starrett's works, "...vibrate with such cool passion, such fiery ice, that they seem at once both hard products of a systematic rationality, of an almost mechanical design, and works of extraordinary emotional resonance."