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Published monthly by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization   

Hilary Wilkinson Jacobsen

Artist Profile: Salt Lake City
Demise and Beauty
Hilary W. Jacobsen embraces death through art

Certain people exude authenticity: it’s apparent in their genuine and honest reflections. Hilary W. Jacobsen is one such person, possessing a natural and humble attitude towards life, yet confident and eager to discuss her artistic journey. A native of Salt Lake City, Jacobsen reflects on how her childhood helped cultivate in her an appreciation for nature and enjoyment of the wonders of the outdoors. “Being in nature, with nature, helped me find myself and in some ways became my religion,” she says. “I found a peace in being outside—in nature, which led me away from the religious beliefs that I’d been taught as a young child and introduced to me to a new spirituality.”

Elements of nature run through Jacobsen’s work—there is always a connection to the natural world, be it through animals, patterns or human skulls. Jacobsen becomes animated as she talks about her connection to nature and there is truthfulness in her expression of the serenity she experiences through her spiritual relationship. Freedom from the confines of city dwelling spawns a new wave of creativity for Jacobsen, who contemplates the sense of renewal that occurs when engaged in the beauty of the natural world and which eventually manifests on canvas.

Culture Conversations: Art Books
Final Light
The Life and Art of V. Douglas Snow, Edited and with an Introduction by Frank McEntire

When Doug Snow discussed having a book written about his work while sitting around the dinner table with friends one chilly October evening in 2009 – just three days before his death in a one-car collision at the age of 82 -- Frank McEntire says all eyes turned to him. Later, when Snow’s wife Susan suggested that McEntire seemed the person to do it, he immediately helped organize two memorial services and raised funds for an art scholarship, exhibition and book. A remarkable two-museum retrospective of the artist’s work was launched. It couldn’t have been handled by a better curator, a better art critic, a better friend. Now, some two years since those dual shows at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the then-Salt Lake Art Center (now UMOCA), there is, finally, a singular book, part of the same project, a collection of six essays commissioned and edited by McEntire that were written mainly by Snow’s friends and former students. Centered on a large and satisfying collection of brilliantly colored reproductions of paintings from the 1950s to the mid-2000s, Final Light: The Life and Art of V. Douglas Snow covers his childhood to his time at the University of Utah through his retirement years in his beloved Teasdale. It is arguably the most important and certainly the most anticipated art book to be published in Utah this year.

Event Preview: Salt Lake City
Storytime at the Literary Club
Ashley Anderson and Mary Sinner collaborate to create visual stories at the Ladies Literary Club

Tell people you're going to be an artist and you'll get a variety of reactions: enthusiasm, disappointment, skepticism, envy, apathy. One of the more surprising responses, though, will be that successful and concerned relative (generally dressed in well-pressed attire) who will suggest that if you are serious about pursuing a career as an artist you would be well advised to draw up a business plan. "A business plan for art?" you'll ask. But how can you make a plan for the best, most inspirational part of art: chance.

Artists spend years honing a craft and developing a style. The most interesting ones, though, are always changing, embracing — even searching out — the chance encounter that will ignite a shift in their work.

Ashley Anderson and Mary Sinner met by chance. They struck up a conversation when both were at Finch Lane Gallery as part of Artists of Utah's 35x35 exhibition waiting for a photographer from the Salt Lake Tribune to show up. That initial encounter led Anderson, a choreographer, to ask Sinner, who works in collage and installation, to collaborate with her when the Utah Heritage Foundation invited her to create a work to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Ladies Literary Club building in Salt Lake City.

Choreographers frequently employ set designers to create a visual experience that will enhance their vision for a dance, but Anderson wanted Sinner to be more than that. She invited her to create something for the space and then she would place a dance in it. In fact, it was Sinner's own art and her initial ideas for how to use the space at the Ladies Literary Club — where, it turns out, Sinner had had her wedding reception — that inspired Anderson's choice of dance. "I began thinking about how Mary's work is layered." says Anderson, "It was an inspiration to figure out how you similarly layer dance."

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Dead Dog Song at the Ladies Literary Club
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