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July 2014
Utah's Art Magazine: Published by Artists of Utah
Page 8    

2014 15 Bytes Book Awards

Literary Arts: Book Awards
The 2014 15 Bytes Book Awards

We are pleased to announce the 2014 15 Bytes Book Awards. The 15 Bytes Book Awards, currently in its second year, celebrates exceptional books of poetry, fiction and visual art published in the previous calendar year based on each book’s quality/craftsmanship of writing, level of engagement and how it uniquely represents the state of Utah (nominated works must be by a Utah author or have as its theme or location a Utah connection). Judges were select staff writers at 15 Bytes Magazine, published by Artists of Utah. Winners receive a modest cash award.

This year’s winner in fiction is The Legend’s Daughter by Salt Lake City author David Kranes. In this exceptional collection of stories set mostly in Idaho in the deep backwoods along river banks and lonely county roads, Kranes’ characters are all thrown out of their comfort zones. And so is the reader. Richly drawn and complex, these stories challenge the intellect. Kranes has managed to somehow dam the river of souls these stories possess. They do not lie still, however, between the covers but rather spin in far-reaching whirlpools of genuine humanity and mortality. 

In the poetry collection division, the winner is Topaz by San Francisco-based Brian Komei Dempster. In his debut collection titled after the Japanese relocation camp established outside Delta, Utah, Dempster braids the tragic past of his own ancestors unjustly incarcerated by the American government during World War II with the residual effects in the poet’s contemporary life. Dazzling, often raw and pleasingly dis-jointed, Dempster’s poetry unpacks the devastation, endurance and residual hauntings of Topaz in a bracing collision course with contemporary Japanese American life, particularly its youth. 

Short-listed for the poetry prize are Door of Thin Skins (CavanKerry Press) by Shira Dentz and The Earth is Not Flat (Red Hen Press) by Katharine Coles. In Dentz’s fever dream of abuse in a patient/doctor relationship, the typographical and prose poetry mirrors the disintegration of the confused mind of the patient in a tour de force that is as curiously ennobling as it is shocking. Coles’ meditation on life and nature in Antarctica is an elegantly crafted work whose subjects, reflected in the ice at the bottom of the globe, are history, science, art, the mind, and  the heart, and whose forms range from the generation of spare lists to experiments in erasure.  Our judges were delighted to find the former Utah Poet Laureate at her most refined in this volume. 

For Art Book, 15 Bytes has chosen to honor Final Light: The Life and Art of V. Douglas Snow, edited by Frank McEntire and published by the University of Utah Press. Grounded by a number of essays by local writers, critics and friends, and a plethora of fine reproductions of the artists magnificent abstract celebrations of the western landscape, the book is a testament to the accomplishment and influence of the long-time University of Utah professor.

Short-listed for the Art Book award is Kenvin — An Artist's Kitchen: Food, Art & Wisdom of a Bohemian Cowboy, published by Gibbs Smith. Published posthumously, and a dozen years in the making, the book deftly blends the artist's vivid paintings of farmers, produce and products with over 125 recipes.

Up and Upcoming: To The North
Exhibition Listings in Northern Utah


Whitespace Contemporary UPCOMING: New Visions of the West. Conceived to complement the annual Pioneer Days’ Traces of the West exhibition, New Visions takes a fresh look at iconic western images and landscapes — through a contemporary lens. Some 20 artists from around the globe are participating, with works in many media represented: drawing, painting, photography, as well as glass, ceramic, plastic, metal and paper sculpture.

Eccles Community Art Center UPCOMING: The Ogden Pioneer Days - Traces of the West is comprised of recent works with a Western theme by resident Utah artists in all media.

Gallery 25 UP: The artwork of Darlene Stevenson Hamblin along with the other members of the Four Generation group: husband Bert Hamblin, daughter Tonya Petersen, granddaughters Tarra Tippets and Macie Kaye Hamblin, and great granddaughters Emma Erickson, Jacie Tippets and sister-in-lawAlice Hamblin Dickson.

Brigham City Museum UP: International Quilt Invitational Exhibition.

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art UP: Man Up: Perspectives on Masculinity and the Male Form explores the visualization of masculine and feminine stereotypes through photos, drawings, and prints. AND: New Acquisitions 2013 features nine works of art recently donated to the museum by the late Joe Austin. AND: Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape and the American West explores the role of the American West as a site for rebirth and enchantment, specifically through artists and composers who explored the visionary interpretations of the landscape in visual or musical form inspired by Theosophical ideas (see our review page 3).  


Julie Nester Gallery UP: Lines and Forms: New Sculptures by Tor Archer and Brenda Mallory. Brenda Mallory creates three-dimensional wall sculptures primarily using waxed cloth, nuts, bolts and steel (see our review page 1). Tor Archer is a figurative sculptor from San Francisco, CA. In his work, Archer’s perspective on the female form is defined by the relationship between woman and nature.

Gallery MAR UP: Summer Solstice group exhibition featuring Brian McGuffey, KOLLABS, and Mary Scrimgeour.

Kimball Art Center UP: The Faces of Summit County, a juried group photo exhibition in the Badami Gallery. AND: Postcards, photography by Carla Boecklin in the Garage Gallery. AND: Dog Dogs, photography by Elliott Erwitt in the Main Gallery. French photographer Elliott Erwitt is known for his black-and-white, candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings, and dogs are among his favorite subjects.

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