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April 2016
Utah's Art Magazine: Published by Artists of Utah
Page 2   

In Memoriam
A Passion for Art and Letters
And Cats
Remembering Pat Eddington

Pat Eddington, 63, a Salt Lake City artist and much-honored teacher, died March 26 at University Hospital following a sudden illness. An artist with a distinctive visual style who had an expansive impact on our community, he was also a man consumed with teaching, with the world of rare books, numbered prints and the incredible cats he so loved to portray.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Eddington would earn both his BFA and his Masters of Education at the University of Utah where he and artist Tom Judd first met in 1970. Judd immediately thought of him as “a force of nature.” He says Pat “was a great thinker, a passionate artist, a player at the game, and a great friend.”  In college, Eddington was “full of ideas, and his work was already very developed and had a real edge to it,” Judd recalls. “Even at that point he was thinking way outside the box. He was reaching out to famous authors including Henry Miller and Paul Bowles, combining literature and the visual arts with passionate curiosity. He also was always inviting artists and writers to participate in various projects that he dreamed up . . . constantly reaching out to an artist community that was international in scope.”

Salt Lake City artist and Eddington’s former high school student Trent Call concurs. “Pat loved collaboration, sharing ideas and pretty much just making things.” An extension, he says, “of his consistent written correspondence with artists around the world.” And write he did, typically sending out a couple of letters a day – not email, Call points out – handwritten letters. Authors such as Ray Bradbury would combine their words with Eddington’s drawings and a thoughtful and impressive limited-edition print would be born.

Artist and U of U Professor Emeritus Tony Smith remarks: “Nobody like Pat, nobody. He was pen pals with some of, many of, the most famous people on the planet. Rauschenberg, Arthur Miller -- Gandhi, Jesus Christ -- he corresponded with them regularly,” he jokes. “He was very talented, smart and tall. The first time I met him, in the elevator at the art department, he said, Are you Tony Smith? I said I was. I'll be in your class this year, he said, as if bestowing the honor of attendance conveyed that he'd decided after long scrutiny mine was the class of choice,” Smith says.

“Pat always had the best stories -- about everything,” recalls Pat’s neighbor and friend, stained-glass artist Willy Littig. “He would talk about artists like you knew who they were and we would have to go look them up later,” Littig says. “He was always reading, always curious about stuff. He has first editions of all the [important] books. No way could I ever be as well read as Pat was.”

During the ‘70s Eddington taught for four years at Northwest Junior High in the Salt Lake School District but is best remembered as a teacher for his long tenure (about 25 years) at Highland High where he started in 1988. 
Bonnie Sucec, who had a studio on the same floor as Pat at the Guthrie for more than two decades and coincidentally always lived a few doors down from him on the Avenues, says Eddington was a fabulous and inventive artist who also taught her grandson. “He went the extra mile. He was a special, intuitive teacher who mentored so many students and always went out on a limb to help them. If you didn’t know where to go, you could go to Pat’s room.”

And artist Connie Borup says Eddington “is legendary in the world of art education as one who truly cared about his students and offered them a thorough understanding of the art-making process.  Many former students remember him fondly and value their time with him.”

Peter Markowski, now a visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation in California, is one such student. He writes that there was never a term in high school when he wasn’t in one of Pat’s classes. “He gave me encouragement, prodding, opened me and my friends up to new techniques (watching/dissecting the first few Pixar experiments comes to mind), styles, art forms, concepts, that we  . . . had no other way of knowing. . . . Even my interest in using Photoshop (which is my day-to-day tool) came about when Pat got all excited about its very FIRST release (nailed that prediction). . . . I really hope he knew how much he helped shape us all—I know my career, and even my personality would be different without those four years.”

He played rock music in class – mostly ‘80s stuff, his students say on their Patrick Eddington Memorial Page on Facebook. “ABBA, U2, Yello, Digital Underground,” writes graphic designer Shane Severson. Idaho school band director Nick Germer recalls nonstop Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Pink Floyd, of course. It was what they would create their drawings to. And many still do.

Trumpet player, bandleader (he formed the Salt Lake Alternative Jazz Orchestra), composer, educator and cartoonist Dave Chisholm (who has a graphic novel with album accompaniment in the works) writes from his home in Rochester, New York, that “it's pretty staggering to count the sheer number of my fellow students who continue to work/explore in the arts today. It's honestly hard for me to think of ANY person in those classes who isn't either working professionally in the arts or exploring them deeply as a hobby. I'm 100% positive this isn't an accident.”

But Eddington also was pursuing an art career of his own, making etchings and prints as well as original paintings and showing at Phillips Gallery. He is now in collections nationally and internationally, in Switzerland and Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Salt Lake City. His work is held in the Henry Miller Estate Collection and in the Miriam Patchen Collection.
Bonnie Phillips says what impressed her most about Pat “was his generosity to all the artists. He wasn’t dismissive about the artists he may not have liked as much. His criticisms were not so much negative as they were helpful. What he saw was the artist’s strength which he always recognized."

She says that he was always very balanced in a review of his students’ work and would give an informed review of an artist’s work in the gallery when he brought students there to see a show. “His students who were assigned to go to galleries are still coming in,” Phillips says.”He introduced people to art in a way that became part of their lives whether they became artists or not.” She recalls that Pat established a little gallery at Highland High. It still exists and exhibits professional and student work.

Artist, architect and retired university professor Tom Kass says that while he might talk with Pat about their love for art, design and “the many joys found in teaching, Pat spoke of cats. Some artists paint dogs, horses or fish, but the object of his art and design was the cat. Not the fluffy, cute cats and kittens one finds on the web. His image of the cat was mostly a cat with a self-serving agenda.”  Pat, most importantly, was a good man, Kass says.

With Susan Makov, his partner and collaborator for 25 years, Pat designed and illustrated books about cats, written by both local (Terry Tempest Williams) and international authors (Cees Nooteboom and Roddy Doyle). Check out www.Greencatpress.com to see some of their work.

Denis Phillips also remembers Eddington’s passion for felines. “I always thought he was a terrific artist and we showed his work for many years. It all had to do with cats, of course. That was his drive. He had a collection of cat art pieces which he gathered from all around the country. He wanted to put them all in a show somewhere but it didn’t happen. He also collaborated with poets, where he did the illustration alongside the poem. We need to get a bunch of those together and have a show.” 

With Adrian Van Suchtelen, Eddington did curate the successful “People Who Love Cats Print Exchange” here in 2006 that included such artists as Edward Bateman, Stefanie Dykes, Robert Kleinschmidt and more.

Call has wanted to curate a show of work by Eddington’s students, but decided that isn’t possible. “There are just too many people,” he says.

But perhaps, one day, he will find a venue large enough to hold the work of all the former students who learned so much about art and life from this unassuming man whose influence seems unending.

15 Bytes: About Us
Our editorial contributors

Christine BaczekChristine Baczek is a photographic artist and the gallery and exhibitions manager for Memorieslab based in Shenzhen, China. 

Simon BlundellSimon Blundell is a Salt Lake City native and has studied art, communication, journalism, design, and advertising. He has an MFA and continues to explore photography and art in all its aspects.

Amy BrunvandAmy Brunvand is an award-winning poet and an associate librarian at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

Christine BaczekAlisha Tolman Burton has been an independent graphic design and marketing consultant since 2008, and utilizes social media heavily for online marketing strategy, particularly for nonprofit projects, such as Art On Main and the Art Around the Corner Foundation. 

Danielle DubraskyDanielle Beazer Dubrasky is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Southern Utah University. Ruin and Light won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition.

Laura DurhamLaura Durham, a Utah native with a BA in Art History from BYU, worked for the Utah Arts Council for over a decade as the Visual Arts Coordinator. She is currently working on Marketing and Public Value for Utah Arts & Museums and music editor for 15 Bytes.

Mary Lyn GravesMary Lyn Graves, a native of Tulsa, OK, studied dance at the University of Oklahoma. She currently dances with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City.

Scotti HillScotti Hill  is a Salt Lake City-based art writer and curator who has taught art history courses at Westminster College and the University of Utah. She currently studies law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the U. where she hopes to specialize in art law, intellectual property and copyright issues.

Sue MartinSue Martin holds an M.A. in Theatre and has worked in public relations. As an artist, she works in watercolor, oil, and acrylic to capture Utah landscapes or the beauty of everyday objects in still life.

Hannah McBethHannah McBeth studied art history, classics, and Mediterranean archaeology before getting a master's at Cambridge University. She enjoys writing, hiking, and traveling to far-off places. Follow her on Twitter @hannahmcbee.

Michael McLaneMichael McLane's work has appeared in numerous journals, including Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Western Humanities Review, and Sidebrow. He is the co-editor of the journal saltfront and the review editor for Sugar House Review. He lives in Salt Lake, where he works as the Literary Program Officer for the Utah Humanities Council.

Ann PooreAnn Poore is a freelance writer and editor who spent most of her career at The Salt Lake Tribune. She also worked for City Weekly and has written for such publications as Utah Business and Salt Lake magazines.

Shawn RossiterShawn Rossiter, a native of Boston, was raised on the East Coast. He has degrees in English, French and Italian literature. A professional artist and writer, he founded Artists of Utah in 2001 and is editor of its magazine, 15 Bytes.

Geoff WichertGeoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.


15 Bytes

is published monthly by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization located in Salt Lake City Utah. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of 15 Bytes or Artists of Utah. Our editions are published at the beginning of each month. Our deadline for submissions is the last Wednesday of the preceding month.

Writers and photographers who contribute material to 15 Bytes are members of the arts community who volunteer their time. Please contact the editor if you have an idea for an article or feature, or if you would like to volunteer your time to the organization.

Editor: Shawn Rossiter
Contributing Editor: Ann Poore
Contributing Editor: Geoff Wichert
Music Editor: Laura Durham
Literary Editor: David G. Pace
Dance Editor: Ashley Anderson

Mixed Media: Terrece Beesley
You can contact 15 Bytes at editor@artistsofutah.org

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