The combinations seem perverse, unholy — Claude Monet’s “Poppy Field at Giverny” and a plastic manufacturing plant; a delightful landscape painting by LeConte Stewart and a decomissioned chemical agent disposal facility in Tooele; a Georgia O’Keefe and the Facebook Data Center in Eagle Mountain. But the results are somehow mesmerizing.
The drawings pictured here, on the desk in Alison Neville’s studio, are only days or weeks old, but they belong to a stack of small, quick work spanning almost fifteen years. “Initially they started as a low-anxiety response to keeping a daily sketchbook which I could sketch or doodle on during lunch or other downtime,” the artist says. “The newest problem I’m taking baby steps towards addressing is my fear of using color. Cue sharpies, looking at retro ’60s floral sheets, and slightly bigger paper. I imagine I’ll continue to add to the pile until a conceptual piece gets my attention again but I will always return to drawing as a sort of home base (forgive the sports metaphor, please).”
“My work is an exploration of my spiritual beliefs through a biological lens,” says Emily Quinn Loughlin, a Park City native who earned her B.F.A. in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She uses reclaimed materials from local businesses in her fine art pieces. “I begin by developing an element to use as a building block, and then I find unique ways of combining said elements to develop unique, strange, and beautiful objects … Using recycled material is a conscious effort to support the healthy digestion of material goods in our high-throughput consumer society.”
“Planning for the stitches is always a challenge because I have to compose, paint, and then assemble this kind of jigsaw puzzle that never fully comes together as I expect. This process limits a lot of the play that exists in traditional painting because of the inherent need to consider more sculptural issues like gravity and how the various components are not only aesthetic but also have to be considered within a functional framework. For example, I might want to add a component into something for visual balance but I also have to consider how I attach it and if it can bear weight.”
Salt Lake City artist Lis Pardoe says has been listening to the audiobook Getting Unstuck by Pema Chodron. “It is all about meditation in hard times. Through a recent difficult family event, I have also recognized the importance of being still enough to let life move through you, no matter how difficult it may be, and that rest is releasing.”
It’s the latest in a series of vintage campers and RVs in minimalist, atmospheric landscapes the artist has been working on the past couple of years. “The portrayal of aging recreational vehicles trigger memories of trips to new places and the promise of protection from the elements,” says the University of Utah graduate (2012). “The metallic icons can be beautiful in their ghostly solitude. Conversely, they are reminders of eroding, transient artifacts, littering the environment and scarring the landscape.”
Anita Hawkins says that due to the size and complexity of the piece currently in her studio, she has been working on it on and off for over a year. “The focused making of it has been helpful in pushing out everything else,” she says.
A year ago, we were busy at Finch Lane Gallery installing our 35×35 exhibit, a showcase for Utah’s young artistic talent. Then the closures hit. (The exhibit only opened to the public, in a limited way, in June.) A year since the closures, we have decided to check in with […]
Douglas Tolman was a student at the University of Utah last year when Covid hit, but has since moved to Green River for an AmeriCorps service term. The interdisciplinary artist has family history in the area and says, “Though I’m proud of my hard-working ancestors who made a living off the land, I’m not proud of the part they played in a violent, colonial takeover. Moving here has been somewhat of an effort to facilitate equity and sustainability in a place which has been hit pretty hard by industrial booms and busts as a result of that violent history, but that is a lot easier said than done.”