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August 2012
Utah's Art Magazine: Published by Artists of Utah
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A Year in Salt Lake Art, with Jo-Ann Wong

Friends compare her to the Travelocity Gnome, the red-capped garden figurine that appears in travel snapshots all over the world in the company's ad campaign. Jo-Ann Wong is more local than her bearded counterpart, but equally ubiquitous. Wherever she goes she is herding people (friends or strangers) into groups, propping her digital camera on its small, portable tripod, setting the timer and taking the snapshot. It is a visual diary of her life as well as a varied and informal documentation of Salt Lake's art scene. Here is a cross section from Wong's collection of snapshots during Salt Lake's 2011-2012 art season.

Utah Surface Design Group show at Michael Berry Gallery with Michael Berry and Marilyn Fashbaugh, April 20th, 2012
With Karl Pace in his studio at Poor Yorick, September 23, 2011
At Living Traditions south stage with Salt Lake City Arts Council Director, Karen Krieger and Living Traditions performances coordinator Craig Miller, May 18, 2012
Jo-Ann Wong at the UAF kids yard, June 2012
With Brian Taylor of Copper Palate Press at Craft Lake City, August 13, 2011
At the Asian Festival with Tea Master Luoya Hunter and Kyoto woodprint kites in background, June 9, 2012
At the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, LeConte Stewart and V. Douglas Snow show with Florabelle Lubanga, September 11, 2011
At the UofU Creative Campus meet with Ed Bateman, Katharine Coles, & Maureen O'Hara Ure, April 26, 2012
Ken Sanders shows his fold out paper toy created by printers co-op for the Utah Arts Festival, September 2, 2011
Hanging Kyoto International Woodprint Assn. kites at Saltgrass Printmakers with Erik and Sandy Brunvand, July 9, 2012
At the Utah Museum of Natural History with Donna Pence and Phillip Bimstein, April 25, 2012
With Sri Whipple at Urban Gallery working on Neighborhood House garage doors, September 23, 2011
With Hikmet Loe, Ruth Lubbers, Judy Wolbach and Shawn Rossiter at Ruth Lubbers farewell, Williams Gallery, September 15, 2011
With Jeronimo Lozano and his Dragons retablo, June 30, 2012
At the David Burnett photography show at the UMFA, with Hilary and Ben Nitka October 2011
At Copper Palate Press for 15 Bytes T-shirt party with Stefanie Dykes, Cameron Bentley, Lenny Riccardi, and Judy Donnell, far right, September 16, 2011
Jo-Ann Wong with Karl Pace
At Art Access 300 Plates registration table with Willy Littig and Mary Lee Caraher-Peters, May 17, 2012
With Nilauro Markus photography show at Ken Sanders Rare Books with Toshiko Marse, August 20, 2011
With Haruko Moriyasu, Nancy Boskoff (her retirement farewell), Donna Pence, Paul Heath, & Judith Wolbach at Finch Lane Gallery, February 25 2012
With Chris Miles and Art Kimball at Art Access, September 16, 2011
With Bill Lee, Paul Vincent Bernard, Travis Tanner, and Michael Berry at Michael Berry's Gallery Stroll, August 19, 2011
At Dixie State College Sears Invitational with Cassandria Wong Parsons and dignitaries, February 17, 2012
Eric Hvolboll donates Ed Abbey first editions to University of Utah Marriott Library with library curator and Ken Sanders, Hvolboll, Joyce Ogburn, & Greg Thomspon, March 4, 2012
At the Leonardo with SQ Radio squids, Sheri Quinn and Suzi Montgomery, October 29, 2011
At Americans for the Arts Action Fund president and CEO, Robert Lynch at 15th Street Gallery with Casey Jarman, Jena Woodbury, Jim Bradley, Lynch, Laura Dupuy, Joan Woodbury, September 26, 2011

Exhibition Review: West Valley City
What You ShouldBump Into
The Face of Utah Sculpture at Utah Cultural Celebration Center

In an interview he gave Jennifer Napier Pierce prior to the opening of The Face Of Utah Sculpture, an annual exhibition he founded and curates, Dan Cummings explained why he considers this such an important opportunity for artists like him. “Sculptors,” he said, “don’t much get single shows.” It’s true. Sculptors are typically invited to take part in two-person shows, where their work complements the work of a painter. To be seen clearly, paintings require empty rooms; sculpture ensures the resulting space is not wasted. Thus the celebrated judgment of Barnett Newman: “A sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to get a look at a painting.” But there is good reason why we, as audience, should see what Cummings has brought to the Cultural Celebration Center. Far from the display of challenging aesthetic statements that make up many modern art shows, this one is immediately accessible and, in place of consternation, is more likely to generate feelings of pleasure, fun, and even exhilaration.

Anyone who thinks artists work best in garrets, away from interference by the public, can learn something from the example of Marilyn Sunderland. A few years ago, her painted gourds brought to mind folk arts. Although she selected the gourd as a painter selects a grade and shape of canvas, the final product resembled classroom design practice: fit the image to the 3D shape. Interaction with her peers and the public has opened up her approach, literally: in “The Rope” she cuts away the negative space between coils of illusionistic cordage carved in bas relief, revealing the solid-looking gourd to be a thin, hollow skin.|1| Paradoxically, the more she reduces the solid-looking ellipsoid to a surface of lace, the more solid the representation appears. The gourd’s shape disappears, demonstrating the dimensional alchemy underlying all visual art. Rope connects thematically with “Looking At An Object I’ll Never Understand,” one of Cummings’ fused and carved glass pieces, in which a black-and-white checkerboard resembles water into which stones are thrown, the surface roiling into ornaments suggesting a computer animation of a mathematical equation.|2| Another glass artist, Andrew Kosorok, uses the translucence of flat glass to model the dimensions of space, demonstrating the notion shared among the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions that spirit first creates, and then infuses, everything.

The Face of Utah Sculpture at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center
0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

It sometimes seems the three dimensions of sculpture impose more limits on an artist than do the two of painting, but contrasting representations of the human form argue that the range of possibilities in sculpture is as wide as the artist’s vision. Julie Lucus opens up the torso in “Nevermore,” where her signature mosaic tiles suggest the stone walls of a prison or a fortress, a suggestion underscored by the presence of barred windows behind the occupant, who dwells close to the heart.|3| Emily de la Cruz Ellis takes an opposing view in “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Obdurate and opaque, her sandstone blocks lie silent on the floor, denying entry and suggesting John Donne was wrong: everyone is an island, no one can be known.|4| But Brian Christensen’s “Blue Note” gets it right.|5| Our own knowledge and experience allow us to decipher the features of his standing female figure, who proffers us the crystal she holds in her hand as though it were the key to her sorrow. The ruined piano mechanism that frames her and carves out her space, stopping our eyes from straying, suggests another kind of passageway: the evocative art of music, tinted with aural color the way her skin carries the shifting hints of pigment. Like sounds, appearances can carry something essential between us. There are conduits by which we can know and—sculpture being supremely tactile—touch one another.

No survey of 3-D art could be complete without a few examples of trompe-l’oeil -- in which the sculptor displays his skill by fooling our eyes. In effect, such illusions argue that touch remains more reliable than its more popular, more glamorous, and more successful long-distance version: vision. Relegated long ago to the status of stunt, of trompe-l’oeil, made a comeback when Jasper Johns rendered mundane beer cans in painted bronze, those transformative and supposedly ennobling materials. Perfectly illusionistic tours de force followed, including leather goods made of clay and a motorcycle carved from wood. Darwin Dower has also chosen wood, but a more homely and more challenging array of subjects. “Restoration: A Divine Calling” reveals what a desktop was before the computer undertook to steal its identity and displace so many once-familiar things. Among the objects and materials it ‘restores’ are leather bindings, printed paper pages, spectacles, a candle, and the compound paraphernalia of handwriting: a feather quill, an inkstand with cover, a blotter, and a bit of foolscap displaying a fine hand.|6| There can be a fine line between pleasure and frustration, and as the eye wanders along the ragged edges of well-worn paper pages, the mind crosses back and forth between the imaginary pleasure of turning over those pages and the frustration of knowing it to be impossible.

In the same way, the limit of art is also what makes it indispensable. Only in our imaginations can we go where these works take us, or make us want to take ourselves. Not every one of the 70 works by 40 artists assembled here will succeed for everyone, but each is a potential launching pad for a trip into real things and their imaginary connections. Instead of selecting a narrow range of objects meant to prove a point, The Face of Utah Sculpture assumes that if it includes the wide range of competent work, viewers can sort them out. You don’t have to like them all, but if Andrea Heidienger’s cast-paper cityscape is not to your liking, perhaps Randy Chamberlain’s bronze bald eagle in the form of a scythe will do. But take a second look at the things you first want to dismiss: therein lies the key to personal growth.


Upcoming Festivals

August 3-5, Park City
Park City Kimball Arts Festival. In addition to 220 exhibiting artists the festival features wide recreation and entertainment options and the restaurants participating in Taste of Art.

August 10-11, Cedar City
Cedar City Arts Festival gets in the grove adjacent to SUU's Randal Jones Theater in conjunction with the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Friday and Saturday August 10 -11. 10am - 7pm both days.

August 11, Salt Lake City
The 4th Annual Craft Lake City festival features close to 200 vendors, showcasing and selling anything and everything DIY. From arts and crafts to science and technology booths, there is something for everyone. Noon – 10pm at the Gallivan Center: 239 South Main Street Salt Lake City.

August 17-19, Helper
18th annual Helper Arts & Music Festival features three days of stellar fine arts and crafts in the Artists Marketplace featuring over 65 booths. From free live music on the park mainstage to theatre performances at The Rio Theatre to the annual custom car show, there is always something new to see at Carbon County’s only fine arts festival.

August 25, Magna
The Magna Arts Festival is presented by the Magna Arts Council and includes food, music (a dozen live bands), dancing, art exhibits, and activities all laid out along historic Main Street. 10 am-9pm.

August 25-25, South Jordan
Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair promotes fiber arts as historical and thriving art forms. Members of the fiber community will provide demos and teach classes and samples of knit, spinning, crochet, felting, weaving and other fiber related arts forms will be on display. Salt Lake County Equestrian Park at 2200 West 11400 South, South Jordan, Utah. 9am-4pm.

15 Bytes: About Us
Our editorial contributors this edition
Tom AlderSimon Blundell is a Salt Lake native and has studied art, communication, journalism, design, and advertising. He has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and continues to explore photography and art in all its aspects. He loves music, literature, film, good food, travel, and motorcycles.

Ehren ClarkEhren Clark studied art history at both the University of Utah and the University of Reading in the UK. He is now a professional writer.

Alexandra KarlAlexandra Karl did a BFA in Ottawa (Canada) and then spent ten years studying art history in Europe. She worked at Munich's Lenbachhaus for five years while completing her Masters, and received her PhD in the History of Art from Cambridge. She has taught at the U, the McGillis School and Congregation Kol Ami. She has led tours to the Spiral Jetty and Frank Lloyd Wright's Stromquist House. She believes a vigorous art scene is essential to any thriving society

Shawn RossiterShawn Rossiter, a native of Boston, was raised on the East Coast. He has degrees in English, French and Italian Literature. He dropped out of a Masters program in Contemporary Literature to pursue a career as an artist. 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.

Geoff WichertJo-Ann Wong is a local, born in Ogden, UT and raised in SLC. She attended a "fun, 40th East High School reunion last August. I've been taking photos for a long time and I really enjoy capturing moments of my life with my patient, generous and understanding friends and family."
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 monthly on the first Wednesday of the 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.

Materials may be mailed to:
Artists of Utah
P.O. Box 526292
SLC, UT 84152

Editor: Shawn Rossiter
Assistant Editor: Laura Durham
Image Editor: Shalee Cooper
Contributing Editor: Ann Poore
Mixed Media: Terrece Beesley
You can contact 15 Bytes at editor@artistsofutah.org

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