1. What was the last piece of art you bought?
Well, that’s a good question. I may need to consult my wife, let me get back to you on that.
2. Who is your favorite Utah artist living or dead?
Leconte Stewart, I think is great. I like the rural landscape.
3. Have you ever attended a gallery stroll event in Salt Lake City, when?
I have not. But I am very supportive of it. I think it is a great idea.
4. What is one of your favorite galleries/museum/art spaces in SLC?
I have visited a lot of galleries; Williams and I don’t know all of their names. I am actually on the advisory board for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, as is Jenny (Wilson). We are on there together. I guess it is called the national leadership council. Haven’t been too active this year for obvious reasons. But so obviously that is a great museum. The museum of Utah Art and History is struggling a little bit. But I have been supportive of everything they have been trying to do.
5. The Salt Lake City Arts Council is an important part of the Salt Lake City visual arts scene. What could be done to increase funding for this entity?
One of the reasons I wanted to bring you here (Anderson Foothill Library) is because I worked so closely with Nancy Boskoff and the arts council. Because I had the idea but I had no idea how to pull it off. How to get a sculptor, how to contract, how to budget, all of that. So they took care of that for me. We had a committee (which ironically I invited Jenny Wilson to be on the committee which she was because of her involvement with the Olympics and their volunteers) in selecting the artists. What I have done in the past couple years is increase the funding the last two years. The (city) council has, it has not been in the mayor’s budget. Just to let you know, not to get into too much minutiae, the mayor gives us a budget that is balanced, any changes we make so if we put more money somewhere we have to find it somewhere. So its not a small thing to say we put some money in that was not in that budget because that means somebody else did not get their funding or things got juggled around. I don’t know what their exact numbers were but I think its budget got increased around 25, 30 thousand. There had not been an increase in a long, long time, besides salaries for the people who worked there. As far as their program money, it had not been increased in like 10 years, I am sure Nancy can tell you. I am very supportive of the work they do. I think we get a great bang for our buck. I think they manage it well. And this can be an area that can be tough for cities or government to be involved in but I think they manage it very, very well.
6. Do you have any final thoughts about what the mayor’s office could do to better serve the visual arts community?
I think being accessible, reasonable, open to them, be willing to listen to them. Continuing to support the 1% for art. I think is important. I think public art; again of all of these 7 (Olympic) projects, mine was the most artistic. I don’t mean that to be a criticism of anyone else’s, but just that that shows you where my priorities are. I thought it would be really neat to have a sculpture.
SLC Mayoral Candidates . . . from page 3
The Salt Lake City mayoral primaries are Tuesday, September 11. Read the full interviews: Ralph Becker, Keith Christensen, Jenny Wilson, Dave Buhler.