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October 2010
Published by Artists of Utah
Page 5   

Leadership in the Arts . . . from page 1

Herbert is currently heading an effort for the State to honor Arnold Friberg, and has commissioned Ed Fraughton to create a bust of Friberg to be housed at the State Library. He notes that the state honors artists quarterly, most recently the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Steve Maddox, for culinary arts. As Utah County Commissioner, Herbert says, he helped to promote the Sundance Film Festival and his wife planned the recent Governor’s Gala with a Broadway-type, Constitution Day theme and musical performances highlighting Utah talent.

I met with Mayor Peter Corroon in his campaign headquarters on South Temple, a place where behind the boxes of fliers and stacks of yard signs you'll see artwork provided by Artists for Corroon, an artist-driven group that is supporting his campaign. Corroon’s exposure to the performing arts came through his parents, who, when he was a young man, gave him fine arts performance tickets – to the opera, symphony and theatre -- as gifts in order to maintain his cultural awareness. He played the clarinet growing up, and has a continued interest in jazz and classical music. In the visual arts he enjoys photography. He reminisced about spending hours in the dark room and says in high school he considered pursuing it as a career. His parents' influence has had a lasting effect and he says he laments the Utah Opera subscription he had to give up because of his busy schedule.

Corroon highlighted Salt Lake County’s Cultural Facilities Master Plan and indicated that Salt Lake County has the largest public art collection of Utah artists in the world. Corroon also engages in the County’s art exhibit for employees and their families, where his children have participated every year. He also works closely with the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts, and said that the “arts are the heart and soul of our communities.”

What is the role of state government in advancing tourism through arts and culture?
Herbert indicated that he is conscious of the effect the arts have on tourism, and highlighted the “Stay an Extra Day” campaign and says he was helpful in the creation of the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.

Corroon says that while people come to Utah primarily for the outdoors, art experiences also draw tourists, citing Sundance as an example of the arts bringing tourist dollars to Utah. He pointed to ways that government can encourage this, such as Salt Lake County’s Center for the Arts hosting Sundance Film Festival screenings downtown and the State Office of Tourism board funding events all over the state, even in small communities.

What is the role of the arts in the state’s education system?
Herbert recently attended a one-day session presented by Robert Redford at Sundance, which addressed the impact that the arts have on students, and he believes that the arts, included in the overall curriculum, increase proficiency, support a well-rounded education, and develop the creative side of the brain.

Corroon believes the arts guarantee a well-educated mind, as well as help in other academic fields. There is a strong correlation between high performance in math through exposure to music. He indicated that he doesn’t want the school systems to be barren of arts education funding and hopes to put money back into the discipline. He shared that he and his wife encourage each of their children to be involved in at least one sport, one art, and one language so that they will be well-rounded human beings.

What is the role of culture and the arts in building communities?

Herbert feels culture has been important in Utah since its pioneer days: having culture and music in a wilderness setting was a way to provide a contrast to the surrounding frontier and allowed for a well-rounded community. He said, “the arts are an escape and uplift thoughts.”

Corroon says that “the arts bring communities together.” He recently attended a benefit for Gilgal Sculpture Garden , a venue that attracted 15,000 people last year, and was impressed with the community’s investment in the program. Salt Lake’s Gallery Stroll gets people out into the community, walking, actively engaged in art, he points out, and says “the arts make this a better place to live.”

Do you have plans for engaging arts-centric businesses in the growth of Utah’s economy?
Herbert noted that Utah was recently praised as having the best economic outlook in America and he believes this is accentuated by the significant cultural component in our lives. Culture is an essential fabric in Utah life. Even small communities have cultural celebrations because we’re proud of our communities.

Corroon pointed to Salt Lake County’s recent purchase of the property immediately west of Capitol Theatre in order to help Ballet West build a new academy location. There are also plans underway to renovate the Capitol Theatre itself. He indicated that Artspace plays an important role for visual artists and Sundance leads the film industry, lending prestige to Utah. Engaging individual artists in Utah’s economy makes sense, especially in the long-term. The University of Utah is turning out great talent for the digital media industry and Utah could be a leader in that field, he says.

How do you feel about public funding for the arts?
Herbert believes that funding needs to be more privatized. Utah currently spends $3 million in arts outreach efforts through the State Office of Education and spends $11 million on the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, which is a public/private partnership. He said the private sector needs to step up and pointed out that public education opportunities in arts-based curriculum are taxpayer funded.

Corroon believes that the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks program as a voter initiative is a wonderful example of citizens choosing to fund the arts. He helped campaign for the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks Tax reauthorization in 2008 and jokingly quoted Carter Livingston, a Utah lobbyist, who said that in Utah “ZAP is more popular than George Bush.”

What is your opinion of Salt Lake City's controversial plans for developing the Utah Performance Center (in downtown Salt Lake)?
Herbert says there are performing arts centers in other cities in the state and if Salt Lake City has the support, then they should do it. Steve Covey was successful in building the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo through a public/private partnership, he points out. Herbert was otherwise hesitant, indicating that it was a local issue and that it would require private sector funding.

Corroon indicated that he is supportive of the Center’s development if it is well utilized by the community, as is the case with the Sundance Institute, the film industry, and digital media artists, among others.

How do you feel about the proposed statewide Recreation, Arts & Parks Tax?
Herbert was not aware of the statewide RAP proposal. After our interview I e-mailed him the audit performed by the Office of Legislative Auditor General for the State of Utah, but have had no response to date.

Corroon indicated that he had seen the audit and thought that the possibility looked promising and is supportive of the introduction of this tax. He believes that it would be beneficial to communities throughout the state.

Art Reel
An Addiction to Colored Pencils
A video interview with Erica Houston

Portrait painting is a notoriously difficult task, and not just because the ability to achieve a reasonable likeness with line and color is a craft that requires hours of dedication. Dealing with the emotions and self-image of a patron can prove as trying as getting the right glaze to portray the luminosity of skin. If in the process an artist wants to express some of their own artistic vision, well . . . let's just say it's not a genre fit for everyone. But it is one that is proving right for Erica Houston, a Salt Lake City artist who manages to create unique portraits that go beyond a simple profile or three-quarters view. And she's doing it all in colored pencils. Watch the video to learn more.

Notes for Bob and Bill
The Ad Man
A short introduction to Utah artist Paul Clowes

Paul Clowes, a highly talented Utah artist, is largely overlooked for his art and illustrations that punctuated publications during the 1930s and 40s. Born in Salt Lake City in July 1903, his artistic talent appeared early. He attended LDS High School, and later studied with Jack Sears at the University of Utah, where he graduated with a fine arts degree.

After graduation Clowes partnered with Fielding K. Smith and Louis Larsen in a public relations firm called Ad Craftsman. He became a well-known and prominent Salt Lake City businessman. In 1948 he was elected president of the Salt Lake Advertising Club. He illustrated covers for numerous national magazines including Colliers.

Some of his work can be found in Architect and Engineer magazine, The Improvement Era, as well as in illustrations for copyrights. Clowes was commissioned by the LDS Church to produce a large canvas portraying the first printing of the Deseret News. In 1945 he illustrated Maurine Whipple’s book, This is the Place.

His largest known commission is a series of thirteen murals in the Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel in Jackson, Wyoming. He completed these between 1945 and 1950 and they can still be seen today. Clowes used stories from the history of Jackson Hole as the basis for the illustrations.

When the U.S. was drawn into World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Air Force, and later as a major in General Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters in England. Discharged in 1945, he returned to Salt Lake and resumed his career in advertising.

Clowes died in February 1959. At the time of his death he was eulogized by both of Salt Lake's daily newspapers, who recognized him "as one of the nation's outstanding painters of Western scenes."

The Pioneers by Paul Clowes, courtesy of a private collection
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