Opening Reception: Friday, September 18, 2009
Awards Reception: Friday, October 16, 2009

Salt Lake City Arts Council
Finch Lane Gallery
54 Finch Lane
Salt Lake City Utah 84102


Cris Baczek || Myranda Bair || Ashley Knudsen Baker || Joey Behrens || Cameron Bentley || Erin Berrett || Namon Bills || Linnie Brown || Aaron Bushnell || Van Chu || Chad Crane || Blue Critchfield || Edward Curry || Brody Froelich || Paris Gerrard || Matt Glass || Ben Hammond || Michael Handley || Erica Houston || Zane Lancaster || Loggins Merrill || Travis Nikolai || Joe Norman || Mallory Qualls || Hadley Rampton || Woody Shepherd || Matt Shurtleff || Steven Stradley || Corey B. Strange || Jen Suflita || Chad Tolley || Joshua Toone || Mary Toscano || Justin Wheatley ||Cristin Zimmer

Cris BaczekCris Baczek was born in Salt Lake City where she began photographing her surroundings when she was a teenager. When her family moved to Santiago, Chile, she realized a passion for the study of geography, science, and art. After returning to Salt Lake, she attended the University of Utah where a darkroom class got her hooked on photography. She has studied art and composition in Florence, Italy, Chicago, and Santa Fe, and now works for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts as the photographer of the collection.

Baczek is interested in the original photographic process of literally writing with light. "This body of work is an experiment in the poetics of the chemical science of photography. I use the landscape as a familiar setting for the chemical reactions. In the field, I shoot 35mm silver gelatin film to capture dramatic lighting in somewhat serene settings. I print the images in the darkroom, painting on the developer and fixer to chemically alter the image. The result is a composition based on the traditional chemical reactions of the photographic process –writing with light."

Cris was profiled in the February 2007 edition of 15 Bytes.


Myranda BairMyranda Bair was born in North Dakota and has an MFA in Illustration and Creative Writing from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BFA in Sculpture and Design from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches Digital Photography as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah and is a Collection Assistant at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

“An Artist Statement”

When I get really excited my skin almost vibrates…
I love dogs and cats, snails and lizards, salamanders and tigers… just creatures in general.
I like to watch people learning, especially kids, the way they think is so
simple, yet right on .
I like to help people, even if it’s just giving directions, or telling them about good restaurants to try.
I cry when something sad happens, or when something really wonderful happens too.
My artwork is about me, but it’s also about you. And I would make it no matter what.
-- Even if I were the last person on earth
-- Even if there were no pencils left
I’m pretty sure I would think of something… That’s what artists do. ‘

An article on Myranda's work will appear in the October 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.


Ashley Knudsen BakerAshley Knudsen Baker lives with her husband and young boy in Orem, where she teaches part-time at Brigham Young University. She received a BFA in printmaking from BYU and an MFA from the University of Texas San Antonio in 2004.

"In art we are never in complete control of how a piece will be interpreted. “How will this be viewed by the spectator?”, I often ask myself as the artist. This Clothing/mirror series directly deals with the spectator. The spectator actually becomes apart of the piece. The work becomes interactive and the viewer literally becomes covered in it. It is my hope that these pieces will become personal and introspective to those who view them."

Joey BehrensJoey Behrens was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of eighteen she moved to Salt Lake City where she earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah. She continues to live and work in Salt Lake dividing her time between painting, drawing, and printmaking.

"I paint…I draw…I print…to make marks. I am a mark-maker. At its most basic level, my practice of mark making is about learning first to recognize my assumptions and then to let them go. It’s about silencing my inner critic and having the confidence to make the mark. I make marks to practice seeing without assumptions. It’s a way to gain an understanding of myself through the experience of looking at something and separating my expectations and responses from what is really there; to fit myself into the context of community and culture. I take imagery directly from my surroundings. The buildings and streets, their shapes and rhythms, are an anchor- the landmarks by which I explore issues of perception, sense of place, community, and identity."

Joey was profiled in the September 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.
Take a look at her studio in the March 2008 edition of 15 Bytes.


Cameron BentleyCameron Bentley is a University of Utah student finishing a BFA in printmaking. He has recently organized a Printshop/Artists Collective called Copper Palate Press at the Guthrie buildings.

Erin BerrettErin Berrett grew up in Salt Lake City, always drawing, using watercolors, or pastels. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Utah in 1998 and has studied closely with Paul Davis and Connie Borup. After graduation she "worked, traveled around the world, got married, got dogs, and always attempted to maintain a studio." In 2004 she quit her full-time job and now works in the studio forty hours a week."

"I am energized when I paint. I love the way that texture, color, value, and painterly brushstrokes can translate my vision of a seemingly ordinary object into something permanent and remarkable. Whether I paint a purple shoe or a persimmon, I want to share my passion for transforming something routine into a painting that makes people stop and look. Ultimately, I want my viewers to reassess what they see every day and to envision the possibilities of gazing at those objects in a new way. My painting involves continually trying to find enhanced ways to capture sublime splendor and organize my thoughts. I work with oil paint, light reflection, and ways of staging objects. In the end, though, I am simply mesmerized by the process of watching a thousand brushstrokes transform themselves into a credible still life. I anticipate making magic out of commonplace things."

An article on Erin appeared in the December 2006 edition of 15 Bytes.
Take a look at her studio in the April 2008 edition of 15 Bytes.


Namon BillsNamon Bills was born in Provo and lives and works in Spanish Fork. He has a BFA in Painting from BYU (2001) and an MFA in Painting from Utah State University (2006). He was the curator of The State Street Project, a group exhibit that traveled to six venues in the state in 2008.

"As a collage and mixed media artist, my work centers largely around the Hegelian concept of synthesis. I see synthetic connections everywhere, and collage both expresses these connections and creates new ones through the interaction of disparate elements which come together in a unified whole. A natural extension of collage, mixed media processes allow me greater latitude in expressing and creating synthetic connections. Investigation into new processes, media and syntheses is necessary for the continuing vitality of the work, as well as for my own personal search for synthesis."


Linnie BrownLinnie Brown attended Brigham Young University and completed a BFA in painting and certification for K-12 Art Education in 2001. After teaching art full-time for a couple of years, she now stays home to paint and take care of my two daughters, ages 3 and 6. She is currently involved with the Lehi Arts Council, teaching occasionally and organizing local art events.

"My paintings are about achieving balance between natural and man-mage imagery. Through the process of painting, masking, and layering these images with each other, each becomes more fragmented and obscured as together they take on a new abstract identity. My paintings record the journey of two different items fitting together—a new image that is neither one nor the other, but a little bit of both."


Aaron BushnellAaron Bushnell was born in Utah in 1983. He graduated Bountiful High as the Sterling Scholar in Art and after attending SLCC for graphic design graduated with a BFA from the University of Utah in 2008. He is currently a student at the Bridge Academy of Art and lives and works from a studio on Main Street in Bountiful.

"I paint because I love to paint; I need to paint. I have things that I wish to communicate, and sometimes pictures are the best way of doing that. My favored mediums are oil and pastel. I am intrigued by urban areas ignored by current culture. I have an unusual interest in freeways, refineries, and other industrial parts in and around Utah. These areas attract me purely for reasons of curiosity. I want to know how these areas contribute to and affect our world. These urban fixtures create the things we consume and are necessary for our current survival. I see these areas as the gritty source of luxuries we enjoy. Many people do not see this seemingly absurd subject matter as beautiful. These areas of our creation and they surround us. I see beauty in these areas because I must try to see beauty in the world, beauty is the core reason I continue to exist. I paint these urban scenes with the same sensitivity as the impressionists painted mountains and lakes a hundred years ago. My subject matter is different, but my interest in loose brushwork and atmospheric virtuosity remains."


Van ChuVan Chu is a Vietnamese artist who came to the United States in 2001. He is currently a MFA candidate majoring in Photography/Digital Imaging at the University of Utah.His photographic artworks carry the spirit of traditional Chinese painting but combined with the use of modern technology, acrylic, water and calligraphy ink, they depict a portrait of the artist himself as an outsider on the American shore.

"In this series I use modern digital technology, photography, calligraphy ink, acrylic paint and water to create my own version of traditional Chinese landscape paintings, not trying to re create traditional Guo Hua but simply referencing them to underline my origin, my influence, my psychological surroundings and in away creating a portrait of self, an outsider on the American shore.


Chad CraneChad Crane was born in Caldwell, Idaho and grew up in Morgan, Utah. In 2006, he graduated from Utah State University with a BFA in Drawing and Painting. He received his MFA in Drawing & Painting in 2009 from the University of Utah, where he taught beginning drawing and painting courses. He now teaches full time at Copper Hills High School.

"My most recent body of work parodies the garish, glittery romance of Western paintings. I want my work to tread the line between kitsch and fine art – something you might find at a high-end gallery but seems like it belongs at the Flying J with the key chains and shot glasses. I am selecting the cheesiest images I can imagine; but I paint the images in a more artistically complex visual language then typical of cheesy Western paintings. As part of this synthesis/dichotomy of separate aesthetic worlds, I use traditional fine art mediums such as acrylic, ink, and oil paint in combination with “crafty,” “low art” materials like toll paint crackle glaze, sand texture paint, glitter, sequin beads and sparkly plastic jewels. The “bling bling” in my paintings is a reminder that the West I know is a style, a snazzy shirt and tight pair of jeans, not a location."

Chad was profiled in the April 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.


Blue CritchfieldBlue Critchfield was born in Utah in 1979 to artistic parents. He grew up in a geodesic dome his father constructed on the outskirts of Heber City. "It was like growing up inside a sculpture that seemed to breathe a life of its own through the aspirations of my father and my family. Because of the never-ending repairs and modifications that were made, and the familial evolutions which passed through it, the dome’s persona was in a continual flux.” He earned a BFA from the University of Utah in 2003. He shares a studio with his wife Erica Houston (a colored pencil artist) at Artspace (230 S. 500 W. suite 150).

Currently, Blue is painting about different aspects of the human condition by referencing his own experiences and observations as well as those of other people. Blue is attempting to strike a balance between conscious and unconscious inspirations in a belief that this will keep his work fresh and progressive.

"Some of my paintings flash into my mind without any clear objective, and others are created to describe more specific things that appear incongruous or surreal in my daily life. Whether the pieces are inspired more by subconscious or conscious influences, I attempt to strike a balance of these elements in every painting. By synthesizing realistic languages and abstractions (in unexpected, colorful, and often humorous ways), I hope the viewer feels encouraged to question their own social, philosophical, and/or spiritual realities."

Blue was profiled in the March 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.


Edward CurryEdward Curry

Brody FroelichBrody Froelich was a film student at the University of Utah and now does design work for companies in Salt Lake. He is self-taught in the plastic arts and has been working as a professional artist since 2004.

"I treat art like life: experimentation, mistakes, and sudden inspiration are key. Often changing drastically with just a few strokes, yet inevitably morphing into something greater than imagined. Always beautiful, yet interpreted differently by every person."


Paris GerrardParis Gerrard was born in Salt Lake in 1987. She studied under the late Helen Wiscomb and has been working as a professional artist since 2000. She shares a studio with her artist mother, Jill Barton, in the Flynn Artipelago.

"Painting for me is a paradox. It is a process that allows me to sort through past experiences or explore uncharted emotional territory while at the same time being present in the very moment. I love the immediacy of painting, how it brings me into a direct and instant involvement with the work. It almost seems as though the painting itself is alive and active in the process. I often begin with an image that speaks to me, or if I am working abstractly, with perhaps just a feeling or color. Sometimes I feel my work is bold and serious, sometimes it feels light, perhaps even sweet. No matter what, for me, it is an evolution that becomes a process of discovery. I love to try to recreate for others the way that I see the world.”


Matt Glass was born in 1981 in New Jersey but has spent most of his life in Utah. In 2005 he graduated from Weber State University with a major in photography. His visual world has been more inspired by film than by photographers and he explores his photography as a way to tell stories and create atmosphere -- to create still movies.

"In my most recent series, I have been creating cinematic photographs that depict an apocalyptic alternative reality. Each photograph represents a different narrative, but they all take place in the same apocalyptic world. In this world, an unknown event has left humanity in ruin. The source of the violence and destruction is never seen. The human reaction to this apocalypse is the focus. The extreme shadows and highlights as well as the theatrical gesturing in these photographs is inspired by the painting style of Baroque artists Caravaggio and Rembrandt. These techniques add intensity to the subject matter and give the photographs a cinematic feel.

My goal with this series is to encapsulate an epic story in each photograph, but also to remain ambiguous enough to allow viewers to draw their own conclusions.


Ben HammondBen Hammond was born in 1977 and raised in the rural town of Pingree, Idaho, where his love for art was nurtured from the time he was a small boy. He studied art at Ricks College graduating with a degree in Illustration. While at college, he found himself dedicating more and more of his time to sculpting. He also gained a great appreciation for traditional art and decided to devote his time to sculpting the human figure. He is also a talented portrait artist and for the past three years he has been commissioned to complete portrait busts for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He resides in American Fork.

"I love to create art. I love expressing my perception of life through the human figure. However, I feel that my love of creating art is not enough. Great art needs to be composed, designed, and show a deep understanding of the subject that is being represented. All the art I admire from the old masters to the present have these characteristics in common. My goal is to study these characteristics and apply them to my own work.

While I sculpt from what I see, what I see does not dictate what I sculpt. Each of my sculptures is composed to keep the viewer engaged in the piece through the elements and principles of design; every gesture, each fold of drapery, the pose of the figure, etc. are arranged in a manner that the viewer’s eye is led and kept engaged within the piece of sculpture."


Michael Ryan Handley is a native Utahn who grew up in both small rural towns and in Utah's larger metropolitan areas. Until recent years he has denied art as being apart of him. Now, art has faced him head on with a guiding light that he cannot deny. As an artist he is very interested in the realm of performance, mixed media, installation and responding to his environment as a means of making art. He is currently working towards a BFA in Intermedia Sculpture at the University of Utah.

In 174 Angels he says "I wanted to replicate the simple pleasures that are associated with the creation of a snow angel. Through replication, the experience worsened and any feelings of pleasure were replaced by pain and disgust of having to do another snow angel. I chose to do this performance at a specific site for the reason of how an institution can take the pleasures or joys of our lives and turn them into painful and dreading experiences. 'Untitled' deals with the problems that we continuously create for our selves and how we work through them. In this performance I have tied knots into a length of rope creating problems where none had existed before. I then solve these problems by untying the knots. I want to show that by slowing down, focusing and investigating these problems we are able to gain knowledge to work through them in the future."


Erica Houston was born in Melbourne, Florida in 1980, and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah with her family in 1986. While attending Highland High school, she began exploring different mediums and found a liking towards prismacolor colored pencils. She has studied at Salt Lake Community College and the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota , Florida. In 2006 she and her husband Blue Critchfield moved into the new Artspace studios located in downtown Salt Lake City. Their studio is part of the monthly gallery stroll.

"My work begins with observing people; whether its family, friends or co workers. I think about how their unique personalities react emotionally to their expectations of themselves, others, and what they feel others expect of them. In my work I try to capture that glimmer of awareness the moment a person is willing to see themselves more clearly. At times, I use patterns to show the structure of habits a person has created, is trying to escape, or is trapped in. I use bright colors to represent moments of opportunity or awareness."

Zane Lancaster was born in 1979 in Evanston, Wyoming. He received a BFA in Painting from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2003 and an MFA from The University of Utah in 2008. He currently teaches drawing at the University of Utah and is represented by Salt Lake City’s ‘A’ Gallery.

"These paintings were created during a year of presidential election and greed induced economic decline. The images are executed using encaustic and egg tempera, two relatively archaic and tedious mediums once used for death portraits and religious iconography, now depicting icons of success, wealth, and economic and political power. The predominant source of reference imagery for these paintings is the political photo-op, photos of men meeting to determine the lives of millions, negotiate deals, to begin and end wars. They are awkward moments of niceties and formality, posed handshakes, a kiss on the hand, a feigned smile. The teeth and the ties are emphasized as symbols of well dressed aggression, status, and significance, you have to be trusted so you can take the biggest bite."

Zane was profiled in the July 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.
Take a look at his studio in the November 2008 edition of 15 Bytes.

Loggins Merrill was born and raised in Salt Lake City and graduated from Brigham Young University in Design with an emphasis in modern furniture. He lived in Berlin, married a Swiss typographer, and speaks Danish to his four boys. He says: "Influences to my art have been Japanese Design with its focus both in nature and simplicity, as well as the Bauhaus period with their concentration on shape and form. I often merge elements of nature and the manufacturing industry together for a subtle contrast."


Travis NikolaiTravis Nikolai, born in 1984 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, came to Salt Lake when his mother found work here as a nurse. He began his studies at the University of Utah studying philosophy but decided he had had enough of writing papers and "began pursuing art in an effort to lead the most illegitimate life possible while still attending college." He is in the senior year of his BFA. "My work focuses on feelings of isolation, alienation, and misanthropy. Much of the content is derived from exploring–wandering both physically and psychologically–in a sort ‘journey as destination’ mind-set. On these walkabouts I encounter a variety of urban textures, which I find enthralling. Each layer speaks volumes about someone who built something, posted a notice, tagged, or otherwise made some gesture to interact with their surroundings and be remembered. In this regard art to me is a way to make connections with a strange and inhospitable world."


Joe NormanJoe Norman graduated with a degree in Product Design and worked with several design consulting firms for a number of years on projects ranging from children's toys to fast food to sport utility vehicles to cleaning products. He then taught art and science at the middle and high school levels before focusing on handmade and site-specific furniture and sculpture, specifically that which builds environments that support and promote communities.

"I started making art to help sustain our communities using thoughtful design to care for the world and the people that live on it. I have come to the realization that we do not need more stuff in our lives that does not bring us together. We seem to be focused on getting and using computers, vehicles, and food more than being with the people around us. The things that we buy and use don’t have to keep us apart, though; it is around kitchen tables and coffee mugs that we have some of our most important conversations. I have chosen to use things that already exist (wooden pallets, bomb fins, and bike gears, for example) to make meaningful stuff that helps people gather together and understand each other. Reclaimed materials have a rich story to tell through their previous purposes, battle scars, and worn patinas."


Mallory Qualls, born in Sandy, Utah in 1985, earned an MFA with an emphasis in photography from the University of Utah in 2009. She now works in Salt Lake City. "This series is an exploration of abstract art. When a painter creates an abstract painting, they are creating an image that originates in their imagination. Pollock's drip paintings, for example, are a physical manifestation of his self-expression. The photographer does not have this luxury, regardless of the content of the image that they create, what they capture will always contain an element of truth. While exploring this series I have questioned, can photography truly be abstract? My images are not a creation of my imagination; rather they are manipulated scenes, rooted in reality."


Hadley RamptonHadley Rampton grew up in Salt Lake City and holds a BFA from the University of Utah with a minor in Art History. She is a Fine Art consultant at Phillips Gallery.

"I began painting outside, mainly in the mountains, due to my love of wilderness. The beauty, the peace, the energy of ever-transitory life; it gave me a desire to create and express greater than any other experience I have known. Over the years this desire has never waned. Even the same location can time and again leave me with a fresh sense of awe. What has changed is my understanding of and appreciation for what nature brings to me. As life has become more complex I value the hours I spend in the mountains painting for the opportunity they give me to clear my head, calm my thoughts, center myself and become fully present in the moment and in my life."

A review of Hadley's work appeared in the February 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.


Woody Shepherd was born in 1980 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and lived most of his childhood outside Birmingham, Alabama. He obtained a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2003), with an emphasis in painting and drawing, and a MFA from Yale University (2005) in painting and printmaking. Since 2005, Shepherd has lived in Logan, Utah, where he is an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Utah State University. Shepherd's studio is based in Logan, where he continues to work on his paintings.

Shepherd’s paintings are formed both plein-air and in the studio. He uses various paint applications and layering techniques that interact harmoniously to simulate the correlation between the internal and external facets of perception. "My paintings reflect my fascination with the beauty found in the interaction between perception, painting, and the natural environment. Beauty is created when a composition achieves a balance within the tension between contrasting forms and stylistic representations. This tension emerges when a composition encompasses a myriad of formal elements. When the inner forces of the tension are particularly dynamic, a painting explodes with sensations; that is profound sentiments are produced from a clash between visual energies and stylistic descriptions. Separate but interwoven fragments of representations provide the viewer with many ways to perceive a landscape. The various parts of my paintings can be viewed differently depending upon the focal point. As the viewer’s focus changes, the separate fragments rearrange to form new, unified, patterns and spaces, causing him/her to perceive different realities."


Matt Shurtleff was born in Ogden in 1979. He holds an AS in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley State College and a BA in Geography and BFA in Painting from Brigham Young University (2008). He lives with his wife and daughter in Orem, where he also maintains his studio.

"My current work revolves around the concept of loneliness. I have been exploring the idea that a thing or a place can only become lonely once a human has seen or interacted with it and then left it alone. A desert that has never been seen before is not lonely; it merely exists. Once a human has seen or experienced that desert and then decides not to visit it again or declares it to be ‘boring’ or ‘ugly’ or some other thing, then it becomes lonely. Objects are the same way, and people can be too. I look at objects dealing with space to examine this idea of loneliness. Neil Armstrong left his boots on the moon before coming back to earth. They have been sitting there, unseen by human eyes for over thirty years. They were cast off as no longer useful and forgotten. The immensity of distance between us and the moon adds an intense aspect to the loneliness, as these objects may never be seen again."


Steven Stradley is an artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born in Salt Lake in 1981, he was always encouraged to pursue his interests and talents. This led to the study of painting at Utah State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2006. He currently makes art daily in his Salt Lake studio and teaches art at Mountain Ridge Junior High School in Highland, Utah. Proactive in his ideas about art and the art world, Steven has been involved in expanding the minds of artists and non-artists alike. Every month he hosts art discussion and critiques at his Salt Lake home.

"This work involves an interpretation of biological systems. It is through the systems at work in our bodies that allows the function of life. I am interested in the neurological interconnection with the rest of the body, in particular the nervous system. Brain activity creates an electronic stimulus that communicates information throughout the body, driving action. The way in which the brain functions is due, in large part, to our interactions with the surrounding world. What we intake becomes internalized as part of our neurological self. This in turn affects the output from the brain to the body. External forces influence on the brain, such as disease, virus, and addiction play into my concept for the work. When an outside force is introduced, it may intertwine itself into one’s neurological system. By creating layers of interrelated systems in the painting, I am addressing the complexity of the mind and its interaction with the body and the external influence that alters or drives internal stimulus. The painting must be complex in order to define varieties of systems at work.


Corey B. Strange was born on the banks of the Mississippi River. In 2001, in an effort to reclaim his roots from his Southern California work-a-day lifestyle, Corey chose to study painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 2004, he journeyed deeper into his ancestral heritage by deciding to study art in Edinburgh, Scotland. By a series of providential events, Edinburgh College of Art was forced to send him back to the United States, and subsequently BYU, to finish out the last part of his Master's degree. Since graduating in 2006, Corey has persisted in searching for his voice in a love-hate relationship with contemporary art. As of last year he has repented from his hostility and found new direction to focus his idealistic artistic energies- social injustices perpetuated by our government and allowed by it populace.

"The anger that fuels this work is defined by a feeling of rebellion against the injustices perpetuated by our government. From readings of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and philosophy surrounding the founding fathers of America, I believe that our nation and freedoms are being taken hostage at an alarming rate. Each piece is a personal protest- a rallying cry- to entice the viewer to 1) Become informed of pertinent issues 2) Engage in a critical dialogue and 3) Act to protect their God-given rights as American citizens."


Jen SuflitaJen Suflita With her soft voice and sweet young face, Suflita is often mistaken for someone ten years younger. In contrast, her paintings speak with the bold powerful voice of an accomplished veteran. While earning her BFA at Utah State University, she examined personal relationships and sought to understand people and their complex emotions using art as her vehicle. The art created from this pursuit has earned numerous acknowledgements, including scholarships from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Utah State University, and BYU, where she has also spoken as a guest lecturer. Her professional experience includes teaching art to USU students in Essen Germany, working as a visiting artist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, as well as frequently exhibiting her work.

"My approach to art, like my life, is spontaneous and chaotic more than it is systematic. Individuals and their relationships intrigue me. While I can think things through intellectually, I tend to act on the emotionally satisfying decisions. Not only does this happen in my interactions with people, this theme also surfaces in the way I create art. For me, the process of making art is where decision-making and intuition, turmoil and harmony, action and contemplation, all come together. By experimenting with size, from small and intimate to huge and imposing, I explore the interaction among subjects, for which I have an incessant curiosity. I have also come to understand what a powerful effect that color, mark-making, or composition can play in the overall influence of a piece. I am interested in the expression of the figure, but also the meaning expressed by a beautiful line or brush mark.

Listen to an interview with Jen at our blog.


Chadwick TolleyChadwick Tolley was born in Missoula, MT in 1975 and currently resides in Salt Lake. He earned a BFA from the University of Utah in 2001 and an MFA from the Universit of Oregon in 2005.

"My work begins as process of collecting. I collect photos, textures, magazine clippings and notes from personal observation. Most of these materials are assembled together in my sketchbook to create a sort of log book. It is in my sketchbook that I process ideas and create drawing assemblages from which I develop prints. My drawings and prints are filled with visual metaphors that suggest a sort of ironic or humorous narrative. Each narrative is an intuitive response to material accumulated through observation, introspection and visual mapping. I hope that the final product will be somewhat ambiguous and arrive somewhere between the literal and abstract. It has been through my work that I have discovered reoccuring themes. Those themes are rooted in the exploration of relationships, transformation and a fascination with contradiction.

An article on Chad's work appeared in the May 2007 edition of 15 Bytes.


Joshua TooneJoshua Toone was born and raised in Taylorsville Utah and currently resides in Layton Utah. He recently received an associates degree in graphic design.

After helping his dad build sculptures he soon started sketching ideas of his own. He discovered his new passion of working with metal to create unique pieces that conjure different feelings and emotions. He started building sculptures of his own in 2008

The work is primarily done in stainless steel and steel. He loves the contrast of shiny smooth stainless in direct contact with rough and rusted steel. His work at times portrays a dark feeling while other times it evokes a feeling of hope and strength.


Mary ToscanoMary Toscano holds a BFA from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Printmaking and Photography. She lives in Salt Lake City and works at the Book Arts Program at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah. Her work has been exhibited in local venues and at national print conferences.

With characters ranging from realistic figures to chimerical hybrids, Toscano’s prints and drawings tell stories about memories and fantasies. Each individual piece tells a loose narrative and represents a self-contained story. Her portfolio represents reinterpretations of childhood memories tempered by life’s experiences. Toscano’s recent drawings focus on the simplicity of the line. By concentrating on representing her subject with minimalist lines and sparse coloration, the spotlight is turned to the precision of her work. By using techniques of drawing, printmaking, and washes, Toscano’s work incorporates complex textures that complement the cleanness of the line.

She will be showing at Kayo Gallery in 2010.


Justin WheatleyJustin Wheatley lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he teaches art at Cyprus High School. He escapes the city on a regular basis to enjoy the beauty of the eclectic Utah landscape. Though not strictly a landscape painter, the influence of his natural surroundings is evident in all of his work. Justin graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Utah State University in 2006.


Cristin ZimmerCristin Zimmer is a ceramic sculptor based in Salt Lake City, UT. She received her BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in ceramics from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA in 2001. Originally from Denver CO, she moved to Salt Lake City in 2003, drawn to the area by the University of Utah and the plentiful recreational opportunities. Having realized her dream of becoming a ski bum, she quit her winter job as a ski patroller and summer job as a river guide to devote herself to clay. Now a graduate student at the University of Utah, Cristin is pursuing her MFA in ceramics focusing on large scale figurative sculpture. Cristin’s playful, primitive looking figurations address questions about the nature of humanity and psychological states common to us all.

"I work to capture the innate and collective aspects of human consciousness in my current body of work by re-visioning primitive figurations from two sets of ancient influences. The imagery is rooted in thriving past civilizations, mostly from the Aegean cradle of the Neolithic Cycladic culture and Ancient Greek mythology to the Maya and Aztec cultures of Central America, spun with that of the industrialized, modern world. Surface and material add urgency to the search. I leave surfaces rough and work them quickly, as if my figures have emerged violently from the earth. This forceful approach to the clay creates a strength and also a tension in the forms, evoking the fragile balance that's allowed humans to survive over the millennia. Colorful mosaic fragments point to the rich, decorative ceramic tradition, but ultimately become part of the conglomerate stew from which the figures emerge, in many pieces becoming the psychological “baggage” that many people acquire and carry throughout their lives. Using a local, aggressive and toothy red clay with added debris further emphasizes these ancient creation myths of subterranean emergence. "

Take a look at her studio in the September 2009 edition of 15 Bytes.


Contact us at 35x35@artistsofutah.org