Return to Artists of Utah site

"Giving everyone their fifteen
bytes of fame".
Inside This Issue
The Fate of Painted Rock / Art Access: Look Again-P2
Art & Soup Wrap-Up-P3
Alternative Venue: Lamb's Cafe
/ Artist Gathering-P4
The Ventilator / Gallery Stroll Previews / Odds & Ends-P5
May 2002
Published every 6 weeks by Artists of Utah, a non-profit organization
On display at the Spring Salon: La Jeune Femme by Jeannine Young and Reframing by Layne Meacham (Photos by Steve Coray)

Exhibition Review
Spring Salon:
The Good Stuff

By Robert S. Olpin
So, a little over a week ago or so, this guy named Shawn Rossiter calls and asks if I will write something about this year's Springville Salon and I say yes! Why did I do that? I don't have the slightest idea, unless it was this: "Artists of Utah develops a website that has become a crossroads for Utah's visual arts community." (Utah Cultural Alliance E-Newsletter, May 13, 2002) "Artists of Utah" is the group Rossiter represents and I just happen to think it's cool that these people have gathered together this way (electronically, one might say) even if an old guy like me does see it that way.

So now it is later on Monday, May 13, 2002, the day after I got my Spring Semester grades done, and I'm safely inside a closed (ever on Monday) Springville Museum of Art. (I say "safely" because I always fall asleep at the wheel when I pass BYU on the highway and never know if I will live or die on each trip to this place.) And, even more specifically, I'm now into what Vern Swanson, Springville's museum director, calls "The Glory Room." Its the big one next to the front windows where all the award-winning stuff is on display during any given Salon, and these would be the "Jurors Awards," the "Director's Awards," and the "Merit Awards."

The Jurors this year were Jody Clotz-Veletes, an old friend of Vern's now of Abilene, but for years a 19th-century art expert working in New York City, and Donna Poulton, a great friend and colleague of ours here in Utah with an excellent eye for contemporary work of excellence. Swanson's policy over the years has been to invite one juror from outside the state and one from within, one interested in "traditional" work and the other with a greater interest in different "contemporary" forms, and one female and one male juror. So the two women jurors this year were an exception, and guess what? They worked better together than any other team Vern has seen doing this job over the years.

Further, they accepted 241 works out of 942. That's 701 pieces "out of here"; "thanks, but no thanks"; sorry Charlene, but we found your work not good enough - - a serious venture this "How do you like me so far" art business! But "The Glory Room," as it turns out, can make one (at least if you are an old art historian) forget the preceding carnage and find some excellent selections for awards within. An old friend's work for one, a merit award winner called Top Hat. It is a 1988-dated watercolor on satin by Bonnie Phillips that is big (40 x 40"), and square, and filled with that kind of sweeping and rich transparency Bonnie has become known for over the years.

And next to it another merit award-winner even larger, a 2002 diptych by Clay Wagstaff, of Tropic, showing fine old poplars in each section (72 x 36" each) that relate rather wonderfully well to low horizons beyond. Here is expansive and monumental nature becoming a kind of altar, this as opposed to the Phillips abstraction next to it so wisely drawn from our wide-open spaces in part. A good combination this, near the entry to the gallery. And then across the way there is another large merit award-winner, called Reframing (72 x 66 3/8"), done in 2000 by the colorfield expressionist painter, Layne Meacham. In fact much in this show seems large in size, and I am finally told by director Swanson that I'm right to think so because in fact the entries this year have been larger than ever before. And for whatever reasons, less watercolor ended-up in this exhibition which, by the way, is the second largest in number of works ever. (The 2001 edition was the largest of all time in number of pieces, the third largest was in 2000, and .., well I think we may see a trend here.)

Continued on Page 4

Utah Alternative 2002

Underway at the Wells Fargo Center, 299 S. Main, is "Utah Alternative 2002," an exhibition of 45 contemporary artists who started their artistic careers in Utah. Some have moved on, but still continue to exhibit in Utah, leaving their mark on the local art scene and continuing to have a following here.

The exhibited artists are progressive in their work, always changing and developing new ideas and approaches to making art. The resulting artworks range from representational to conceptual, often commenting on social and political issues and requiring the interaction and response of the viewer. Alternative art, not largely collected privately and usually found in corporate and museum collections, exists on the outskirts of most commercial galleries and is therefore under represented in the community. The show runs through July 19. For more info, call 322-2428.

Artist Profile
Pilar Pobil

by Shawn Dallas Stradley
I have known Pilar for many years and it is always a pleasure to visit her in her beautiful home. She lives life as full, colorful and vibrant as the many paintings she has done over the years, many of which adorn her bright home. Pilar is from Mallorca, Spain, and creates in her everyday life, her artistic works, and even her charming conversation, an intoxicating blend of the Mediterranean and the Rocky Mountain West.

Personally, I don't get too enthused about how the scholars and reviewers interpret an artist's work. That has never worked for me, so I won't take that approach. For this article, I have included just a small, representative portion of the conversation I had with Pilar. Through her descriptive responses, it was a delight to learn first-hand from this talented artist how she found her way to painting and what inspires her.

Your resume answers one of my questions, and that is, you are self taught?
Pilar: Yes, and I am sort of proud of it.

Shawn: Well, you should be. Your work is wonderful, it is very successful.
Pilar: When I started, I was older. I had always wanted to be an artist, as I think I have probably told you, but in Spain I didn’t have a chance. My family, they were very conservative and my mother didn’t want her daughters to do anything. So, when I came here and I had children I thought the opportunity was long gone. Then all of a sudden I started doing sculptures. My son, who was fifteen, wanted to have a class in photography at the Art Barn. My husband said, “ Why don’t you take a class in something so you don’t have be driving him back and forth?” I said okay and I took a pottery class. I always had to wait for the wheel and while I was waiting I started forming things with the clay, and I decided that is what I wanted to do.

Continued on Page 3

Celebrating The Human Form

Fables Fine Art, a gallery begun by artists earlier this year, has organized "Celebrating the Human Form", a collection of 2D and 3D artwork which interprets the beauty of the human form in all styles.  The exhibition opeining will be Friday June 21, the same weekend as the Utah Arts Festival, at Fables, located at 60 E. Exchange Place, SLC, UT.  For more information call Stephen 435-232-1130, Lynn 801-706-5231 or Dan 801-484-5161.