May 2017 Edition
Artist Profile: Bret Hanson

Bret Hanson has been playing guitar since he was 16. "At one point, I wanted to start using a slide guitar but I didn't want to buy one because it was so expensive," he says. "I thought to myself, maybe I can make one myself, it can't be that difficult." Such a bold and curious inclination seems quite fitting for an artist - an experimental mind constantly on the prowl for new visions and experiences. "I ended up making one and was shocked when it turned out well! I immediately began making guitars, ukuleles and banjos." Hanson quickly immersed himself in the process of designing the pieces, using unconventional materials such as reclaimed wood and cigar boxes to forge distinct designs for each instrument. The craft required him to labor intensely over each instrument, imbuing unique attributes within each object before selling his creations online. Throughout this process, Hanson unknowingly ignited a passion for woodworking, one that he has carried over into other sculptural works since largely retiring his practice of instrument making. . .


Richard Johnston

Does an artist - like a prophet - have to leave in order to be honored in his hometown (even if it's an adopted one)? It may only have been coincidence that Johnston's public art commissions came after he left the state (the percent for art program was only instituted in 1985, after all), but had they come sooner, might Johnston have stayed? If so, we would have had the pleasure of seeing many more of the elegant and evocative forms now on display at Phillips Gallery.    

Kelly O'Neill

The visceral experience of being with Sun Tunnels out of doors leaves a trace of memory that can't be replicated through any means, least of all photographs. As we come full circle - from the Land artists who eschewed the gallery space and created out of doors to those artists' works now inhabiting gallery spaces - we are in a meta situation of inhabited gallery spaces. O'Neill's work, through its interpretation and blurring of the view of Sun Tunnels, should urge us to visit (or revisit) Nancy Holt's work in person, to bridge the physical space between our bodies and the actual work.   

Whitney Horrocks 

The artist has managed to bring emotion to the surface through many layers of abstraction, showing the viewer the depth of the work even as the initial presentation may seem classically light and colorful.    

Laura Erekson Atkinson 

In her latest work, Laura Erekson Atkinson explores a very intimate experience in her life - pregnancy. "It's a beautiful process, but it can also be hard, painful and difficult," she says. "I wanted to explore all parts of pregnancy from the moment you know you have a baby all the way through postpartum."  


George Beard

Beard was an established frontiersman with an established reputation for dedication to his work and a pioneer for his country, his religion and his art. The work of du Toit and others, with help from advances in digital technology, has reanimated the soul and spirit of a true pioneer with the determinism of a frontiersman and the vision of an artist. . . 

Behind the Zion Curtain

The works are as varied as Utah's environment, running the gamut from comedy to serious reflection on political and social issues. Whether visitors are new to the state or informed and opinionated about local controversies, they will find the exhibition a refreshing push for artists to engage with Utah and its shifting place in history.

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Barbara Ellard

Barbara Ellard has mastered the ability to combine simplicity of form with complexity of surface, a fact that easily can be seen in her ceramics show, Organic Geometry. For this exhibition, Ellard has managed to create several pieces that are strikingly unique, using "alternative firing processes, such as pit firing, raku and saggar firing [as] new ways ... to enhance the surfaces," of her sculptural works.

Laura Hope Mason

Filled in with color, shade and detail, many of these "landscapes" would be fairly pedestrian ones. Left to solo, though, the lines come across with a sense of authority, provoking joy as they fire the mirror neurons in our brain to imagine tracing a pencil across a piece of paper or a stick in the sand as we admire the landscape before us.


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Doug Tolman

Camera in hand, Salt Lake City photograph Doug Tolman boarded a bus bound for Central America and found himself looking at the world through windows and doors.     

Denae Shenadiin  

What is the role of the artist: storyteller, activist, documentarian?  Denae Shanidiin combines all three in an exhibition celebrating the American Indian Movement.  
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Larry Menlove's personal response to Brooke Williams' Open Midnight


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