Peer Review 

Local arts luminaries share the Best of Utah Arts awards they would give.

Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find selections by City Weekly readers and by our own staff and contributors for the Best of Utah Arts. But what do the people in the local arts community think should get awards? We asked a few significant figures—including some who are former City Weekly award winners themselves—what they think should get an award this year, with the single condition that they needed to identify something that wasn't in their particular field. Here's what they had to share.

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Jerry Rapier (Artistic Director, Plan-B Theatre Co.)
"Once upon a time, I cast a kid (now known as DJ/producer Party Favor, but that's another story) in a play. I quickly became friends with his father—a world-class painter, sculptor and public artist. I now have a Greg Ragland collection in my home (two sculptures, four paintings), strategically placed to ensure I encounter each of them each day. They feed my soul. I don't have room for them all in my house, but you can experience his public art pieces throughout the city, any time, any day: '3 Hummingbirds in Blue' and 'Feathers in the Wind' as part of Flying Objects, 'Serve and Protect' [pictured] outside the Public Safety Building, 'No Salt Just Pepper,' 'Three Peas in a Pod' and 'Starters' at People's Portable Garden, and 'Happy-Go-Lucky' at Jordan Meadows Park." GregRagland.com

Kristian Anderson (Executive Director, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art)
"I would give an award to Salt Lake City's entire professional contemporary dance community. We are fortunate that we have both quantity and quality with tremendous companies like S.B. Dance, Ririe-Woodbury, RDT and Now ID. Whether you want to go to something disconcerting (like S.B. Dance's All Saint's Salon), something sublime (like Now ID's Exodus), or something for the family (like Ririe-Woodbury's Flabbergast), there is something new, beautiful and created locally that will fit the bill. How lucky are we to have such a rich community to experience here that is on par with what would be found in much larger cities."

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Tori Baker (Executive Director, Salt Lake Film Society)
"As a film leader, I am driven by visual storytelling. When I seek theater, dance, music or events, I find those that engage me most incorporate creatively added visual experiences. This year, I was amazed by the children's play produced by Salt Lake Acting Co., Climbing With Tigers [pictured]. Performed in an intimate black box, the play beautifully explored themes of independence, fear, bravery and disability, all through the lens of a little black bird named Blue. Even more inspirational was how the play engaged kids of all ages in the theatrical experience and incorporated creative, intellectual respect for the audience."

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Anne Holman (The King's English Bookshop)
"Scotty Mitchell is a pastel landscape artist based in Torrey, Utah. Since the mid-1970s, her ethereal portraits [pictured] of Capitol Reef and other southwestern Utah environs have captured the hearts and imaginations of locals and non-locals alike. No other artist evokes our unique Utah light like Mitchell, whether it's a sunny day, a gathering storm, or a quiet sunset, her paintings surprise and delight again and again." ScottyMitchell.com

Adam Sklute (CEO & Artistic Director, Ballet West)
"Lifetime Achievement Award for Utah Arts Festival's 40th anniversary: This year in particular, I feel we must recognize the monumental contributions the Utah Arts Festival has made on the cultural, artistic and economic landscape of our state. At 40, it continually reinvents itself, just like the many art forms it represents, keeping it current, vibrant and engaging. The Utah Arts Festival advances the artists and exalts the artistry being produced in Utah. In doing so, it enhances the quality of life for all of us." UAF.org

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