Artys 2010 | Artys | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Artys 2010 

Celebrating Utah's Arts: The best in local theater, dance, art & more.

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This Noisy Egg, by Nicole Walker

Emotionally charged with diverse explorations into life and physicality, University of Utah alumna Nicole Walker’s This Noisy Egg doesn’t read like most poetry collections. The 39 pieces—some extending 12 pages—prompt the reader into reliving experiences from which their lives were defined. Poems like “Canister & Turkey Vulture” and “The Coroner Senses a Blackbird” are saturated with hidden meanings, folded over one another in a thoughtful arrangement that urges a second reading. None are written or designed to complement each other, yet somehow they do—almost like a collection of misfit prose.

Sofa King

Started as a spirited idea about the “ridiculousness” between friends by local ziners Willy Nevins and Ty Weeks, Sofa King’s first issue was published in 2009, and to the surprise of its creators, the public dug it. It was a collaborative effort between the two as well as several other contributors, who provided poetry, real and fictional stories, comics and collages—all for free public consumption. And to make it more interesting, every page is taped by hand before headed to the copier. Who needs a computer when you’ve got skills?

Suor Angelica (Utah Opera)

Puccini’s Suor Angelica is a tough nut to crack. The climactic moment in the story of a nun who learns that the son she was forced to give up has died involves a vision of the Virgin Mary shepherding the dead boy to his dying mother, who’s in the midst of her own suicide. The scene runs the risk of becoming unintentionally humorous, but in Utah Opera’s hands, it was an extraordinary, almost hallucinogenic moment of unadulterated tragedy. Jennifer Welch-Babidge, as the tragic Sister Angelica, stripped down her performance to its simplest and most affecting core, and as she reached out to her dead son, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The Body Illustrated, Todd Keith & Renee Keith, Utah Arts Alliance Gallery

This recently married duo took on two art forms with their essay of the human body: photography, which they’ve practiced for years, and applying painting their models, which they just recently learned. The results run from trompe-l’œil effects, in which models meld into backgrounds of fauna or wallpaper patterns, to whimsical characters that almost jump right off the emulsion. It’s all created with a spirit of great fun.

Uconoclasts: Suite 1, Trent Call & Ken Sanders, Rose Wagner Center

Among local painters, Trent Call is singular in his ability to surprise with his sheer range of styles—from graffiti-inspired pop art to colorful abstractions to subtly rendered portraits and landscapes. Uconoclasts paired him with “word portraits” by rare-book dealer Ken Sanders. Planned as a “three suite” project, Part 1 depicted literary figures with various connections to Utah, from Edward Abbey and Fawn Brodie, who have strong connections to our history, to beatnik icon Neal Cassady, who was born here but not commonly associated with the state. All their idiosyncracies shine through in this exhibition. Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3.

Contemporary Masters (Salt Lake Art Center)

Nothing at the Salt Lake Art Center has exhibited such a sense of play as this inaugural show under newly minted gallery director Adam Price. More than 23 local and national artists created their own skewed visions for 18 holes of playable miniature golf. Since each hole was also a work of art, sometimes you had to stop and just behold the sheer ingenuity before moving on in exasperation at the difficulty of some of them. Rarely has a group of artworks offered so friendly an approach.

Jamie Wyeth: Seven Deadly Sins (Salt Lake Art Center)

Perhaps it’s natural that artist Jamie Wyeth’s series of seagull paintings portraying the so-called seven deadly sins would strike a chord in Utah, given the reverence Utah shows for its state bird. But anyone who caught Wyeth’s show at Salt Lake Art Center knows that the artist—son of famed painter Andrew Wyeth—does not necessarily see the birds in a positive light. Instead, they’re ideal purveyors of the concepts of pride, gluttony, avarice, envy, lust, sloth and anger. The bold images were disturbing to some, intriguing to all, and collectively his canvases made up one of the more thought-provoking exhibitions of the year.

Cein Watson

He may have departed for Vermont this summer, but the effects of Cein Watson’s artwork remain an influence that can’t be measured. As one of the most intricate and painstakingly detailed illustrators in our art scene, his attention to the minuscule and to orientation have made his works some of the most coveted to come out of the Captain Captain Studios. Whether it be body organs without bodies, a mutated flower arrangement or a stand-alone construct with no purpose, Watson’s work has always been a refreshing trip down the wickedly elaborate.

Kier Defstar

A familiar name in local graff circles, you can find Defstar’s work all over the valley in commission pieces, not to mention being a mainstay on the 337 Memorial Wall. Personalizing his work—as if writing a memoir to some degree—while adding humorous images to the spotlight, the self-taught artist earned his cred amongst Salt Lake City’s finest and the respect of other crews both at home and abroad. Now a frequent traveler around the Americas, Defstar continues his work as an ambassador of sorts for the art form while still managing to paint Utah his own way.

Steve Robertson, Lunatic Fringe

The hairstyles created by Robertson can most easily be described as electric. Throughout his portfolio, hair stands on end, flies at gravity-defying angles and bursts with vibrant colors not found in nature. After the styling is finished, many of the models seem more suited to a journey through a world created by Tim Burton rather than Ralph Lauren. Yes, Robertson can do classic styles, and some are shown on his Website, but he really excels when he lets his creativity run wild.,

Allison Dayton

It’s not hard to see why Allison Dayton has come away with her fourth straight readers’ pick in this category. Her creative jewelry is both somehow fresh and familiar while also being global and timeless. Take her bold silver garnet dragon earrings, with faces of dragons that look pulled from the walls of some Cambodian temple. Contrast those with her cute and jangly jade, pink quartz or pearl bauble earrings attatched to smashed silver hoops, with the baubles hanging in grape-shaped bunches. With all her pieces displaying a similar refined playfulness—from golden Koi necklaces to her shattered red-coral bracelets—it’s no wonder this unstoppable diva of design keeps winning our readers’ hearts with her inspired creations.

Krista Nielson

Krista Nielson knows fashion. A seamstress and designer most of her life, she switched from playing the stock market to begin a full-time career in design, as well as to write a fashion column for a ... er ... rival publication. The move paid off: Nielson has garnered local and national awards for her designs, which merge sophistication with a sense of daring fun. Her frocks, coats and shoes are eminently the type of glamorous fashion every woman yearns to have in her closet. Her Metamorphosis collection is especially striking—imagine a ruffled black, gray and white evening dress made from old T-shirts and sweatshirts. Who says you can’t be comfortable and look hot?

Sarah de Azevedo

Even a quick browse of her portfolio explains why Oni Tattoo’s Sarah de Azevedo won this category for the second year running. From classic ink-fodder like pin-up girls to unique and whimsical sketches of an umbrella and hourglass, de Azevedo puts vitality and originality into her body art. Flowers and animals are also common to Azevedo’s work, but her birds and other wildlife are charming without being precious—like sketches out of Birds of America, not twittering cartoons. Heck, Azevedo even brings depth and beauty to a stylized head of broccoli, seemingly ensuring that her ink will not be a morning-after regret on the human canvases lucky enough to get under her needle. 325 E. 900 South, 801-355-1885,

Smog Lake City: Main Street (The Dada Factory)

If you’re reading this paper, you’ve probably dealt with the yearly inversion that turns the Wasatch Front into a bowl of polluted soup. But rather than just suffer another year in the murk, David Davis and Alex Haworth of The Dada Factory took their camera to Main Street in January and captured the essence of the smog. Showcasing downtown landmarks and residents overcome by the orange-lit haze to a groovy jazz beat, the four-minute piece highlights the beauty and overpowering nature to be found in health-impairing waste.
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