2017 Young Creators Awards

Art Around the Corner Awards Young Creators

The Gala dinner kicking off the annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit was an inspiration again this year as we celebrated the talented artists who submitted their pieces, and recognized the sponsors and patrons who help make it all possible.  But there was a different twist this time around, as we awarded two gifted young student sculptors, who participated in the very first iteration of our new Young Creators Program. Each of the winners was awarded a $300 scholarship from Art Around the Corner (AAC).  

Sam Harr, 17 years old, displayed an original metal sculpture that he completed in a Dixie High School welding class.  Titled “Chain Rose”, it showcases the intriguing contrast of a delicate flower supported by a heavy chain stem. “I found the perfect piece of chain, and an old metal grate for the base, that would have been thrown away. To me, the piece means that no matter how much you get beat up, it will shape you and make you stronger. This whole experience makes me want to do more creative things. I like taking these random items and making them into something interesting.”  

Logan Clark, 16 and attending Dixie High School, exhibited his work “Vaquero”. The piece combines welded horseshoes and scrap metal in an intricate creation that brings to mind the old west. Logan, son of noted local sculptor Matt Clark, has an artistic streak that runs deep. As an infant, his father would take him into the studio with him and he started welding at age six.  When he was eight years old, he created a robot with gears that moved. Arranging items and components in strange, unexpected ways is what fires his imagination.

Last fall, Art Around the Corner began this new initiative, to encourage and grow high-school-aged artists living within the Washington County School District. The centerpiece of the Young Creators Program is a juried contest, featuring original three-dimensional sculpture. The mission is to provide a platform for young, emerging artists to receive exposure and gain confidence in their artistic abilities.

“It’s so wonderful to see this program come to life”, says Kasi Miller, AAC board member. “ We want to inspire the younger generation to keep art alive and thriving in our great community. Having them at the Gala lets us honor them just as we honor older, experienced sculptors. It’s a place for these up-and-coming artists to be surrounded by those that can help them grow and develop into their greatness.”

This coming Fall, we’ll be launching another Young Creators contest, working through the schools to announce the program and bring more new talent into the Southern Utah creative community. So, for budding young artists, their parents and their art teachers, now is the time to start thinking about concepts that could be entered into the contest.  Up to twelve student artists can be selected, and each will be invited to attend the Gala dinner in the spring as AAC debuts the new works of art in the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit.

Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation working to enhance downtown St. George with captivating outdoor art.  The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is the foundation’s flagship project, which each year selects around two dozen sculptures for an temporary installation.  Organizations and individuals can buy pieces for public or private installation. The foundation retains a portion of the proceeds, which in turn funds expansion of the city’s permanent sculpture collection.  

Cindy Trueblood
Director of Sales & Community Relations

Artist Story: Matt Clark

Transformative Cowboy Sculptor

I will always have a deep emotional connection to Art Around the Corner because this program introduced me to Matt Clark.  In the 12 years since, my life has been immeasurably enriched by the friendship we have forged. Matt is a master artist, enlightened philosopher, wise councilor, and one of my most treasured friends.

He is also the most genuine person I know, without a smidge of pretension. Matt certainly is not concerned with what others think of him, and sometimes can be brutally honest.  But even in those moments there is a natural compassion that flows freely from him. I have learned more spiritual truths in Matt’s presence then I have anywhere else.

People say suffering is the gateway to enlightenment.  Perhaps this is why Matt is such a sage. He knows heartache.  As a young man, he was paralyzed when a vehicle he was working under fell on him.  He has been in a wheelchair ever since. But this is not the story I want to tell about Matt.  It is only the backdrop for an incredible life, still unfolding.

Matt once explained the personal importance of his work.  He related how, when his injury first occurred, the medical professionals saw him as broken.  They advised his parents to put him in an institution since the burden of caring for him would be too great.  Basically, they were ready to throw him away. Fortunately for all of us, Matt’s parents didn’t listen and later he decided to become a sculptor, creating art for his own spiritual healing and for uplifting others.  

Today, Matt uses recycled items to create his art.  He finds scraps discarded as no longer useful—rusted, broken, and tossed aside.  Matt asks himself, “What is the best purpose for this object.” He searches for each piece’s innate power and gives it a new reason to be.  For him, the transformation is symbolic of his own journey.

As a teenager he dreamed of becoming a world champion cowboy.  Now he expresses that dream by creating majestic horses. Although minimal in execution, they convey power and personality.  Standing next to one the other day I thought, “If only I could win your trust, I bet you could take me to magical places full of wonder and awe.”       

If you visit Matt’s work shop, you’ll see on the wall this saying from the book, As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, “Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven.  The world is beautiful because they have lived. Dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.  Your ideal is the prophesy of what you shall at last unveil”. We anxiously await the unveiling of your next dream, Matt.

Art Around the Corner is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts and enriching our community.  AAC’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit features sculptures by nationally renowned artists on public display in the downtown area of St. George, Utah. If you’re interested in sponsoring or purchasing a piece or want to be involved, please contact Cindy Trueblood.

Cindy Trueblood
Art Around the Corner
Director of Sales & Community Relations
www.artaroundthecorner.org

Artist Story: Christ Coleman

Chris Coleman and the Magic of Art

What makes art good?  It’s a deceptively simple question.  Art is supposed to be subjective. The value lies in the eyes of the beholder.  On the other hand, it seems there should be some way to measure it, some kind of standards.  Pondering this question, I found a couple of responses that ring true to me:

“Good art is timeless”, says Robert Shimshak, Chair of Collections for the Berkeley Art Museum.  “It has a simple and rigorous beauty that commands your gaze and thought whenever you look at it.  You know it when you see it. It’s personal. You will not have to be convinced to acquire it. It will be something you simply must have.”

Alan Bamberger, an artist from San Francisco says, “At its most fundamental level, good art is an effective combination of concept, vision, and mastery of the medium. Good art is also uncompromisingly honest, unselfconscious, bold, ambitious, enlightening, original, challenging, and a feast for the senses.”

If you take these definitions of “good art” and add a pinch of magic, you’ll know how I felt as I delved into Chris Coleman’s art this week.  It is exhilarating, courageous, aspiring and intriguing. I felt moved by its beauty and originality.

Chris doesn’t have the typical artist’s background.  He grew up at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and says, “I’ve always loved Utah’s mountains and deserts as well as its remarkably rich art culture.” He spent his youth pursuing athletic endeavors as a professional snowboarder, avid rock climber, and biker.

He graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning in 1993.  Surprisingly, however, immediately after graduating he launched his art career, incorporating those disciplines into the meaning of his art and sculptures.

For several years he had his studio in downtown Salt Lake City, which doubled as a shared workspace and creative hub for local artists. Today he has relocated to Marysvale in the mountains of Central Utah, where he works on “inclusive, visionary projects to invigorate art in our rural communities”.   

Chris works in a variety of media, with cast metal and welded metal being his most prolific sculpture medium. His art tends towards the large scale and draws inspiration from nature’s sublime shapes and lines, rendered in an industrial or mechanical way affecting a unique juxtaposition and harmony.  He also builds exhibits that inspire viewers to interact within and respond to them, becoming a part of the art themselves. His artwork often features flowing, natural aspects of light, wind, water, or fire so there are perpetually changing viewing possibilities.

His piece, The Tilled Field, can be seen in front of Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Tabernacle and Main.  This piece manifests natural curves in polished, stainless steel. Its reflective surfaces change with the environment and encourages viewers to see themselves in the art.  You can see more of Chris’ art at chriscolemanstudio.com

Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation working to enhance downtown St. George with captivating outdoor art.  The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is the foundation’s flagship project, which each year selects around two dozen sculptures for a temporary installation.  Organizations and individuals can buy pieces for public or private installation. The foundation retains a portion of the proceeds, which in turn funds expansion of the city’s permanent sculpture collection.  

Cindy Trueblood
Director of Sales & Community Relations

Artist Story: Scott Rogers

In early 1990, Scott Rogers was selling oil and gas wells in Texas.  Six months later, he decided to become a sculptor and never looked back.  The catalyst was a piece of art that totally captured his imagination. It was his first purchase of sculpture and he was entranced by it.  He spent months studying it, even taking it outside to look at it in the moonlight. One day he came home from work, and the thought struck him with force, “I can do that.”  Rogers says of that moment, “I had this gnawing, this prompting.” That day he went down to his local art supply store, cleaned them out of clay, and started sculpting that night.

In the ensuing years Rogers has hardly slowed down, becoming one of Utah’s most prolific sculptors.  While his creative focus and artistic reputation centers on the “old west”, his subjects range from rugged mountain men to wondering conquistadors, to old-time sports teams, and from majestic animals to pensive mothers to gushing oil rigs.  His studio in Paradise, Utah is replete with ongoing projects, and he is especially known for his group compositions. All of them have one unifying element, emotion.

“When beginning a piece, the first thing I do is isolate an emotion I know intimately. Something that pulls at my heart.  In fact, to me the words ‘sculpture’ and ‘feelings’ are synonymous. I love it when someone views one of my pieces and says, ‘I feel like I’m on the back of the bucking horse’ or ‘I can hear the roar of the stampede’.  I know art uplifts the spirit, it makes one want to be better, to reach out for that which is good in life.”

Part of Roger’s mastery is found in the geometry of his compositions, and how the inherent shapes build emotional impact.  “Humanity has specific responses to certain shapes”, he explains. “If I sit and draw an ‘s’ shape, it gives a certain feeling.  If I draw lightning bolts, that gives a different feeling. Composition is so important. I’ve learned that people feel great composition, rather than see it.”  

For the 2016/2017 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, Scott Rogers’ piece “All Her Chicks” is on display along the sidewalk in downtown St. George, just in front of the Main Street Plaza.  The bronze depicts an expectant mother, her heart full of love and anticipation, feeding a brood of baby chicks in the barnyard. For her, serving is a joy and her home is where all are made to feel welcome.  

As with all sculptures in the exhibit, “All Her Chicks” can be purchased or leased-to-own by interested organizations or individuals.  Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation, and all purchases from are tax deductible. The work of the foundation has been a highly effective collaboration between the arts and city planners.  The resulting works of art enhance our public spaces, lift our spirits and elevate our quality of life.

Cindy Trueblood
Director of Community Relations & Sales

Artist Story: Deveren Farley

Last month I wrote about the new Young Creators Program that Art Around the Corner is launching this year, helping new student-sculptors get a headstart in the arts.  We’re excited about the program’s potential, and the positive impact it will have down the road on young people’s lives. To highlight that potential, I present the example of a talented (and still young) artist with a fast-growing reputation who has graced public and private spaces in St. George with his wonderful creations.  

As a teenager in California, Deveren Farley encountered an inspired teacher who opened up a whole new world for him, setting his feet on the artist’s path.  Farley’s high school metal shop teacher, Mr. Hamilton, was clearly an educator that went beyond the call. He didn’t just teach students how to weld and bend metal, but introduced them to the finer points of design, how to blend form and function.  Empowered by Mr. Hamilton’s encouragement, Farley created his first welded sculpture, a 7-foot metal alligator, and entered it into competition at the California State Fair where it won Best of Show in 2000.

Since that formative experience, Farley has forged a unique career blending the technical skill of a functional welder with the creative eye and sense of wonder of the fine art sculptor.  After moving to Orem, UT, he opened a business building custom railings and home decor, while also creating a line of artistic pieces, welded from metal remnants and scraps. The popularity of his work began to grow, and his first exhibition was for the Parade of Homes in St. George, which further enhanced his reputation and connections to southern Utah.  

For the past several years, Deveren Farley has submitted works to Art Around the Corner for the annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, and two of his large-format pieces have featured prominently in the show.  Farley’s 21-foot sculpture Silly Symphony is a visual celebration of music, a dynamic whirlwind of instruments and notes, currently installed in the North Main roundabout.  And recently, The Band Concert, depicting a giant guitar with complex inner workings, was purchased by St. George City and installed in the Town Centre, between the library and the carousel.  

And here’s where Farley’s story relates with the Young Creators Program that we’re just beginning here in Washington County.  Young Deveren’s creative impulses were jump-started by a dedicated teacher who gave him an outlet for his artistic vision. Here’s what Farley says about that vision: “As an artist, I strive to take what others imagine and bring it to life for them by creating a piece that is as unique and beautiful as the idea itself.”  Today his sculptures are inspiring others and some have become landmarks in our downtown. So what other young student artists are out there, waiting to be jump-started? Let’s find out, shall we?

Art Around the Corner is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts and enriching the community.  AAC’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit features sculptures by nationally renowned artists on public display in the downtown area of St. George. All purchases from Art Around the Corner are tax deductible.  For those interested in Deveren Farley’s work, the Young Creators Program, or in supporting Art Around the Corner, see www.artaroundthecorner.org.

Cindy Trueblood
Art Around the Corner
Director of Sales & Community Relations
www.artaroundthecorner.org

Artist Story: James Moore

Almost every professional artist I’ve ever spoken with knew at a young age they were destined to walk the creative path.  But often, that path is not a straight one, but meanders with lots of twists and turns. James G. Moore is one example.

Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, Jim grew up in a family of six children.  His parents were mindful to expose their kids to the wonders of the world surrounding them.  They took regular trips to the mountains, libraries, museums, churches, and other places of learning.  He recalls spending countless hours together with his father in the woodshop where his creative inclinations were encouraged and flourished.  Art was his favorite subject in school.

Jim was heavily influenced in his high school years by what was happening in the neighboring town of Loveland, Colorado.  In the early 80s, Loveland experienced a boom in sculpture sales and manufacturing due to it’s “Sculpture in the Park” show. This show started in 1984 with fifty local artists participating and an estimated 2,000 people attending. Today, Loveland hosts the largest juried sculpture show in the country with over 160 artists, tens of thousands in visitors and sales over $1 million in one weekend!  Loveland has been described as a “city which has a love affair with the arts”.

Knowing this, perhaps it is not surprising that Jim produced his first bronze edition when he was just 16 years old.  After graduating high school, Jim joined the Navy Reserves, went to boot camp and then entered his freshman year of college at the University of New Mexico where he studied art.  He returned to Colorado and worked for a small bronze foundry in his hometown. This period of his life was spent learning and improving his skill in all aspects of the bronze casting process.  

In 1990, Jim put his art on hold as his Naval Reserve unit was recalled to active duty, and deployed in support of Desert Storm.  While his creative career was interrupted, this experience proved to be highly influential. “After the war ended our ship traveled to the South Pacific so I was provided the opportunity to see parts of Thailand, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Japan” he recalls. “I was exposed to arts and crafts that have strongly influenced my style.  I was especially enamored by the huge temples and beautiful, serene Zen gardens of Japan”.

Jim taught middle and high school art for 15 years before taking the leap of faith and making his sideline passion for sculpting into his full-time work.  He describes his last few years as rewarding and full of adventure. Jim’s faith plays a central role in every aspect of his life. It is this environment, he says, that has elevated his artwork to a level of excellence that makes it stand out as unique and inspired.  

Jim’s piece “Blue Heron Though the Ages” is part of the Art Around the Corner exhibit for this year, and can be seen on the corner of Main and Tabernacle.  This piece was inspired by a petroglyph Jim saw in the Petrified Forest National Park. He replicated the scene several times in styles representative of different periods of time: prehistoric, impressionist, and abstract expressionism.  A bell was added to merge Western and Asian aesthetics, and provide interactivity. It rings with a deep, resonate tone.

Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation working to enhance downtown St. George with captivating outdoor art.  The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is the foundation’s flagship project, which each year selects around two dozen sculptures for a temporary installation.  Organizations and individuals can buy pieces for public or private installation. The foundation retains a portion of the proceeds, which in turn funds expansion of the city’s permanent sculpture collection.

Cindy Trueblood
Art Around the Corner Foundation

Young Creators Program announced in Washington County, Utah

The Art Around the Corner Foundation is excited to announce a new initiative to encourage young artists of high school age who live in Washington County.  We’re calling it the “Young Creators Program”. We know there are wonderfully talented artists among our young people, and are looking for ways to discover and foster their creativity.  

The Young Creators Program is a sculpture/three–dimensional art contest which will launch this fall, to be completed in the spring of 2017.  The contest will involve a juried process, ultimately nominating up to 12 student artists. The selected young artists will then present their pieces at the opening Gala Dinner for Art Around the Corner’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on April 7, 2017.  

The young artists will be invited to attend the Gala, where their pieces will be available for purchase by interested buyers.  All the proceeds from the sales go directly to the student artists, in order to encourage their creative development. Additionally, Art Around the Corner will award cash prizes at the Gala.  There are three categories: Award of Outstanding Achievement ($500), Award of Excellence ($300), and Award of Merit ($200).

The program’s purpose is to provide a platform for young emerging artists to gain exposure and confidence.  They will be exposed to successful professional artists and gain a real-world opportunity to publicly display their art for purchase.

The key guidelines for program participants include:  

  • All entries must be a physical structure (not digital, computer-generated or 3D-printed).  
  • Each student can submit up to 2 pieces.  
  • Acceptable media includes (but is not limited to) bronze, steel, ceramics, fired clay wood, stone and found objects.
  • All pieces must be able to fit into a box measuring 15” by 15” by 15”.    
  • All participating artists must submit a color photo of their artwork.  

The deadline for entry is March 1st.  All pieces are judged in the blind according to the same criteria used for the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit; concept, composition, design, movement, balance, creativity and presentation.  The selected student artists will be notified and invitations extended for the Gala. For additional information or questions, students should talk to the art teacher of their school.

We hope you and your students will be excited about the program, and consider working it into your plans for the 2016/17 school year.  

The Art Around the Corner Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, enriching the community, and bringing fine arts to the heart of historic St. George.  The foundation’s flagship project is the Art Around the corner Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, a collection of sculptures from -nationally renowned artists. The show changes each spring with approximately two dozen pieces installed annually.  The Foundation also provides educational tours to students in the Washington County School District, showing and discussing the current sculpture gallery and explaining the casting process. The Young Creators Program was developed to encourage and support secondary students in connecting their art with the community.  

Cindy Trueblood
Director of Sales & Community Relations