Art Around the Corner takes flight, steampunking St. George’s landscape with fanciful metal sculptures

Written by David Louis / published in St George News / August 23, 2020

Jules Verne II / Photo courtesy Richard Prazen, St. George News

Quickly becoming known as a destination to see, participate in and enjoy art, each year St. George residents and visitors can enjoy an ever-changing collection of metal sculptures that dot the city from uptown to downtown.

South Jordan resident Richard Prazen, a metalworker and artist takes great joy anytime he can showcase his sculptures for St. George’s Art Around the Corner’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Galleries collection.

One sculpture added through the efforts of the local nonprofit foundation Art Around the Corner, “Jules Vern II” can now be pondered over by art enthusiasts near the main terminal of the St. George Regional Airport.

The piece has been on display in the outdoor sculpture gallery at Town Square Park, but was recently moved to the airport where it will have the honor of a permanent home.

South Jordan resident Richard Prazen, a metalworker and artist takes great joy anytime he can showcase his sculptures for St. George’s Art Around the Corner’s annual Outdoor Sculpture Galleries collection. Location and date undefined | Photo courtesy Richard Prazen, St. George News

The work is the creation of South Jordan resident artist Richard Prazen.

The sculpture is a towering steampunk-style airship. Hard to describe, it harkens back to the days of air travel in blimps and dirigibles, where the dress code was petticoats, suits, top hats and canes.

The difference is that a steampunk-style airship sculpture combines fanciful imagery of gears, chains, propellers, wings, steam-powered engines and submarines while stretching the artistic envelope by stringing well-armed pirate ships below the blimps and Zeppelins.

Jules Vern II has a mix of “look at me” functional components that move and spin in the wind that gives the sculpture the illusion of flight, much like the movement of a weathervane atop a quintessential midwestern barn.

“These really add beautiful details,” Prazen said. “A piece like this is meant to create wonder, but it’s just fun to combine everything together in the final work of art.”

Richard Prazen’s sculptures have been commissioned by patrons such as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and Salt Lake City’s Lagoon Amusement Park. Each piece is crafted with great care. Location and date undefined | Photo courtesy Richard Prazen, St. George News

Prazen, 67, a third-generation artist, blacksmith and sculptor, has been creating art and welded architectural metalwork for more than 50 years. Among his other accomplishments is an instructor of metal sculpture at Salt Lake Community College.

Richard Prazen’s sculptures have been commissioned by patrons such as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and Salt Lake City’s Lagoon Amusement Park. Each piece is crafted with great care.

His approach to sculpture combines pragmatism with a sense of adventure and the feeling that anything is possible.

“It’s pretty important to start with a plan,” he said. “You’ve got to have some kind of a visual plan to work from. It starts from one place, but it can also keep growing in the vision and the creation. When I’m working on a piece there is a certain amount of winging it … but there is a plan to start with.”

Along with the personal connection to his creations, Prazen said the appreciation of art is something to pass along to the next generation.

“It’s great to get adults, but mostly children thinking about cool … unconventional ideas … transformed into art,” he said. “It’s definitely a journey, definitely a discovery.”

Marianne Hamilton, chairman of the board of directors with Art Around the Corner, agrees that art is meant to be passed along to future generations.

“It’s very exciting for the kids,” Hamilton said. “They love to make art … and we are hoping through this we will create the artists of the future.”

The Art Around the Corner’s Foundation’s goal is to support the arts, enrich the community and bring fine arts to St. George that can be celebrated by local residents and out-of-town visitors.

“Oh wow,” said 10-year-old Elizebeth Taylor, standing in front of a gigantic metal guitar in Town Square Park.

The Taylor family, on vacation from Australia prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was in “awe” of the art, galleries and one special ice cream shop downtown – Thomas Judd’s Store.

Dan Hill’s “Reflections,” one of this year’s outdoor metal sculptures in Art Around the Corner’s collection. St. George, Utah, date undefined | Reflections by artist Dan Hill / Photo courtesy Art Around the Corner, St. George New

Dan Hill’s “Reflections,” one of this year’s outdoor metal sculptures in Art Around the Corner’s collection.

“When we saw (Dan Hill’s Reflections), Lizzie couldn’t stop giggling, (saying) ‘mommy she looks just like me,’ ” said Brittany, Elizebeth’s mom, as her daughter noticed the little girl’s angelic face staring into a handmirror. “How did they get a picture of me?”

Mom couldn’t come up with an adequate answer to satisfy her daughter’s question, so it was quickly off to an ice cream cone with Elizebeth’s name on it to distract from the perpetual follow-up question “why mommy.”

The foundation’s flagship project is the Outdoor Sculpture Galleries, a collection of sculptures from nationally renowned artists.

The foundation is supported in part by the city of St. George, along with Recreational, Arts, and Parks Tax funding, annual city and county acquisitions of artwork, along with numerous sponsors and donors within the community and beyond its borders.

Each year, Art Around the Corner installs approximately 25-30 new sculptures and pieces of three-dimensional art in downtown St. George along with a portion of the collection at Dixie Regional Medical Center.

The works are created by nationally renowned artists who agree to loan them to the city of St. George for one year. All pieces are available for purchase or lease. In its 16 years, the foundation has made possible the sales of more than $1 million in pieces of art to a variety of buyers.

Along with Jules Vern II, Prazen has another sculpture, “Window in Time” located on the corner of Main and Tabernacle streets near the Wells Fargo Bank downtown.

‘Giant Spider’ sculpture crawls its way into permanent home at Morgan Pest Control

By JJ DeForest, The Spectrum, Published May 9, 2019

A controversial public art piece has found a permanent home with a St. George business. The giant spider sculpture formerly displayed on Main Street will now serve as mascot for a pest control company.

Local arachnophobes may be relieved the sculpture no longer inhabits the Main Street traffic circle but according to its creator, it had a devoted group of fans. “This is the very first piece in the 12 years that I’ve done Art Around the Corner, that I had people show up, set out chairs, take pictures while I was taking it down because they were going to miss it,” said artist Deveren Farley. “I had people asking for autographs.”

Fans of the eight-legged wonder can visit their friend at its new home in front of Morgan Pest Control on Hilton Drive. “It’s an iconic thing for St. George,” said Dave Kipp, owner of the exterminator service. “We’re tickled to keep it here.” Kipp and others assisted Farley Wednesday morning as he reassembled the sculpture in its new location.

When Kipp opened the shop four years ago, he wanted a giant scorpion to top his business sign but cost and engineering considerations made that unworkable. Kipp’s quest for a grand insect ended when he and his crew saw the spider go up last year during the annual outdoor art exhibit.

“Utah license plates all over the head, the stop sign under the belly for the black widow, it’s just perfect,” he said. Kipp’s okay with bugs and crawly critters but Farley admits it was the screams and shudders his other, smaller spiders received that inspired him to create the monster. Farley said that his inspiration for “Giant Spider” came from the customer reactions he got when he displayed his works at a fall craft show. “People would come by my booth and they’d see all the spiders and they’d get scared,” he said. “And I’m like, they’re fake. It’s ok.”

Coincidentally, his application for Art Around the Corner was due about the same time. “I thought, honestly how funny would it be to do a giant spider and see if people were scared by it or not,” he said. The sculpture has evoked strong responses from both sides. When the exhibit ended in April, Farley found his spider had more than one suitor. Morgan Pest Control and The Fiesta Fun Center both expressed interest in making the work their own.

“Art is to bring out emotion in people and seeing all the emotion that this guy brought out, that’s why when two companies wanted it, instead of making them have a bidding war, I thought a better option would be just to make another,” Farley said. Once the installation was complete, Farley headed to the entertainment venue to take measurements for a second behemoth set to straddle the mini-golf course. He said the new sculpture will be about the same size as the original. “Giant Spider” stands 17-feet tall and has a circumference of about 22 feet. Each leg weighs about 220 pounds. The head and body are hollow and are made of galvanized steel and Utah license plates. Total weight is just about a ton. Once the new spider is in place, Farley will have a total of six sculptures on permanent display in and around St. George.

Farley’s entry in this year’s exhibit is already sold. The City of St. George announced it would purchase “Power” a 12-foot long snake sculpture currently on display at Town Square and destined to impress visitors to Snake Hollow Bike Park next year. “I guess it just fits perfect there.” The work is also composed of license plates. Farley has a special source for them. The Salt Lake City evidence department hands over a variety of metal objects collected from crime scenes. “So, every license plate on that has been stolen,” he said.

Dixie Regional Medical Center Partnership – Media Coverage

Dixie Regional Medical Center partners with Art Around the Corner to provide ‘inspiration and hope’

Dixie Regional Medical Center and Art Around the Corner have partnered to help hospital patients, families and caregivers alike find “inspiration and hope” through art. 

Six sculptures have already been placed throughout the hospital campus, both inside and out, and a ribbon-cutting celebrating their placement will take place Wednesday, including breakfast and an art tour.

Art Around the Corner first approached DRMC with the idea of placing sculptures made by local artists around the hospital about a year ago…

Read more on St. George News

Featured in News Radio FM 94.9 KDXU AM 890
Featured in The Independent – A Voice for Utah

Art Around the Corner Comes to Dixie Regional Medical Center

 

Intermountain Dixie Regional News 


Dixie Regional Medical Center is  partnering with The Art Around the Corner (AAC) Foundation, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, enriching the community, and bringing fine art to Southern Utah

To celebrate this new partnership and the opening of an exhibit of three-dimensional art installed by Art Around the Corner, Dixie Regional will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 28, at 7:30 a.m. in the outdoor dining area near Entrance 2. 

There will be a brief program, light breakfast and then attendees can take a walking tour to view six beautiful and interesting sculptures. 

“We are grateful and excited to partner with The Art Around the Corner Foundation to bring world-class art to Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center,” said Mitch Cloward, Administrator of Dixie Regional. “Art helps create a healing atmosphere. We feel that this addition to the hospital will help patients heal and recover, and we look forward to a great relationship with Art Around the Corner.”  

In addition to the visual arts on display, attendees can enjoy lovely piano music played on a grand piano recently donated to the hospital by Carl and Shari Berger. The piano is located in the lobby not far from one of the Art Around the Corner pieces.

“The Art Around the Corner Foundation is delighted to be partnering with Intermountain Healthcare to extend the footprint of our outdoor sculpture gallery,” said Marianne Hamilton, Board Chair for The Art Around the Corner Foundation. “We believe that art has the ability to enrich the human experience. The beautiful sculptures created by the talented artists are sure to do just that for all visitors to the hospital campus. Art Around the Corner looks forward to a long-lasting relationship with our Intermountain Healthcare team.”

The newly installed sculptures at Dixie Regional are: Arc of Peace, by Lori Alcott; Angel Anchored in Art Nouveau, by Ben Hammond; Journey of the Imagination Girl, by Gary Price; Angel of Faith, by Marcia Robinson-Rouse; 0408, by Josh Toone; and Elle, by Jeannine Young.

Formerly known as the Dixie Arts Foundation and the Pioneer Center for the Arts Foundation, the Art Around the Corner Foundation was originally formed in 1988.  AAC is partnered with the City of St. George. Since 2005, AAC has solicited, selected and installed more than 25 pieces of 3-D public art, created by nationally renowned artists, in unique outdoor sculpture galleries. The artists lend their works to Art Around the Corner for one year, and all sculptures are offered for sale or lease to public and private collectors.

###

Contact
Terri Draper 435-251-2108

Art Around the Corner Gala a Smashing Success

Downtown and New Uptown Galleries Revealed

ST. GEORGE, UT – The 2019 Art Around the Corner (AAC) Foundation gala was a celebration of growth. Marking its 15th year in bringing fine arts to the heart of historic St. George, AAC gathered for the first time at the Hilton Garden Inn to honor the artists whose work will be on display throughout downtown for the next year.

This year’s gala was bigger and better than ever: For the first time, a silent auction featuring a dozen small sculptures offered an opportunity for guests to acquire a sculpture for their home or business. Additionally, the Art Around the Corner team expanded the 2019 Downtown gallery installation with an additional, “Uptown” gallery, inside and outside of St. George City Hall.

During the gala program, Mayor Jon Pike announced that the City would be purchasing the “Jules Vern II” sculpture by Richard Prazen, which had been featured in AAC’s 2018-2019 show. Mayor Pike added that Deveren Farley’s new “Power,” sculpture, a friendly snake made from license plates, would also become part of the City’s permanent collection. In all, a total of 37 new sculptures are now on display in this year’s show. Marc Mortensen, the City’s Director of Support Services, congratulated Art Around the Corner, saying, “We love the new pieces around town.” 

A highlight of the gala was the presentation by Alisha Burton, AAC board member, describing the most recent grade school tours. Each year, the Art Around the Corner board and volunteers host fourth-grade students from the district for a morning of arts education, offering short lectures on the “lost wax” process of creating bronze sculptures. This year more than 650 students and their teachers toured the outdoor sculpture gallery, and had the opportunity to experience the artwork first-hand. Burton shared some of their feedback including their insightful and sometimes humorous responses. “They loved the metal sculptures, and had many, many questions about that Giant Spider!” Burton reported.

This year’s show included many artists whose work is new to AAC, including Mike Dwyer of Loveland, CO. Dwyer created “Duck Parade,” an endearing bronze configuration of baby ducks following their parent on an adventure, that is sure to garner attention from children and adults alike. Said Dwyer, “It is a privilege and honor for me to have been extended a special invitation from the Art Around the Corner Foundation to partner together with ‘Duck Parade.’ This piece is very special to me, because my three sons assisted in naming the six ducklings. In order, they are Quacky, Waddles, Puddles, Chuckles and Doddles, and then Toddles is the little one trying to catch up at the end.”

As the Art Around the Corner Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary, the board also honored the work of the next generation of 3D artists, presenting awards to three “Young Creators.” The Young Creators program provides a platform for emerging artists to receive exposure and gain confidence in their artistic abilities. This year’s winner was Lily Espitia, a sophomore at Pine View High School. Espitia’s piece was a contemporary representation of the strength, sacrifice, and love of a parent for her child. The other finalists included Ryan Adams from Malad, Idaho, and Lindsey Taysom, a Senior at Dixie High School.  Ryan is the son of Doug and Dianne Adams – both artists and long-time participants in Art Around the Corner exhibitions – and aptly embodies the “next generation of 3-D artists” concept. In developing her sculpture, “The Gift,” Lindsey expresses feelings of true gratitude, and hopes it will inspire others to be inspired as she has been.

About Art Around the Corner

The Art Around the Corner Foundation is a nonprofit 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. 

###

Press Contact
Dawn McClain 702-860-2341

Organization Contact
Marilyn Kanas, Art Around the Corner
P.O Box 3328, St. George, UT 84771
435-319-4504; aacstgeorge@gmail.com
artaroundthcorner.org

The Spectrum – You never know what amazing art piece you’ll find just around the next St. George corner

Artists from all over the country are gathering in St. George this weekend for the annual Art Around the Corner outdoor sculpture exhibit installation.

This year’s works are the most diverse in style and materials, according to Marianne Hamilton.

“We’re trying to recruit new artists from around the country who use different materials and work in different styles,” she said. Hamilton is the incoming chair of the AAC Foundation.

“In the past there’s been a majority of bronze sculptures,” she said. “Now we’re seeing the use of other metals, found objects, stone and glass incorporated into the work.”

The 2019 collection is the largest in the program’s 15-year history with 37 works by a record 33 artists on display throughout the downtown area…

Read more on The Spectrum

Art Around the Corner Honors Kristy & Mayor Jon Pike

Partners in the Arts, 2019

ST. GEORGE, UT – The Art Around the Corner (AAC) Foundation is pleased to honor Mayor Jon and Kristy Pike as Partners in the Arts for 2019. Together, the Pikes have had a significant impact on the arts in St. George. Mayor Pike is a longtime advocate for arts in the city, having served as chair of the St. George Arts Commission from 2003 to 2008. He is especially supportive of AAC activities, and personally assists whenever he can. Kristy was a member of what was first called the Dixie Arts Foundation (later becoming the AAC Foundation) from 2006 to 20012, and served as its chair from 2010-2011. She is currently the director of the Washington Country Children’s Justice Center. 

Mayor Pike is a native Utahn, who grew up in Salt Lake City.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah, and an MBA from Westminster College. Jon has lived in St. George since 1995, and is currently the Regional Operations Director at SelectHealth, the health insurance division of Intermountain Healthcare. He credits his appointment to the St. George Arts Commission in 2000 with having launched his political career. In November of 2013, after having been a member of the St. George City Council since 2007, Jon was elected to his first term as Mayor. He has remained steadfast in his support of the arts throughout his years in office, helping to create a vibrant artistic and cultural community that is the envy of visitors from every part of the globe.

Kristy is also from Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English, with an emphasis in Poetry.  She initially worked as a technical writer, then in public relations. Following the births of the Pikes’ five children, Kristy launched a very successful career in freelance writing. As her children grew up, she devoted a considerable amount to time to volunteering where she saw a need, joining numerous boards. She remains passionate about the arts, and how art enhances the natural beauty of St. George. 

“Jon and I both love this community so much,” Kristy noted. “Every morning when I drive to work, I look at the breathtaking scenery and think about the people I love, and I’m so grateful and feel so blessed! As much as I love the sculptures around town—and I do love them—the big payback for me during my service on Art Around the Corner was the time spent with the artists and other volunteers.”

Kristy and Mayor Jon look forward to St. George residents and visitors enjoying the new sculpture show, especially the new “Uptown” installations in the City Hall area. Jon commented, “Art Around the Corner is part of what makes our city such an amazing, desirable place!”

About Art Around the Corner

The Art Around the Corner Foundation is a nonprofit 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. 

###

Press Contact
Dawn McClain 702-860-2341

Organization Contact
Marilyn Kanas, Art Around the Corner
P.O Box 3328, St. George, UT 84771
435-319-4504; aacstgeorge@gmail.com
artaroundthcorner.org

Art Around the Conrer Gala Moves to New Venue

Adds Silent Auction of Original Sculptures

ST. GEORGE, UT – The 2019 Art Around the Corner (AAC) Foundation gala is moving to a new venue, and will add new opportunities for the community to acquire original, one-of-a-kind sculptures, announced today by Susan Jarvis, chair of the Art Around the Corner Foundation Board of Directors. In celebration of the nonprofit’s 15 years of bringing world-class public art to downtown St. George, this year’s annual “Evening with the Stars” gala –on Friday evening, April 5 – will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, enabling AAC to support the increasing demand for attendance, and to honor the expanding number of nationally renowned artists whose work will be featured in the 2019 outdoor sculpture gallery.

Since 2004, the all-volunteer AAC organization has solicited submissions of 3-D artwork from established sculptors, primarily from the Southwest, and then selects and installs approximately two dozen pieces each spring. Thanks to a City of St. George RAP Tax grant, Art Around the Corner was able to offer stipends to all participating artists for the first time this year, resulting in participation by artists from across the U.S. Due to the record number of submissions, Art Around the Corner is expanding the footprint of its outdoor gallery – scheduled to be installed on Saturday morning, April 6. Sculptures will be placed in historic Downtown; Uptown, outside and inside of St. George City Hall; and at Dixie Regional Medical Center. 

“We’re excited and delighted that our 15th anniversary is seeing so much growth for Art Around the Corner,” Jarvis noted. “This year’s show will literally be bigger and better than ever, with nearly 40 works of outstanding artwork installed for the community to enjoy. As always, we truly appreciate the support that Art Around the Corner receives from the City of St. George, and our wonderful sponsors. We also look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Intermountain Healthcare team, who provided new opportunities for growth at the hospital.”

At this year’s gala, for the first time, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in a silent auction of “maquettes,” small, preliminary models of sculptures created by the participating artists. With prices ranging from $80 to $2,400, Jarvis said the auction makes the acquisition of sculptures very affordable for art lovers. “The large pieces that we install in our outdoor sculpture gallery can be as much as $20,000 or $30,000 or more. Now, fans of the work by the very same artists whose larger pieces will be installed in our show can bring home an original, beautiful work of art.” 

The 2019 Art Around the Corner Evening with the Stars gala begins at 6 p.m. Advanced ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For information and ticket sales, visit www.artaroundthecorner.org, o email aacstgeorge@gmail.com.

About Art Around the Corner

The Art Around the Corner Foundation is a nonprofit 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. 

###

Press Contact
Dawn McClain 702-860-2341

Organization Contact
Marilyn Kanas, Art Around the Corner
P.O Box 3328, St. George, UT 84771
435-319-4504; aacstgeorge@gmail.com
artaroundthcorner.org