Artists for Corroon

Mason Fetzer's Painting of Corroon

I have to admit, I’m excited about the possiblity that a democrat might be elected governor of Utah this year. And the fact that the democratic candidate is Peter Corroon makes me even more excited. I met Peter many years ago when I was the marketing director for a kids public health insurance program. And I worked with him then to try to get more kids covered. And since then, I’ve worked with him to promote independent business, honor volunteers for donating their time, and some other awesome causes.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m telling you how to vote. But I DO want to tell you, PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE!

And while I’m on my soapbox, I wanted to introduce you to Peter Corroon’s campaign called “Artists for Corroon.” I’m a member, and I hope you will visit www.corrooncountry.com and sign up too. Here’s my interview with the dude in charge of Artists for Corroon, John Sproul, a damn fine local artist himself. Happy reading, and get out and vote!!!

1 ) First off, tell us a little bit about Peter Corroon and why we should vote for him.
Instead of repeating what one can find out about Peter Corroon through the media or at www.votecorroon.com & www.corrooncountry.com I would like to give you my personal perspective of him as a politician. Since I first became aware of Peter during the campaign for Salt Lake County Mayor I have been impressed by him. During the campaign there was a scandal with the incumbent mayor and, while other candidates were critical of and abusive of her, Peter was generous and decent. When he became mayor there were budget problems in the county and instead of cutting jobs and other peoples pay to balance the budget (which is what usually happens) he started with taking a salary cut and cutting back on spending in his office and worked out from there. His support for the arts is an added bonus and when I was asked to be a part of the campaign I jumped at the chance to help bring about a long needed change in attitude towards the arts and politics that I believe Corroon represents.

His behavior as a politician is consistant with his behavior as a person. We often have our Artists for Corroon meetings at the campaign headquarters and Peter never fails to come in and thank us for our work and if one of us has brought a child he will personally give that child snacks and make sure she or he is taken care of. I see him as a very thoughtful, considerate and consistant person and that is what we really need in our Governor.

2 ) What is Artists For Corroon?
Artists for Corroon is a public affinity group of Corroon for Governor. The groups mission is to generating interest in and motivating Utah’s artistic community to get involved, get the vote out, and help Peter Corroon win the Governor’s Office. The group provides an avenue for those with common interests in the arts and in support of the campaign – to learn more about Corroon, his campaign and his ideas for our State. In addition, we will give the group various opportunities to meet and share ideas about common areas of interest and the Corroon for Governor campaign.

Artists for Corroon is intended for all disciplines of the art community – the visual arts, performing arts, videography, literary arts, and for those who are involved in or support the arts. John Sproul is the chair of the group and there are also co-chairs for each discipline. Tyler Spurgeon is over the Visual Arts, Crystal Young Otterstrom for the Performing Arts, Lynn Kilpatrick for the Literary Arts, and Mason Fetzer for the Music Arts.

3 ) How do Corroon’s policies support the arts – both in things he has done as county mayor and things he intends to do as governor.
Peter Corroon has a history of supporting the arts as Mayor of Salt Lake County, including fighting to fund the public art program, advocating for SLCO ZAP funding, and supporting arts facilities like the Rose Wagner, Abravanel Hall, and the Salt Lake Arts Center. As Governor, Mayor Corroon will be an asset to all arts advocates and positively impact the quality of life of all of Utah’s citizens. We believe that a governor who believes in the importance of arts and culture is also one who is likely to take a pragmatic approach to our State’s problems because support for the arts denotes in a candidate, an understanding of balance, nuance and that things are not always black-and-white in governing.

4 ) Our readers are a bunch of artists, hippies, liberals and gays. Many of our friends and readers feel disenfranchised by politics and distrustful of all politicians. Tell us what the Corroon campaign can do for us – people who might be somewhat disenfranchised with the political system.
Peter Corroon represents a different political attitude and administrative philosophy then what we are used to seeing in Utah. We are used to the arts as being seen as expendable and often ignored, but Peter sees the arts as a necessary part of the growth and development of our culture and economy and has fully supported the arts as Salt Lake County Mayor.

Can a Democrat be elected as governor in Utah? For 20 years, from 1965 to 1985, the Governor’s mansion was occupied by Democrats – Calvin Rampton (3 terms) and Scott M. Matheson (2 terms).

What did that mean for the arts? During that time the downtown arts complex – Abravanel Hall and the current home of the Salt Lake Art Center were begun during Governor Rampton’s tenure and because of his support, and completed during Governor Matheson’s first term. Peter Corroon will do more of the same.

I know I am repeating myself but Peter can win and we need him to win, but everyone needs to vote for him and do what they can to get others to vote for him.

5 ) Tell us how we can make a difference by getting involved in the campaign. What volunteer positions are available.
Peter Corroon has a good chance of winning but we need everyone to vote and to get their friends to vote. You can help by spreading the word, volunteering at campaign headquarters (more info on that on the websites listed above) or volunteer at one of our events. We need everyone’s support and anything you can do will help.

6 ) Where can we register to vote?
If you are not yet registered to vote it is an easy thing to do, you can now even register online at elections.utah.gov/voterregistrationnewhow.html . Voting is equally as easy where you can vote at your local precinct location or by mail.

7 ) Tell us what art events Peter has planned for the duration of the campaign and how we can get out and support him.
We have several major events planned for the remainder of the campaign. Our next one will be a Rock-n-Slam the Vote in July and will be a music and poetry slam concert. Then in either August or September we will have a Classical Rock the Vote event which will include performances from members of the performing arts community. In October we will be working with the Corroon Campaign on a big event which will involve things such as music, mural painting, etc. To learn more about these events you can either sign up for the Artists for Corroon facebook fan page or on www.corrooncountry.com.

The campaign can use support through a donation of your time and resources. We also have Corroon t-shirts available for a $15 donation that were designed by Artists for Corroon co-chair Mason Fetzer that can be purchased at one of our events or through the campaign headquarters.

8 ) Tell us a little bit about yourself, your art, and how we can find out more about your work.
I am a professional visual artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and occasionally in installation. My work focuses primarily on the body as archetype and as identity. I have lived in Salt Lake City for 6 years and before that in Los Angeles for 7 years. I earned my BFA from the University of Utah in 1993 and have exhibited nationally including in NYC and extensively in Los Angeles. I am married to fellow artist Emily Plewe, have 3 boys and live in the Gilmore Park area. My work can be viewed at www.johnsproul.com.

The Sandman

Since I recently wrote about Dave McKean, it just doesn’t feel right to not talk about the Sandman.

The Sandman is a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by Vertigo. It is a story about Dream of the Endless (also called Morpheus) who rules over the world of dreams. The series ran for around 75 issues from 1989 until 1996. There were a number of different artists who worked on the interior pages, but Dave McKean did the artwork for all of the covers.

Every few years I find myself pulling The Sandman off the shelf and reading through the issues again. It is funny because, while this story was being released in single issues, it took me a while to realize how great this comic was. Although I always liked the covers, the interior artwork wasn’t attractive to me at first. Slowly, the story brought me in, and the artwork inside kept getting better and better. This book, the whole Sandman collection, is a masterpiece.

Maybe it isn’t for everyone. This comic is definitely a product of the ’80s, and Morpheus looks altogether too much like Robert Smith from the Cure. Also, I’m not sure that I would call the Sandman a horror story, but there are some truly horrible things that happen.

Basically, the Sandman deals with what lies beyond the human mind and consciousness, taking us into unfamiliar meta-physical ideas and concepts.  Ha! Dreams! You can portray them pretty much however you want and who can say it’s wrong. And yet, they often hint at something true. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.. People like to believe everything can be understood through science, religion, or whatever. The idea behind the Sandman is life is not only stranger than we think, but also stranger than we can think to think. Like Harlan Ellison pointed out in his introduction to Season of Mists, “real art has the capacity to make us nervous”. I like that.

The story begins with Morpheus being imprisoned by a magician around the turn of the 20th century. Morpheus is caged for about 80 years, until events conspire which allow him to free himself. Morpheus starts to rebuild his life and dream kingdom, eventually forcing him into direct confrontation with demons, angels, demi-gods, myths, superheros, regular folks, fairies, monsters, and the Devil himself (not once, but twice!).

Sounds like a good yarn, ehh? Youbet!

Local First’s Indie Week, June 24-July 4

It seems more and more, everything we do is a political statement: what we eat, what we drive, where we live and of growing importance is where we choose to shop. Did you know that three times more money stays in the local economy when goods are purchased locally, than when you spend your hard-earned cash at national Big Box or chain stores?

Shopping local has other benefits too. It is better for the local economy, it helps to protect the environment and enhances our neighborhoods adding the unique character and flavor that can only come from local shops and restaurants.

I work with the non-profit organization, Local First, helping them out with their public relations, because I’m such an advocate of all things local. I’ve gotten the company I work for, Crowell Advertising, behind the cause and we have become a sponsor, because as a local advertising agency we can’t afford not to support locally-owned business. My good friend Matt Monson is Local First’s statewide coordinator.

Local First has 10 events planned in 10 days between June 24 and July 4. According to Matt, Local First is celebrating Indie Week with more free-spirited events this year to show that that supporting local business is a lifestyle statement, and you can have fun while making a difference. The events include dance parties, art shows (featuring artduh’s own Todd Powelson), cooking competitions and seminars with business leaders. Ten events is way too many to list here, so I’ll just link you over to Local First’s website where you can get more information. Shop local, and might I add, don’t forget to buy handmade! Check out more at www.localfirst.org.

And don’t forget to come out and see us on Monday, June 28th at Ulysses Salon. Todd’s posters will be all over the walls, plus we will offer a movie about shopping local and music. See you there!

Our Picks for Utah Arts Fest – Leia Bell, Blue Lotus and Fear No Film

It’s hard to believe the Utah Arts Fest is already here again, June 24 through 27. This year, Leia Bell was picked to design all the marketing materials for the events. We loved what she did.

Here’s my interview with Leia Bell about what she is up to at Arts Fest this year. Leia also owns Signed and Numbered, a great place to shop for art for your pad!

1) Tell us about what you have made for the Utah Arts Fest this year?
I will have loads of little framed prints (inexpensive, and great for gifts), plus tons of refrigerator magnets, and screenprints, including the 3 designs I did for this year’s festival logo.

2) How will they be using your work to promote the event, for example, is it on billboards? Posters? Etc.
I printed the posters myself, and I have seen my image on a billboard and also on their website & in the program.

3) What inspired your art for Arts Fest? And what methods you used to create it. Was it a departure from your normal medium of screen printing?
I wanted to create stylized utah landscapes, as I love this state and its unique geography. I did 3 different designs- a Salt Lake cityscape, snowy mountains, and rock formations of southern utah. I did all of the different color layer drawings by hand, then scanned them into the computer and messed around with them some more. I did end up printing out all the layers again and screenprinted everything by hand.

4) What artists you are working with who you think are up and coming. We worked with Andi last year from your shop when we were promoting Craft Lake City and we were impressed with the talent coming out of Signed & Numbered, and the mentoring you were doing.
My entire staff at Signed & Numbered are amazing, talented artists. Andy and Nic are both printmakers, and Olivia and Marina make fabulous jewelry. Brent is an amazing builder and musician, and of course I can’t say enough nice things about my extremely talented husband, Phil.

5) Let us know anything else you would like us to know. Promote your store, upcoming events, things like that.
We are in the process of remodeling a gallery space down at Kilby Court (750 S 330 W), and that’s where we’ll be holding our gallery events once it’s completed. Our first show there will be a group show including 70 artists and small (8×10″ or smaller) prints. I am in the process of framing all of the art for this right now, so stay tuned! Our new website will be launching next week: www.signed-numbered.com

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Blue Lotus Dance Company

Blue Lotus Dance Company

In addition to seeing Leia’s booth, there are a couple of things going on at the Utah Art’s Festival we’d also like to highlight.

Our friends with Blue Lotus, the cabaret belly dance company, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday night in front of the City County building. I love to see them dance, but I am always equally excited to see their gorgeous costumes. This time they will be wearing new green, white and silver beaded and fringed costumes by Amanda Borba.

Fear No Film Festival is another great part of arts fest. It is free (you don’t even need an Arts Fest ticket) and held in the library auditorium. My friend Topher Horman organizes this event. Topher is showing short films in seven different categories named after the seven dwarfs, he told me he organized them based on how you feel after you watch them (ha ha, very creative, Tophy). You can see the schedule at www.uaf.org/fear-no-film-mb

What Would Jesus Craft?

"More Than a Hobby" by David Green

When we heard a new Hobby Lobby craft store was opening in Sandy, we knew we had to review it for the blog. But having never been to a Hobby Lobby (you see, we just don’t leave downtown), we turned to a notorius crafter and friend to bring a review of the store to our blog. Here is the scoop from our good friend Meg Griggs of The Lewd Quill.

WWJC?

What would Jesus craft? If you have ever had this question burning in your mind well then Hobby Lobby is your Mecca.

Utah is saturated with over priced craft and fabric stores and in these trying economic times, what’s a crafty gal to do? Hobby Lobby is a breath of fresh air. I’ve been making the trek to The District store out on 116th South and Bangerter Hwy for a couple years now. However with the new location on 9347 South Quarry Bend Drive and the other Layton store, I pledge that the place is worth the drive for the affordable treasures you will find. Stocked with a gifted 40% off coupon I hit the Sandy store with much anticipation.

As with their other stores they have a well-merchandised and clean space. Their variety is one that reigns over all. With everything from fabric and baking supplies to jewelry making and painting they really do cover all your hobby needs. But the greatness doesn’t stop there, say you need to pick up a garden gnome and tri-fold picture frame, they have those too. Even though HL has already inexpensive prices they are notorious for their 50% sales on half of the store that they frequently switch to the other half of the items.

My recommendations have sometimes been met with a bit of hesitation after sending a few friends in, some get scared off by the plethora of WWJD kids arts and crafts along with other “Christian” inspired finds. I’ve quickly responded with why not! I mean Roberts Craft and Provo Craft is over flowing with Mormon artwork and LDS referenced knick knacks, I think the competition is great. Now all we would need is a Buddhist beading store.

So all in all, if you are looking for an affordable place to experiment with a new past time or just sticking to a budget with your established craft Hobby Lobby and their godly low prices is the way to go.

Hobby Lobby
9347 South Quarry Bend Drive
Sandy, UT 84094
(801) 727-0826

hobbylobby.com

The Artist I Want to be When I Grow Up – Kali Mellus

Kali's Belt Buckles

Kali's Headbands

For the most part, I like being who I am and when I have time to craft, I like the things I make. I’ve had fun with bullets, embroidery, paper mache, food crafting and best of all, I can crochet like a  mother. But there is an artist in town, that I envy so much, I wish I could do what she does. She makes things from rusty nails, straight pins, plaster, resin and all kinds of things that are foreign to me. Fortunately, I’ve amassed a HUGE collection of her art. I have belt buckles, necklaces, rings and I’ve given her pieces as gifts to almost all of my friends. And I have every intention of collecting more of her pieces. Here it is, my interview with my favorite Salt Lake City artist, Kali Mellus.  

Kali's Rings

1 ) Describe for us what you make, and what got you started making jewelry?
Currently I’m making a variety of buckles, rings, recycled leather bracelets, leather belts, headbands, chunky beaded necklaces and pendants. I think that’s all of it for now but tomorrow’s another day. I’ve always been a crafty kid for as long as I can remember. I began selling beaded necklaces on the playground in the 6th grade to support my habit. Habit of buying more art and craft supplies.

2 ) Tell us what materials you like to use. Your materials are very interesting!
I can go most anyplace and find material to use in my work. My materials vary from nature, scraps, throw away items and most anything from the hardware store. Currently my favorite material is masking tape. The possibilities are endless.

3 ) What inspires your choice of materials?
I’m inspired by everyday life and activities. For example we did some home updates and I found a new love and appreciation for plaster. That remodel inspired my line of ‘rock’ headbands and necklaces.

Owl

4 ) Tell us what you have been making lately that’s new? And don’t forget to mention the Halloween masks, Ballet West shoes, “rock” looking new stuff, rings etc. And anything new we haven’t seen.
Some completely new projects for me have been monster and animal masks. I made a few of them for Halloween last year and plan on making more after festival season. Also the headbands are a new venture for me as well. I didn’t intend on adding headbands to my line but all the cards accidentally fell into place with that project. I try to add something new as often as I can.

5 )We’ve also noticed you’ve been getting more colorful. Tell us about that. I love the yellow, turquoise and purple you have been using.
Looking back my colors where quite muted compared to now. Add in a few more years of experience with the bright beautiful colors of nature and there you have it, lots of color.

Walrus

6 ) Tell us what local artist you like and what you have hanging on your own walls at home. We have been to your house and love your choices.
The latest piece of artwork I’ve obtained was from Miss Amanda from Lost Art Tattoo. It’s a watercolor painting of a little bird and hangs in my work shop. She was at Craft Sabbath last month and I couldn’t resist her little painting. I also have a unique piece of freakish wall art sculpture entitled “Sexy Cyclops” done by Ben Thomas. That piece was slobbering my name when I came across it at last years Craft Lake City. I also have a variety of prints from local artists such as Fletcher Booth, Kelsey Barrera and of course Leia Bell.

Wolf

7 ) You had a studio on Pierpont for quite a while (where we first met you). How have things been going for you since you moved off Pierpont? Do you miss it?
Its been over 2 years now since I moved from Pierpont. I have so many fond memories of the place, the people and the Gallery Strolls. I do miss certain things about Pierpont but I absolutely love where I’m at now. I have a huge work shop connected to the back of the house that over looks a golf course. I feel like we’re in the country. Quite a contrast from living downtown but it suites us perfectly.

8 ) Tell us what festivals you have slated for the summer and where we can find you and buy your stuff.
I’ve signed on to a most of the Park Silly Sunday Market dates along with Craft Sabbath and hopefully Craft Lake City and the Avenues Street Fair. I also have an etsy store @ www.bykali.etsy.com.

The Art of Dave McKean

"Haunted Castle" by Dave McKean

Digital artist, painter, printer, sculptor, photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, film director, and musician.

I can’t say enough about Dave McKean and how much respect I have for him. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve known of him since I was a teenager (and that was a long damn time ago). It’s been amazing to watch his professional career develop and grow through the art and media he creates. Dave Mckean has worked with great artists from nearly every creative field, including Tori Amos, Skinny Puppy, Stephen King, Niel Gaiman, Jim Hensen Studios, to name just a few.

McKean alway seemed to be testing the limits of the visual arts. I remember reading a long time ago, pre-Photoshop, he was experimenting with photo-collage on Xerox copiers.. and building/sculpting sets for his photography, illustrations and artwork. He began to adopt the use of Photoshop and the computer in his artwork in the early ’90s. I consider him to be a real pioneer with the digital arts, and he is somebody who a lot of people have copied over the years with his photo-collage style (maybe too much?). I’m sure Dave McKean wasn’t the first artist to use the computer as a creative tool, but he is the first artist using a computer to catch my eye and make me pay attention.

Like many people, I became aware of Dave McKean through his work on the Sandman comics, which he did all of the covers for. He did do some earlier comics including Violent Cases, Black Orchid and Arkham Asylum. McKean also made a number of covers for the Hellblazer comics. But I think it was the Sandman covers that really launched his career, and deservedly so. Sandman is a beautiful comic, and McKean’s work helped bring it to life.

I’m sure I don’t have everything Dave McKean ever made, not even close, but there was a time I had to get everything he touched that I came across.. and I’ve collected a lot of what he has done. I especially like to flip through his books. Dustcovers, Signal to Noise, Pictures that Tick, Cages, Mr. Punch, Coraline.. Yow! Too much greatness to keep track of..

www.mckean-art.co.uk

www.davemckean.com

www.neilgaiman.com

Dave McKean – New Works Inspired by Early Cinema