Each year, two $10,000 Fellowships are awarded to individual visual artists to acknowledge their artistic excellence and encourage their careers. Artists practicing in a variety of media such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, craft, and new genres are eligible. Fellowship awards do not require matching funds.
Applying artists must demonstrate professionalism in their practice through quality images and documentation. Artists must be Utah residents not enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program.
2017 Visual Art Fellows
Jonathan Frioux received his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and BFA from Brigham Young University. In the last 4 years he has taught in the Department of Visual Arts at Brigham Young University and Weber State University. Currently his work is inspired by abstract painting, spirituality, and the ocean – forms like billowing sails, longitude and latitude lines and broken nets make up most of his compositions. Along with these lined backdrops additional subjects and narratives are introduced with the goal of creating a condition of simultaneity, anticipation and spatial wonder.
Jean Richardson is a Scottish Artist and Educator living and making art in Utah. She identifies mostly as a Scot despite being as a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work is a direct response to her relationship to place and the conflict of feeling both lost and found within a place. Her sculptures and installations made from her collections of commonplace objects explore the dichotomy of displacement and belonging. Jean received her BA(Hons) in Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland. She then moved to the US to continue her art education at Brigham Young University, where she received her MFA in Studio Art. Jean has also researched, exhibited and taught in a variety of countries, including Israel, Spain, Tonga, and New Zealand. Her many travels have and continue to
influence her art practice. Banner image (Jean Richardson, Brollie Ball, 2014)
2017 Visual Art Fellowship Juror Statement
I am honored to have served as the 2017 Visual Art Fellowship Juror for Utah Arts & Museums, and to become acquainted with the local arts community. Having recently moved from the Midwest to Arizona I am especially interested in exploring what motivates contemporary artists of the West. My personal experience with my new home, having only lived in Phoenix for 15 months, is one of fascination with the landscape. The sense of wide open spaces, endless horizons, beautiful desert plants and gorgeous red rocks stand in stark relief to what is found in the rest of the United States. Utah and Arizona are physically connected by this landscape. Nonetheless, as artists and curators living in these gorgeous places we struggle with trying to compete this natural beauty. As a contemporary curator I constantly struggle with the question, what beyond beauty can art offer and what is our responsibility to our communities and to ourselves? To run counterpoint to pure aesthetics, to question, to advocate, or to simply react, is perhaps the most critical obligation that contemporary art has to the world.
As the sole juror, I was pleased to get a sense of the artistic territory of contemporary artists living in Utah. A strong diversity of materials, gestures and cultures gave me a profound sense of a community wholly committed to the practice of art making. I felt an instant connection with the work of Jean Richardson. Feelings of isolation, or as she states, “the dichotomy of displacement and belonging” resonated very deeply with my current world view. Her video “Every Now And Then I Fall Apart,” seemed to poetically articulate a profound feeling of loneliness that we all feel either metaphorically or in actual fact through a very thoughtful and open ended way. It’s very difficult to effectively articulate through purely visual means these complex emotions and I feel her work did this through the conceptually-tight vocabulary of performance and sculpture. I linked aspects of Richardson’s recent work to the practice of Jonathan Frioux and his interest in abstract painting. Here there was an almost physical and formal correspondence through bodies of water that are used to singular ends. The instability of the ocean is used as a formal challenge to the traditional notion of the grid in Frioux’s paintings. This conceptual framework surprised me yet I fully bought into the originality of his investigation and practice. I must also acknowledge the work of Cara Krebs and Mary Sauer who each brought originality and rigor to their respective practices. In closing I want to thank all of the artists who submitted their work for consideration. Now more than ever we need to be fearless and willing to go over the edge for what we believe, and I appreciate your willingness to participate in the cultural conversation of our time. – Gilbert Vicario,
Gilbert Vicario is The Selig Family Chief Curator at the Phoenix Art Museum since October 2015. Prior to joining the Phoenix Art Museum he was senior curator and division head for curatorial affairs at the Des Moines Art Center since 2009. Vicario has extensive international experience working with artists and organizing exhibitions that present artwork from around the globe; experience working in major encyclopedic museums; a passion for exploring ideas that show links between historical works and contemporary art; and an interest in Latin American and Latino Art. He holds a masters in curatorial studies from Bard College.
Fellowship Video Profiles
In partnership with “Artists of Utah-15 Bytes,” we produce short artist profiles of the recipients as part of the award. Please see the links below to some of the videos we’ve produced of our recent fellowship recipients.
- David Brothers 2016, Salt Lake City
- Hyunmee Lee 2015, Highland
- Wendy Wischer 2014, Salt Lake City
- David Wolske 2014, Salt Lake City
- Mark Finch Hedengren 2013, Provo
- Christopher M. Gauthiér 2013, Logan
- James Charles 2012, Salt Lake City
- Jared Clark 2012, Salt Lake City
- Al Denyer 2011, Salt Lake City
- Kathy Puzey 2011, Logan
- Jan Andrews 2010, Salt Lake City
- Joseph Ostraff 2010, Provo
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