SALT LAKE CITY — Utah artists David Brothers of Salt Lake City and Pam Bowman of Provo have received the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship from the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Each artist will receive $10,000 as part of the award that honors excellence in visual art.
Juror JoAnne Northrup, the Director of Contemporary Art Initiatives at the Nevada Museum of Art, said she selected Bowman and Brothers because of their awareness of the greater culture found through Utah. Overall, 124 Utah artists applied for the fellowship.
“In a state known for its natural beauty, it is remarkable that artists with a tendency to look inward are creating what I deem to be the most compelling art coming out of Utah today,” Northrup said. “Both Pam Bowman and David Brothers have constructed detailed—even obsessive—alternative worlds. They are both storytellers, and those stories seize the imagination of viewers. While it is tempting for Utah artists to reflect the glory of the natural environment, I was drawn to work with a strong conceptual basis, with a specific point of view conveyed through the formal elements.”
The Visual Arts Fellowship caps a “banner year” for Brothers, who finished several ambitious projects.
“Having set goals and accomplished them, it seemed appropriate to start even more enthusiastic projects, possibly even duplicate my notable year—but wait! Along comes the Visual Arts Fellowship and seals the deal, ups the stakes and raises the bar,” Brothers said. “I doubt I can top this flourishing precedent, but I look forward to trying. The fellowship super-charges my abilities to fulfill current aspirations with less compromise.”
Bowman’s work includes challenging installations that require a lot of materials as well as technical assistants. The Visual Arts Fellowship award will help cover those costs and allow her to explore new ideas.
“I am interested in researching indigenous crafts and textile work in different parts of the world, as they relate to repetitive work and domesticity,” Bowman said. “Having a more grounded knowledge of such processes will enrich my work conceptually. One avenue for this research is through pursuing international artist residencies. This could also allow me to act as an emissary for Utah by exhibiting my work more broadly. I am grateful to the juror JoAnne Northrup and to the Utah Division of Arts &Museums for having faith in me as an artist and for providing me with the opportunity to continue my work.”
Utah Arts & Museums partners with local arts non-profit Artists of Utah to produce short documentaries on fellowship recipients. Most recently, Artists of Utah published a short documentary on 2015 recipient Hyunmee Lee. Those videos can be found in archived editions of 15bytes.org. Additionally, exhibits featuring past fellows are occasionally held in galleries operated by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.
The Visual Arts Fellowship Program awards two artists $10,000 each year 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. The awards do not require matching funds from the artists.
More information on the artists and the Visual Arts Fellowship Program can be found at visualarts.utah.gov.