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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Art show displays local talent and a preview of more to come

Oct 15, 2018 02:23PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Reception attendees discuss the works on display during the art show. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

The annual Cottonwood Heights Art Show displayed the variety and depth of artistic talent in the community. The creative works of experienced professionals as well as new artists adorned the walls of City Hall throughout September. The show featured an open house on Sept. 21 that allowed the community’s artists to gather and mingle among their works.

Visitors to the art show, or people just coming to City Hall on business, could stroll among painted landscapes, portraits, abstract pieces, sculptures and more. They could gaze toward the horizon of a western scene, then turn around and see a flock of birds just as they take flight.

Cottonwood Heights Arts Council members were pleased with the art show. “There’s a lot of talent in our community, and it’s nice to showcase them,” said arts council member Jannalee Hunsaker. “It’s not just professionals, but it’s also amateurs. People in the community who don’t necessarily sell their art can also display their art and let the community see and appreciate their talent as well.”

Two artists at the reception provided a perfect example of the range of experience at the art show. Kathryn Armstrong Severn started painting just months ago. Among the four pieces she had on display was her very first painting. Along with her at the reception was her art teacher, Kendra Burton, who has been painting for decades.

“I want to influence people,” Burton said when describing why she paints. “I know it sounds cliché, but I want to feel like the paintings that I do make people feel better, or it makes them think about something, or it makes them reflect. I think those things are good.”

Another participant new to painting was Kara Yates, who started painting recently when she became a stay-at-home mom. “I just started gouache this year and watercolor last year,” Yates said. “My grandma was a painter. I’m a graphic designer by trade.”

The range of experience was mirrored by the artists’ range of expression. Haunting landscapes and intriguing portraits hung next to abstract paintings and sculptures. Jerry Hartman had four paintings in the show including an abstract representation of Sandy Hook, a painting of a neighbor’s dog leaping through an agility course, a Mardi Gras mask and a snow leopard pursuing its prey.

“I just love art,” Hartman said. “Every individual has a unique way of expressing themselves.”

The event served as a preview of more to come from some of the artists. City Hall will feature several of the art show’s participants in the months to come in solo showcases of their work. November’s featured artist will be Mariko Kowalski.

In addition to paintings, the art show featured some unique sculptures. Dean Kezerian used polymer clay to sculpt a bird on a limb. For Kezerian, the medium offers interesting challenges. “I’ve always been interested in birds and art,” Kezerian said. “I discovered this and I was like, this is just complex enough for me. It’s multifaceted in that I have to be a good sculptor, a good painter, but also that branch it’s on, I have to make that as well. I glued my fingers together a lot making this.”

The Cottonwood Heights Art Show gave the community an opportunity to see what their neighbors are capable of, and it gave artists the opportunity to showcase their work. People interested in participating next year can find information on the city’s website. In the meantime, visitors to City Hall can see the works of featured artists on display throughout the year.