Urban Plein Air in THE BLOCKS: Artist Profile
The Blocks, in partnership with the City and the County, are activating downtown streets and underutilized urban spaces during a three-day period—September 13, 14 & 15—with the spontaneous and participatory nature of Plein Air (outdoor) painting. This project invites audiences to engage with participating artists and get a view into their process of completing a painting, providing the opportunity to see live art. We will work with a curated team of 25 artists to demonstrate their painting skills to the public at 10 curated locations in the downtown area. This three-day period will culminate with an exhibition of the completed works on September 21 at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art from 6-8:00 PM.
This is your chance to see art in action, learn about the creative process and interact with our local artists!
Kelli Tompkins is an artist and writer from Salt Lake City who gardens and believes in magic. Playful art sets the stage for divine expression: Kelli believes deeply in the healing, restorative power of art.
I love to paint and draw. My art inspiration comes from the love people I know: people I am inspired by(fictional or real characters from movies, bands, books, sports, video games and TV shows) and just nature itself.
Annie began watercoloring 20 years ago in a middle school art class. Without formal training beyond the required art classes throughout grade school and college, armed with a passion to create and God-given talent, she went to work sharing her soul through creativity.
Understanding more about who she is and honoring her gifts has cultivated a desire to share more of her work. She finds joy and wholeness in being creative and hopes you find something that speaks to you!
Personally Chelsea has an affinity for Flo Rida, goofs and gaffs, meditation, and cheeseburgers. Artistically Chelsea has an affinity for painting, line drawings, murals, and Keith Haring. Throw all of this into a pot, boil it down, and you’ll discover the essence of her art: playful doses of wit and irony.
Chelsea’s lived in Salt Lake City for 3 years. When not painting, she’s leading a team of talented individuals in the national expansion of Pumpkin Nights. Chelsea studied at FIDM – L.A. and Utah State University. She claims Denver, CO as home.
Inspired by her encounters with wildlife, Claire Taylor’s work explores ecology, and implications of intra- and inter- species communication.
Taylor holds a Master of Science in Environmental Humanities and a Bachelor of Fine Art with a printmaking emphasis from the University of Utah. She previously worked as the Studio Manager, Instructor and Lead Printer at the Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press at the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
My first painting experience was at Painting with a Twist- one of those “follow an instructor while drinking wine” casual painting classes. The process was very enjoyable, especially because I tweaked the scene and painted a UFO sunset instead of the prescribed dandelion sunset.
After working primarily with ink, I fell in love the fluidity and forgive-fulness of painting. Meanwhile, instagram was inundating me with mural news. Feeling inspired, I sought a challenge. My second painting experience was a 240 sq ft mural. With an abundance of support, I’ve completed six more murals. My gratitude remains strong for all those who have mentored me and contributed to my growth.
Jerrin Wagstaff earned his MFA from California State University, Long Beach in 2006 and received his BFA from Brigham Young University in 2003. Since graduating, his work has been included in several exhibitions throughout the country. Recent exhibitions include a solo show, Conglomerate Landscapes, at Another Year in LA, Los Angeles, CA and the following group shows: Odyssey II at Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, Southern California Regional Exhibition at San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA (juried by Peter Frank), and Utah Ties at CUAC Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, Utah (juried by Adam Gildar).
Jerrin is currently a resident at the Guthrie Artist Studios in downtown Salt Lake City and an Instructor of Art at Brigham Young University. While working in the studio, he enjoys the beautiful northern light, episodes from a Podcast by a friend that he hasn’t spoken to in years, and knowing that a giant painting of the Virgin Mary’s face is on the other side of his studio wall.
Kelsie is a graphic designer and hand lettering artist born and raised in Utah. She creates experimental, expressive lettering that deviates from conventional typography. She achieves this by utilizing illustration, deconstruction, skewed perspective, and a selective palette. Her main focus rests on the interplay of letterforms, bringing new meaning to words we see in every day life. Kelsie seeks to create letters that the viewer doesn’t perceive as a word but admires as art.
My work is centered on the strange, the unusual, and the fantastical. When I was little, I would fill pages by color coding the crayons, scratching out square by square until it looked like a patchwork quilt. As a child, I worked with a local photographer in my native Moab, UT. We would take trips down to a beach along the Colorado River and dip our papers in the river. He taught us how to paint the red rock cliffs, and how different materials (river water, salt, watercolors) reacted to one another. Instead of simply focusing on form and line, we were taught how to dive into our souls.
Presently, I am returning to my roots. My current projects reflect the processes and ideas that I worked on as a kid. Much of my work is about Moab, but it is represented in a way that is more abstract and less objective. It is more about obtaining that sensation of feeling home; of being alone among the red, sandstone cliffs. It’s about reacting to the environment and responding through the use of mixed media and subtle lines. It’s about being free and reconnecting to what I learned as a kid.
Patrick Weeks is an artist in Salt Lake City interested in drawing, bicycling, typography, cooking and dancing.
Patrick Weeks is a creative person born and raised in Salt Lake City. For some fun, calm, focused exercises illustrating what’s going on around him, Patrick produces drawings of multiple perspectives from a stationary point. Inspirations are: short stories, pausing to observe beauty and time pass by, alliterations, pattern and metaphor, free-associating why anything is (not too seriously.) Serendipity can bring to light how to be. The Urban Plein-Air Project is Patrick’s first attempt of this sort of assignment. Hopefully learning through the process of a shared experience produces a new appreciation to view. To practice finding comfort within the discomfort by showing up, then allowing whatever flows forth to run its course, could be where to begin, again. Open-ended interpretations are interesting chances to learn from other people what might be noticeably different about seemingly same things in downtown Salt Lake City and life. Familiar with using acrylic, latex, spray paint and marker to create large murals and detailed works, collage and stencil combinations, too.
Matt is a SLC artist from the Guthrie Artist Studios – located downtown at 158E 200S. These historic studios have inspired many of Salt Lake City’s notable artists, and currently serves as home base to Matt’s creative work, on the top floor in Studio 309.
Matt is a child of the world, following his father’s international teaching career through childhood with years spent in Okinawa Japan, London, Germany, Cambridge England, and Manila Philippines. Until his early 30’s, most of Matt’s life was lived outside US borders. In a twist of fate, Matt planted roots in Salt Lake City in 2000, and has stayed there for the most part ever since. He is a father to his 12 year old daughter, Kaya, also a budding artist, and teaches at SLCC’s Fashion Institute on the subjects of digital design, entrepreneurship, visual merchandising, and retail buying + management.
His collector base includes his mother, family, friends, collectors from as far away as Seattle, Japan, and Berlin, and his signature SLC tryptich original hangs in the New Arts + Media Center at Salt Lake Community College’s South City Campus.
A sense of place, and of home, is found frequently in Matt’s work, as well as foreign artistic influences, ideas, and philosophies that rubbed off from childhood. Matt is an avid hiker, naturalist, and explorer – and a lover of wild Utah. This also heavily influences his work.
Jaxsen M. Layton is a Utah based artist with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Weber State University. With an emphasis on two-dimensional artwork, Jaxsen uses drawing and painting as a vehicle to display the dichotomy and nuances of life. He is influenced by biology, organic forms, anatomy, media, and subcultures in his life such as skateboard graphics, and music. Artists such as Inka Essenhigh, Ed Templeton, and James Jean, inspire and influence his work as well.
Shantlee Hope Sutch is a Utah local who loves the creative freedom art allows her. She is inspired by the varied beauty that Utah offers. Shantlee combines her passion for experience with her love of adventure to try to take the viewer to the places she has been. She tries to present her experiences in such a way that her viewer may also understand how amazing the world is.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Trent graduated from the University of Utah in 2004 with a BFA. He is actively involved in a diversity of ongoing projects. Trent’s work combines formal academic painting, comics, graffiti, and popular culture. He currently works out of CAPTAIN CAPTAIN Studios in beautiful downtown Salt Lake City.
Creating is something that has been part of my life and profession for many years. I have fallen in love with the interactions of color on canvas, and work to use that mixing and contrast to convey a feeling more than an image. My typical work would be considered abstract expressionism, but on days when I want to feel normal as a painter, I paint trees. I want a painting to spark a memory or emotion more than be of something. I look forward to the challenge that this Urban Plein Air opportunity provides, and hope to represent the location honestly.
My paintings are a call to adventure and risk. Fall headlong into narrow tunnels, say yes without hesitation, continue with only your feet to guide you, beat death by living with a full and courageous heart. For me, creating every day is my greatest risk and scariest adventure. Pen to paper or hammer to nail, I trust my gut and hope, in fact, that not all goes to plan. I prefer to run in the dark in spite of the stumbles that lurk.
Wendy E. Miller works as a professional artist who specializes in vibrant, textured, oil and acrylic abstract paintings.
Wendy draws inspiration from nature and her culturally diverse upbringing; from Private Catholic Boarding school days in rural England and vacations in Saudi Arabia, to her free-spirited teen years living in Germany and
gutting fish and Crab in Alaska. Wendy has called Salt Lake City her home for 27 years; she embraces cultural diversity, equality and loves any opportunity to bring more art and self expression into the world.