FOR THE LOVE OF ART 2016
Nine Recognized for their Ambition and Talent
by Asenath Horton
As the billions of tiny ice crystals fall outside during this bitter, precipitous wintery season, the masterpieces developing inside each of these creators are celebrated because we all love to look at unique, compelling art. We celebrate, first off in the pages of this feature, second off, in the lives of each one of these humans; fly.
1- Tyler Swain, Logan, UTPeering through the thorns, seeing the exquisite beauty that moves us with every stroke on this piece, this guy from Logan, Utah uses his talents to describe a human condition; living. “The second in an ongoing series of fruit and thorns, the subject matter is very symbolic to me of the entire scope of trials and triumphs that make up the human experience,” states Tyler Swain. “The fruit of the Rose bush, or Rose hip, is beautiful and edible but exists simultaneously with the thorny branches that support it. It is an allegory for life, emphasizing that both beauty and pain must coexist in order to complete the human journey.”
From a young age, Swain has been interested in creating art. At eight, his parents enrolled him in private art lessons, where he learned the fundamentals of design and technique. Swain explains, “My love for creating art continued through high school and into college. It was while attending Snow College in Ephraim, UT that I decided that I wanted to make a career out of painting. I became very interested in the techniques of the Old Masters and in the use of subtle, yet powerful symbolism – particularly in still life.”
Swain graduated from Snow College, and then went on the Utah State University (USU) to continue his education; he received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from USU in 2014. As an artist, he has been published and celebrated internationally: published in Southwest Art Magazine; received the Outstanding Senior Award from USU; invited to Annual International Fine Art Show in Tsukuba University, Japan as part of the International LDS Art Competition; Won honorable mentions at both ECAC Statewide Art Show and Spiritual and Religious Art Show at the Springville Museum of Art. He enjoys playing the drums, traveling, cooking, snowboarding and spending time with his family and friends. He is continuously inspired by the all the Dutch Still Life Masters, Carlo Russo, Chris Young, Dave Dornan, Matt Larson, and Ron Richmond.
2- Darryl Erdmann, Salt Lake City, UTA long-time pillar, Darryl Erdmann has enjoyed a career filled with creation and celebration. He explains about his experience and process, “My work resounds with color, motion, line, and rhythm. For me, there are no boundaries, so there are no trespasses. Exploring painting has been a lifelong endeavor. Painting and listening to music have been a catalyst in my life for as long as I can remember. They combine in my studio to give me a forum for my thoughts, feelings, opinions, and visions of how I view myself and the world in which we reside in.”
“Painting utilizes all the senses. It demands the use of all the processes at ones disposal. It requires an honest approach in order to let it develop during the process. Hopefully I combine my efforts and skills to render a piece of work that challenges the viewer and gives a visual dialogue for many years. There is no success, only many steps. I try not to weigh and calculate my directions, nor do I consider creativity to be compartmentalized. If you want to draw conclusions, feel free to do so. I would prefer to let the mystery of art to permeate my life and offer further investigation.”
Erdmann was born in Brigham City, UT. He received his BFA in 1974 from Weber State University in Ogden. He also attended both the Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah. Erdmann is a celebrated artist with a career full of accomplishments and honors. He has been featured in numerous publications nationwide.
3- Stephanie Hock, Salt Lake City, UT“I love the larger-than-life feeling in New York, especially in Times Square. It reminds me that I’m part of a much bigger world and that some of the things that seem like such a big deal to me are similar to these yellow taxis zipping by—they’re going to pass, another will come, it’s part of life. ‘Two for the Show’ is a large painting, so standing in front of my easel and looking up at these big signs felt reminiscent of actually standing in New York (even though I’m thousands of miles away in Salt Lake City). I love to travel and it’s so fun for me to revisit places I’ve loved through my paintings.
I’m on a lifelong quest to find the beautiful. My paintings usually start in my camera. I see scenes all around me that strike my soul, and I paint them with my eyes. Photos allow me to capture what’s often fleeting—the subject is moving, the light is changing, the colors are playing off each other in a certain way. I paint what I see in my photos, but filtered with my personality, colors, optimism and light. Art, specifically painting, quenches a thirst of my soul that doesn’t get satisfied in other ways. Capturing beautiful stories everywhere, in a colorful, impressionist way, is, for me, the thrill of being an artist.”
Hock was raised in Murray, UT and received her BA in Visual Arts from USU. She spends her days raising four energetic small children and her evenings painting, with the loving support of her husband when he gets home from work. She is a hobbyist photographer, with her photographer feeding into her painting. She is excited to see her children grow, as the older they get, the more they can help out alongside Hock in her studio. Her goal is simply to get better, one painting at a time, and she is thrilled to spend each day balancing the two careers she loves – Art and Motherhood. She enjoys cooking with her husband and constantly creates new dishes from scratch, and her children like to ‘help out’ in their very own kitchen ‘restaurant’. She loves being at home, wearing something uber-comfy, surrounded by her family with something good to read.
4- Kevin-Bruce Mahaffey“I ride an Indian motorcycle and I belong to an organization that helps kids recover from abuse. I also belong to a philanthropic fraternity. I climb mountains. My work has been a lifetime of study using the figure as a pallet. I have not been a realist artist so much as one taking queues from what I see [and] transforming that into a statement. I have studied the masters and, one day, would like to make homage to their work.”
Phantom of the Opera Vision“This piece is a commission of the Phantom of the Opera. It is 24” high bronze with an oak base. The work is a study of the man of mystery. I wanted to convey the covering of the face with the hat and the mask, which hides the face, but reveals the soul.”
With a BFA from University of Utah in 1976, Mahaffey has honed his craft over the years, primarily focusing on small metals, ceramics and sculpture with welded steel and cast bronze. He studied under Harold Jackson (Jack) Hicks, Angelo Caravaglia, Richard Johnston, Richard Notkin, Richard Helzer and Marilyn Lavine and apprenticed with sculptors Edward J. Froughton Jr. for four years and Dr. Avard Fairbanks Sr. for one year. He is considered a figurative metal sculptor, using welded steel and cast bronze. He is a master metal colorist. Heavy use of wing motifs and flight can be seen throughout his work.
5- Michelle Boucher“The ladies are part of a series called ‘Smoke from France’ featuring the animal, the woman, and her vice. The series started as challenge of sorts from a friend. I was in between gigs and I was bored. Because it had once been a passion of mine and it had been a while since I picked up a pencil, she told me to draw the first thing I saw. That first thing ended up being a pewter deer head on my table, which turned into the deer head on a woman’s body. That, then, turned into animal heads on naked women’s bodies smoking cigarettes.”
Boucher is 39 years old, and possesses no formal art training. She’s never had her work in a public art show; however drawing, sketching and painting have always been a large part of her life. Anything creative and artistic feeds her soul and fuels her heart. She was a wardrobe stylist for 12 years and worked in costumes and film for ten. She moved into entrepreneurship, recently starting her own company with her husband, focusing on the woman motorcycle rider. Her company is called Flying Frenchman Moto. She and her family reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“The Hunted and the Huntress” 20 x 40 watercolor on paper.
6- Kresta Leigh StavreWhile sitting in a desert, a mermaid must have water or die, so she creates it. This piece is all about calling on your inner being and power to create the world you want. Stavre says, “I’m an artist and photographer, lover of travel, exploration and all things ocean. I’m a scuba instructor, wedding photographer and Reiki master. Some of my favorite things are wine, chocolate, laughter and dancing. When I am not creating fine art with my photography, I am busy engaging in community activities, spending time with my six year old son, or traveling with clients.”
Stavre and her husband, Victor, began photographing weddings in 2007, based on the pure happiness and joy they see and feel for new brides and grooms. Her artistic style fuses a fashion inspired flare, a taste for rich, distinct colors and textures, a relaxed fun experience with a passion for creating beautiful works of art. She and her family reside in Layton, Utah.
7- Prajit Ravindran“I created this image during the peak of Perseid meteor shower in August 2015. The forecast for the night looked bleak with predictions of a thick cloud cover. However, my friend and I decided to head out to shoot the shower at night. We drove to the sand dunes in Knolls, Utah since its usually pretty dark out there. Luckily the clouds cleared at night and we were able to witness a spectacular show by Mother Nature.
“The meteors were flying across in every direction. I wanted to get a shot of a meteor through the Milky Way so I positioned my camera towards the Milky Way and waited patiently. I also asked my friend to pose with a led lamp in his hand. A big meteor finally went right through the Milky Way. It was an amazing night photography outing.”
Ravindran is a landscape/adventure photographer based in SLC, UT. He specializes in photographing the night skies, usually with a human element in it. He won first prize in the Panorama category I the 2015 Utah State Fair and first prize in the Landscape category in the 2015 Utah State Fair. He was also selected for the Utah Arts Festival in 2015. He is a software engineer by profession and recently graduated with his MBA from the University of Utah.
8- Lucy Corwin“This piece is about the multiplicity of options in our lives. Seemingly inconsequential decisions may have great impact, guiding us to unexpected places. Alternatively, events both in and out of our control, may alter our preconceived paths or create dead ends where we once saw unlimited possibility.
“I started this painting with a specific color palette in mind and at a time when I was evaluating significant decisions in my personal life. Lavenders, grays, and blacks comprised the planned palette, overlapping and changing shades to represent anticipated possibilities. Yet as I considered how to move forward in my life, my choices of color and form in the painting began to change, mirroring my internal shifts on my external circumstances. Previously unconsidered options emerged as I grappled with the necessity to choose what I wanted for my life. Reflecting on these questions as I painted, greenish-yellow suddenly represented a new decision: unexpected, abrupt, and exactly the risk I needed to take in that moment.
“Even if all that is available is an internal shift of perspective, we always have choices. Every decision we make creates new possibilities and options. This painting explores the unexpected shifts and twists, the dead ends, and the bright, bold risks that define our lives and who we become.”
Lucy Corwin’s abstract paintings, at once both vast and personal, have shown all over the world. Originally from North Carolina, Corwin received a Bachelors of Art in Studio Art from Davidson College. Service oriented work then took her to South Africa, Bangladesh, and various other countries rich with culture and color, where, visually and emotionally inspired, she used each spare moment to paint. After returning to the United States, she worked with gallery owners and professional artists from North Carolina to New Mexico, learning all she could while painting part-time. Drawn by a desire to explore other passions during the throes of the recession, Lucy moved to Utah to work with troubled teens at a wilderness therapy program. After years of teaching outdoor adventure skills, art, and art therapy to teenagers, Lucy returned to painting full-time with a revitalized vision for her work. Her abstract paintings delve into the psychological landscapes of both herself and those in close relationship with her. Her work is collected nationally and internationally. She currently lives and paints in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys camping, exploring in the mountains and desert, swimming and reading. She is newly obsessed with kitesurfing, and feels the most free, fearless and playful in rivers, lakes, and oceans.
9- Whitney Horrocks“I am a minimalist and abstract expressionist painter. My work deals with issues of human emotion, specifically the fundamental binary opposition within. My work explores the contradictions that amalgamate the self. Very best case scenario, my art would prompt one to question the incongruity between who we are truly and what we’d like to lead others to believe.
“Cometogether is a piece in which I search for evidence of my former self (selves) as I now identify as half of a whole. The painting itself struggled to come together (ha!) and then all at once, was suddenly complete.”
Horrocks graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in Painting and Drawing in 2012. Growing up she was an ‘indoor girl’ and at a very young age, she developed a love for art and for painting, in the basement of her parents home in Sugarhouse, Utah. Her other loves are her husband, her family, her dogs and a good dry red wine. With a husband who is a brewer for Utah Based Epic Brewery, they consider themselves to be quite the Bohemian couple. Together, they built her studio as well as a gorgeous bar into their bungalow, not far from where she grew up.