South Summit High graduate’s art accepted into statewide show |

South Summit High graduate’s art accepted into statewide show

Scott Iwasaki

Sculptor Kate Steinicke grew up in Kamas and graduated South Summit High School, before pursuing her dream in art classes at the University of Utah.

Her dream became more of a reality last week when her work "Utopian Weeds" was accepted into the Utah Arts & Museum’s statewide exhibition, Utah ’14 Painting and Sculpture that is showing at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City.

The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 9.

Steinicke, who recently moved to Liberty Peak by the Tanger Outlets at Kimball Junction, was one of 59 artists who were juried into the show from 224 artists who submitted 392 works.

"I wasn’t really counting on getting into the exhibit because I’m just a student, so it was really exciting to get in," Steinicke told The Park Record. "This is my first show and so it was really great to be able to show my art with other Utah artists. It’s a wonderful privilege."

"Utopian Weeds" is a sculpture that consists of 25 dandelions that Steinicke made with wire armatures, clay and acrylic paint.

They are hanging with a filament and measured out and spaced evenly across a grid, according to the artist.

"I have a big interest in urbanization and that push and pull between man and nature," Steinicke explained. "That’s why I arranged the flowers in a grid. I wanted to show the forced environment that we so often allow plants to grown in."

The sculptor chose dandelions when someone close to her passed away.

"They always told me that the dandelion was their favorite flower, which was interesting because it’s a weed," Steinicke said. "So I did some research on them and found that these flowers are a great example of how life will take root whereever it can and will grow undeterred."

After learning that, she felt the need to build a sculpture of dandelions.

"I had been working on it for a while and finished it in September," she said.

Steinicke learned about the Utah ’14 art show from her art professor, Wendy Wischer. "She told us all to apply and suggested that ‘Utopian Weeds’ would be a good entry," Steinicke said. "She is really supportive and always tries to find ways to get us exposure and our works out there."

Visual arts competitions have been a project of Utah Arts & Museums since 1899, according to Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey.

"This competition and exhibition is an excellent representation of the exciting work Utah artists continue to produce," Hiskey said. "It is highly anticipated each year and we look forward to discovering the diverse themes and concepts that Utah artists choose to explore."

Steinicke always had an interest in art.

"Art was one of those things that I would never get tired of and I could look at it all day and do it for hours on end," she said. "I have a lot of interests and hobbies, but when I was deciding what I was going to go to school for, I tried to find what interested me and art kept coming up. So I decided to go with it."

After more reflection, Steinicke decided not to become a painter.

"I chose sculpture because I feel like I develop a more intimate relationship with my works," she said. "I make them in three-dimensions, the round, rather than paint them on a surface.

"I also like the tactile nature of sculpture, rather than applying paint," Steinicke said. "I don’t feel like I’m creating an illusion, but creating a full, tangible object."

However, the love of sculpture does have its challenges.

"For me, I think it’s quieting down all the concepts I have flying through my mind," Steinicke said, laughing. "I tend to overcomplicate things, but I notice that the sculptures that I make that are more simple are the ones that are more successful.

"So, I struggle with trying to keep things simple and tying off all the ends so my audience can see what I’m trying to tell them," she said. "If I’m not careful, I can make things confusing and busy."

One of the reasons is because Steinicke, like other artists, is meticulous when she creates her pieces.

"We tend to obsess with detail, detail and more detail," she said. "But I found if we would just step back and tone things down, things work out better."

The selection of "Utopian Weeds" for the Utah ’14 show has given Steinicke a feeling of focus and determination regarding her future art.

"I’ve noticed my work is influenced by my interest in urbanization and has become like a critique of it," she said. "I also have a big interest in anatomy and how human bodies are almost mechanical. So I think I’m going to try to head in that direction."

Meanwhile, the artist wants to enjoy the moment of being accepted into her first exhibit.

"In school we have critique sessions and it feels great when you feel like you nailed what you were going for and that your concept worked," she said. "I love that feeling, and getting ‘Utopian Weeds’ into a show just added to all that."

Utah Arts & Museums is currently showing its Utah ’14: Painting & Sculpture exhibit, which features Park City’s Kate Steinicke’s "Utopian Weeds," at the Rio Gallery, 300 Rio Grand St., through Jan. 9. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 801-245-7270 or visit