Summit Arts Showcase spotlights local artists
Oakley Red Barn houses the June 23-24 event
From encaustic to watercolor paintings, jewelry and textile art, The Park City Summit County Arts Council has showed off local artistic talent in the Summit Arts Showcase since 2010.
The showcase was first held in Oakley’s Cattlemen’s Hall for five years before moving to the town’s Red Barn in 2015.
Although the venue changed, the goal remains the same, said Hadley Dynak, Park City Summit County Arts executive director.
“The Arts Council produces the annual Summit County Arts Showcase to support local artists and provide opportunities to present their work on the eastern side of Summit County,” Dynak told The Park Record. “Many of the artists are from the community, and they can share their art with their friends and neighbors, as well as those who come to the event from other places.”
This year’s event will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, June 23, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at the Red Barn, 4300 N. S.R. 32. Admission is free.
The showcase will also feature food, drinks and live music (see accompanying story).
“I think the Red Barn set against the Uinta Mountains is a beautiful setting to share our local talent and welcome art enthusiasts come and grow their art collections,” Dynak said. “This draws attention to the talent we have across Summit County.”
The showcase will feature more than 20 artists this year, which is the most the event has had, Dynak said.
This year’s artists include: Bill Silliman, Claiborne Colombo, Chikamu Arts, David Riley and Open Air Art Space Artists, Denise Walz, Dori Pratt, Fred Montague, Jan Massimino, Juanita Marshall, Kathy Cartier, KGEK Design, Lael Holm, Libby Peterkort, Mary Perry, Melissa Skarsten, Nan Gray, Parker Jones, Richard Pick, Russell Blackwell and Sharon Sams.
“The artwork ranges from traditional to contemporary art,” she said. “I think it’s neat to have so many different mediums from encaustic to watercolors and from fiber arts to jewelry and photography. And many of the artists who will demonstrate their creative processes on site.”
The Park City Summit County Arts Council put out an open call to artists a few months ago.
“We convened in a peer-review jury because we had more artists apply than we could fit in the space this year,” Dynak said.
Chikamu Arts makes Summit Showcase Debut
Karylyn Bliss and her daughter Kortney Johnson will make their Summit Arts Showcase debut this year.
Their company, the Oakley-based Chikamu Arts, specializes in ceramics, and they have shown and sold their hand-made creations at the Park Silly Holiday Bazaar and the Mirror Lake Diner Holiday Sale.
“Our niche is kitchenware stuff, but we do branch out from everyday-use items to more artistic items,” Johnson said. “And we keep coming up with new ideas all the time.”
Chikamu’s showcase items will include citrus juicers, Christmas ornaments and signature mugs known as Chikamugs.
“No two of those are ever made the same,” Johnson said about the mugs.
Bliss and Johnson started Chikamu in 2013, after taking ceramics classes at the University of Utah in 2011.
“Kortney took all of her electives at the end of her run, and we were talking about the different classes she could take,” Bliss said. “She signed up for a pottery class, and I signed up, too, because it was held at night.”
The two women had an epiphany during their first class.
“We both looked at each other and said, ‘We have to do this for the rest of our lives,’” Bliss said. “It was an unknown passion that has turned into a business.”
When Johnson was a child she called squirrels and chipmunks “Chikamu.”
“We tried different names and none worked, and one day, I said, ‘Mom, this is so dumb,” Johnson said. “We need to call it Chikamu.”
Chikamu Arts debuted in 2013 at the Little Oakley Community Market, which was started by Kimberly Kuehn and Kate McChesney from the Park Silly Sunday Market.
“They saw our pottery and wanted us to make them some mugs,” Bliss said. “That started us making custom orders. And things steamrolled from there.”
Chikamu Arts have created logo mugs for Mirror Lake Diner, yarn bowls and mugs for the Blue Moon Alpaca Ranch and tea bowls for the new Townshend Teahouse that recently opened at Kimball Junction.
“We are so happy that people love what we do enough to purchase items, because this is our passion and we have to do this,” Bliss said.
Information about Chikamu Arts can be found on Instagram, Facebook and the official website: chikamuarts.com.
Watercolorist Nan Gray returns to the Summit Art Showcase
Nan Gray, watercolor artist and member of the Park City Professional Artists Association, said she is looking forward to the showcase, which she has been a part of for the past two years.
Her works range from colorful and whimsical animals, to classic cars and bike riding scenes in Europe and Park City.
“I paint anything that catches my eyes and imagination, and I tend to go through themes,” Gray said. “The theme for the past couple of seasons has been about sheep who wear sweaters.”
The idea came when Gray was thinking about knitting.
“Sheep give us this beautiful wool that turns into yarn that we use to make gorgeous sweaters,” she said. “The problem is the sheep never get to wear the product that they help make. So, I decided to paint them in their sweaters.”
Some of those sheep adorn Christmas ornaments that Gray created that the Park City Professional Artists Association sells to raise money for scholarships that are given to seniors at Park City High School.
Lately, however, Gray has been painting works inspired by classic cars.
“We were in Moab to hike and there was a classic-car show that was coming into town,” she said. “I took photos and loved the lines and shapes of these cars. So, I’ve been painting different views and pieces of cars.”
Gray’s love for art has been with her since she was a child.
“I won a New York City art contest when I was in first grade and my painting was featured on the ‘Sandy Becker Show,’” she said. “So, I was hooked.”
The “Sandy Becker Show” ran cartoons from 1955 to 1968.
Art was always a hobby for Gray, who started out with oils and acrylics.
“I then moved onto to colored pencil, but I gravitated toward watercolors because I love the way water plays with the colors,” she said. “The medium does level out the detail, but I enjoy how you can get to where you’re going, because you can’t predict that. There are some happy accidents and some unpleasant accidents, but it’s all fun and creative because the medium is a little looser.”
Gray also enjoys the meditative zone she finds herself in when she paints.
“I don’t think about the world for a couple of hours and emerge from the zone feeling very relaxed,” she said. “I think watercolors are great stress management.”
Information about Nan Gray can be found by visiting http://www.parkcityart.com.
The Summit Arts Showcase will run from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, June 23, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at the Red Barn, 4300 N. S.R. 32. Admission is free.
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