Wyckoff honored to create art for the Park City Library | ParkRecord.com

Wyckoff honored to create art for the Park City Library

Danielle Wyckoff has a strong connection with Park City.

The Michigan-based visual artist was a Spiro Arts resident artist in 2011 and a Kimball Art Center relevant artist in 2012.

This year, Wyckoff was commissioned to create a work for the newly renovated Park City Library.

"My career has entered a whole new stage," Wyckoff said during a phone call while on her way to the airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to catch a flight to Utah. "Every bit of my career and the advancement of it are linked to Park City. It’s beautiful."

The work, titled "Surroundings," is installed in the library’s entry hall.

The work features two- and three-dimensional aspects, Wyckoff said.

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The two-dimensional portion consists of eight panels that measure 30 inches wide by 7 feet tall.

"Hand-screen printed on these panels are various colors and texts about Park City that I collected from local residents and people who have a special connection to the town," she said. "I did a majority of the story gathering in April and did some concentrated collecting for just under a month."

Wyckoff distributed postcards and walked around town with a digital recorder talking with people.

"I talked with 50 storytellers and got 60 stories," she said. "While not all the stories made it into the works, all of the storytellers are represented."

Wyckoff also visited the Park City Museum and received copies of old handwritten accounts by miners from the turn of the century.

"I transcribed the recordings and hand-screen printed all of the texts onto these panels," she said. "The texts make up an image that is a reference to the mountains that surround Park City. If you look closely you can recognize some of these slopes."

The three-dimensional aspect of the work consists of recycled metal discs that have been polished and hung in front of the panels.

"These discs are various sizes and I chose them to give a nod to Park City’s silver mining history, but also pay tribute to the dynamic weather of the area," Wyckoff said. "They can resemble snow and sunshine and they casts shadows like the shadows that spread over the mountains."

The project began when Wyckoff received an email from the Park City Public Art Advisory Board, which included Claire Pflueger, exhibitions coordinator for the Kimball Art Center.

"The email asked for an art proposal for the library and said to pass it to other artists who may be interested," Wyckoff said. "The first thing I did was look it over and made note that the deadline was May 30, and I thought there was no way I could do this. So I sent the email to another friend."

Two weeks later, Wyckoff was eager to find a way out of the "dark throes of the terrible Michigan winter."

"That’s when something clicked and I went back to the email and realized what the board was asking for was already a part of my artistic process," she said. "It wanted something that was the result of gathering information, celebrating the community, raising awareness of community and how the community makes up what we are.

"My work already involved collecting stories, primarily about love, from people who are interested in sharing," said Wyckoff, who is now an assistant professor at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. "I had actually started that just before I came to Park City the first time in 2011 and it’s been the basis of what I’ve been doing ever since."

So, Wyckoff drew up a proposal, secured some assistance and sent it off.

"It was exciting because a part of my gut told me that this was mine," she said. "It’s really a beautiful thing to have this next step in my career being based in Park City. because I feel this connection to the town."

Although Wyckoff has been here a handful of times, each time has been a boost to her career.

"In fact, a former Park City resident, Melissa Soltesz, just moved to Oregon, and because of the relationship we developed in Park City in 2011, she has asked me to be a part of her gallery," Wyckoff said. "It’s such an honor to be selected for the work. I love the library. I went there so often when I was first in Park City in 2011.

"I am so grateful to be part of the renovation and the community," she said. "I would love to thank all of the supporters and storytellers."