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An introduction to genius

Have you ever wondered how artists find their muse?

Visit the Spiro Arts 2011 summer residencies open studio on May 20 and find out.

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the studio at Silver Star.

Director Justin Parisi-Smith said the open house, which happens twice every summer, is a way for people to see the creative process firsthand.

"It offers a unique opportunity for the public to experience the sacred places where art is made," Parisi-Smith told The Park Record. "While some of the displays will feature finished pieces, others will show works in progress. This isn’t a gallery opening. It’s about the artists sharing their processes."

Danielle Wyckoff, a visual artist from Ohio, has been working on pencil drawings that are inspired by human beings’ capacity to love.

"I’m focusing on that is because love is a connective force," Wyckoff said. "Because most people know what its like to love and lose love, we can somehow understand each other, and that’s what my work is about."

A majority of Wyckoff’s drawings depict people swimming.

"Metaphorically, there are similarities of being in love and being underwater," she said. "There are sensations of floating, buoyancy and the possibility of drowning."

Not only does Wyckoff’s art deal with metaphors, she is also playing with perception.

"From a distance, the drawings look photographic, but the closer people get, the drawings and visuals almost fall into abstraction."

A different type of visual art is artistic animation, which is David Sullivan’s specialty.

Sullivan, who hails from New Orleans, La., said his animations are similar to film, but are non-narrative.

"You can think of it as doing a sculpture, because these are created in a virtual three-dimensional world," said Sullivan, who is a trained painter. "Like a cinematographer, I’m trying to see what looks the best and what would evoke the most interesting thoughts."

Sullivan’s work will be projected on a wall during the open house.

"The works move and change," he said. "My original intentions were influenced by my stay in Park City. I’ve included a lot of crocus flowers, aspens and skiers, which, of course, coming from New Orleans is completely foreign to me.

"My initial idea was to examine how we interact with and perceive nature, and how nature is mediated to us through commercials, film, writing and Internet. As with all my art, things have changed and instead of being the tip of the iceberg, my work is like a sketch of the iceberg seen by an explorer."

In addition to Wyckoff and Sullivan, the residencies include writer Nancy Lord.

Lord, who came to Park City from Alaska, writes fiction and nonfiction books about environmental issues.

Her latest book, "Early Warming," is about the climate change in the north and was released in January.

During her stay at Spiro Arts, Lord has been working on a new book, which focuses on ocean acidification.

Lord, who will read excerpts from the new writings during designated times throughout the night, said she is grateful for the opportunity to work in Park City.

"I am working in a two-room condominium which is set up like a writing studio," Lord said. "I’m about 25 percent of the way done with the new book, but really don’t have an outline. I write and set up the characters and then let them do what they do.

"Being up here gets me away from my normal life so I can get inside my head. It’s been nice being with a small group of other artists, sharing work with them and being stimulated by them."

The Spiro Arts Artists-in-Residence Open Studio event will take place May 20, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1825 Three Kings Drive. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.spiroarts.org .


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