Artist Anstead planning interactive eBook about Park City
February 3, 2012
Although Stewart Anstead is an American Fork-based artist who grew up in Chico, Calif., he has an affinity for Park City.
His acrylic paintings of various Summit County scenes have been on exhibit at the Rich Haines Gallery on Main Street for more than 10 years, and he, his wife and four children have made scheduled pilgrimages from Utah County to Summit County to take advantage of the skiing, the Alpine Slide, the hiking trails and the fine dining.
Three years ago, Anstead found himself thinking about creating a new project that pays tribute to Park City.
He decided a book would be the best way to go, but unlike other art books, this one wouldn’t just be a collection of paintings, captions and an artist statement. He decided to make the book, whose working title is "My Park City," an interactive work that would not only show his works, but includes comments and photographs from people who love this unique silver-mine town.
"I see the love people have for this place and it was a natural connection for me to try to create something that showed my paintings, but also share those people’s thoughts about Park City," Anstead told The Park Record during an interview at the Rich Haines Gallery. "It will be more than just a static collection that’s just about me. It will be about the area and how it has impacted other people’s lives."
Once finished, "My Park City" will be published as physical book, but also an eBook. Both versions will be available at Anstead’s blog site, http://www.parkcitybook.com and at the gallery.
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"It will initially be self-published, but eventually, I will get an ISBN number and look for a local distributor," Anstead said.
The artist’s goal is to have all the photographs and comments compiled by the first week of March.
"People can visit my blog site and follow the directions to leave their comments and photos of themselves," Anstead said. "I will take what I have in hand and go to print."
People have already been leaving comments.
"When I told some people I knew what I was going to do, I got an immediate response," he said. "I’m hoping that continues to resonate with a broad spectrum of people who will add their thoughts."
While the printed book will have some limitations on how many comments will be included, the possibilities of the eBook are endless, he said.
"I kind of see this project as a living document, and I will continue to collect comments and at least add them to the eBook," Anstead said. "Anyone who contributes to the book with their comments about why they love Park City will get a free copy of the eBook."
Anstead said the physical copy of "My Park City" would be printed in an affordable, coffee-table format.
"It’s not a hundred-dollar book, but something I want people to have and to share," he said.
Also, Anstead isn’t worried about whether publishing the book will be financially feasible or not. He just wants to share his and other people’s love for Park City.
"The economic realities beg that question, and the answer is my artwork has to perpetuate itself," he said. "If it doesn’t perpetuate itself over time, that’s OK, because I’m happy with the way it has started off, and it’s a better expression of who I am and why I love this area.
"What I want to do is roll some of my art-sales money into supporting the bigger picture, like this book," he said. "That way it becomes something else that the art-buyers can get."
A book is also a good marketing tool, Anstead said.
"It’s a nice additional thing that someone can get when they buy a painting," he said.
Anstead’s love of art started when he was a high-school student, and it wasn’t so much the art that he liked, but his first art teacher.
"We were required to take a liberal arts class and I took art," he said. "The first project we did that involved color was watercolors."
Anstead’s first try at the medium was discouraging.
"It was horrible, but my art teacher, Mr. Simpson, was very perceptive," Anstead said with a smile. "He put his arm around me and said, ‘I see some skill in you, and I have a suggestion. Why don’t you start over?’
"So, I did and he gave me some pointers and I finished it off and submitted it at the end of the week."
When Anstead returned to school, the painting was up on the wall and labeled "Art Student of the Week."
"The piece wasn’t great, but what I learned was with the right teacher, I could accomplish a lot of things," he said. "I also learned that there was a margin of error and redemption. I owe a lot to my art teachers. They reached me and helped me focus on something and saved me."
For more information about "My Park City" and Stewart Anstead, visit http://www.parkcitybook.com