June 16, 2011

Deseret News Announces Spring Salon Winners

This article featured in the Deseret News highlights some of the history of the Spring Salon at the Springville Art Museum and also lists Santiago as a Merit Award winner.

A Salon to see: Annual art show in Springville draws more than 1,000 entrants

visit Deseret News to view the complete article
by Carma Wadley

Now in its 87th year, the Spring Salon is also a sign that Utah is continuing to grow a rich and vibrant art community. "Best show ever," says museum director Vern Swanson, as he should. The show is supposed to get better every year, as local artists continue to hone their skills and raise the bar of excellence.

What makes this year's show so exciting is not only the number of works in the show — 253 — but also, the variety of style: landscape, abstract, portraiture, fantasy and more; and the variety of media: oil, wood, acrylic, steel, graphite, mixed media, photography, bronze, crayon, pastel, assemblage, watercolor, ceramic, silver gelatin, and so on. "This year's show is absolutely phenomenal in terms of variety and scale," says Ashlee Whitaker, associate curator for the show. "There really is something for everyone."

Although there are about the same number of works as in past years, the exhibition fills all the galleries on the main floor and spills over into a couple of galleries on the upper floor, she says, mainly because "the physical size of many of the pieces is much larger." But her excitement about the show is not just about size. "The quality is simply outstanding," says Whitaker. "We really feel like it is a visual representation of the Utah art scene, how it is expanding, how it is producing quality works in all media and styles."

That has been the goal of the Spring Salon from the very first. The first salon was initiated by Virgil O. Hafen, the son of artist and museum-founder John Hafen, who had returned from studying art in Paris in 1920. While in France, he had been introduced to the salon idea and went to Springville High School with the idea of hosting a similar event.

In February 1921, the school put together an experimental show, which was so well-received, the first official Salon was launched the next year. That first exhibition featured only Utah artists. But in 1923, it was expanded to include out-of-state artists, as well. The purchase prize was increased to $500, and invitations were sent to leading artists throughout the country.

The Spring Salon proved popular with viewers. By 1927, more than 40,000 people came to view the show, and by 1937, some 60,000 attended the Salon — especially impressive when you consider the population of Springville in 1940 was only 4,777. It has been held every year since, except for three years during World War II, when shipping restrictions and gasoline rationing made it impractical. The show has come full-circle, says Whitaker. "Now we again restrict it to Utah artists, or those with Utah ties, and even with that we more than have our hands full."

This year 1,008 works were entered into the show; finalists were selected by jurors Adam Price, director of the Salt Lake Art Center, and Philipp Malzl, a professor of art history at BYU. The Salon is still considered Utah's premier fine art exhibition and is always a highlight at the museum, Whitaker says.

What is so fun, she says, is that "every year you see a lot familiar names, many of whom are among Utah's most-honored artists."

87th Annual Spring Salon Awards

• Jurors' First-Place Award: Jeffrey Robert Pugh, "Skyscrapers & Cowpies."
• Jurors' Second-Place Awards: Shea Guevara, "Back Alley;" David W. Meikle, "The Grand Canyon."
• Jurors' Third-Place Awards: Sandy Freckleton Gagon, "She Remembered She Could Fly;" Travis Richard Tanner, "New York Stock Exchange;" Sunny B. Taylor, "Horizon."

Merit Awards: Bruce B. Allen, "Cereal Food Processors;" Mark Bangerter, "Men With Crabs;" Nathan L. Barnes, "Emergent World;" Erin Westenskow Berrett, "Gatekeeper;" John P. Berry, "Rabbit Brush;" Darci Bertelsen, "Alex;" Ryan S. Brown, "A Painter's Inspiration;" Fidalis David Buehler, "Goodman's View: Danger Sliding Rock;" Brian Angus Buroker, "Garden Fantasy;" Heather Campbell, "Lost Treasure;" Larry W. Christensen, "Entering Gethsamane;" M. Morgan Coleman, "Evening Pasture;" Suzanne M. Conine, "Red River;" Mark Douglas Crenshaw, "Sheep;" Blue Critchfield, "Maximizing Happiness;" David Dornan, "Abstract-o-matic;" Deon Duncan, "Portentous;" John O. Erickson, "Summer's Child;" Peter M. Fillerup, "Hard and Fast All the Way;" Edward J. Fraughton, "Monarch of the Plains;" Sharon R. Gray, "Puns, Portraits and Parodies II," Carolyn Guild, "Spirit of Water — No. 1;" John Lytle Helton, "Symphony of Flight;" Mary Beth Hogue, "Maple Symphony;" Craig Neil Hone, "Night Shift;" Mark Missman and Jason Bullard, "He Grew in Wisdom and Stature;" Gerald Theodore Johnson, "Shrouded City;" Brian Thomas Kershisnik, "We Were Artists in Danger;" Steven B. Kropp, "Desert Solitude;" Santiago H. Michalek, "Murphy's Wholesale, Something, Something, Something;" Travis B. Miller, "Spiral Trout;" Anne Morgan-Jespersen, "In the Zone — Mr. Superharp: Colton James;" Matthew Carl Nelson, "The Secret World of Onions;" Carl Randsom Owens, "Passing the Time;" David Roy Pendell, "#1, Going Back Series;" Denis Phillips, "Untitled #17;" Ian M. Ramsay, "Columbia Dock;" Anton J. Rasmussem, "Temple Mountain;" Bruce Dean Robertson, "Camden;" Steven K. Sheffield, "Half Moon Rising;" Sophie Soprano, "24th of July Parade, Spring City;" Anders Sorensen, "Forgotten Windmill;" Shirley Tegan, "Grounded;" Leslie Thomas, "Big Lump;" Dahrl Thomson, "Double Eagle;" Terrel J. Van Leeuwen, "3 Cars;" Adrian Van Suchtelen, "Vanitas: Snowbird Tiger Moth;" Adrian Thomas Waggoner, "Once Upon Ohio;" Anne C. Weber, "Rocky Hillside;" Michael Workman, "Watsatch Front."

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