Salt Lake City’s farmers markets draw loyal consumers

Story and slideshow by JOSH SOUTAS

Experience all that the Winter Market has to offer.

 

“We never miss a market,” said Salt Lake City local Paula Butler. Her friend, Lori Martin, added, “We come every time.” Butler and Martin are just two of the many consumers who wander around the Winter Market at 10 a.m. every other Saturday from November until April looking for locally grown produce.

The two said the combination of fresh produce, and the get-together that the Winter Market has become, is what keeps them coming back.

“It’s now as much of a social event as it is a grocery shopping event for us,” said Butler, who is also a regular at the summer Saturday Market. “Not only do you know what you are buying is healthy and good for you, but it is fun to come and meet the farmers who grow and are selling their own local products.”

In its third year, the Winter Market is held in the historical Rio Grande Depot. The train station’s tracks were first used in 1910, according to Utah Communication History Encyclopedia writer Kelsie Haymond. The old train station is transformed into a paradise for consumers who are looking for locally grown produce during the winter months. Vendors, who set up shop where passengers used to load onto trains, give the landmark building a lively atmosphere again.

The market entrance runs through the Rio Gallery, located in the Grand Lobby of the Rio Grande Depot. Shoppers on the second floor get an overhead view of the artwork in the free gallery.

Alison Einerson, market manager of the Salt Lake City Farmers Markets, said in a phone interview that the Winter Market almost exclusively features food vendors who cater to local eaters.

The Winter Market occurs when many vegetables and fruits are out of season. Einerson said that challenge was not difficult to overcome.

“It’s really eye opening to see that there are still so many locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables available, even though it is December and snowing, or February and bitter cold outside,” Einerson said. “There [are] beets, asparagus, parsley, onions, potatoes, and in my opinion our market is home to the best local baked goods.”

Einerson also agreed with market regulars Butler and Martin that many people attend the market not only for the produce, but also for the social occasion that it has become.

It is not surprising to see the Winter Market be successful even though it has not been around as long as the established Saturday Market. Farmers markets have risen in popularity with more than 8,200 nationwide, a 76 percent increase since 2008, according to the USDA.

Steven Mountford is a honey farmer with White Lake Farms. The Genola, Utah, farm has been a vendor with the Winter Market since its opening. It also takes part in the Saturday Market during the summer.

Mountford said he understands why farmers markets have been growing in popularity and size, especially in the last few years.

His explanation? He said people are starting to be curious and are caring where their food is coming from.

“It is important to expose people to the reality of where their food is coming from,” Mountford said. “People are now questioning how their food is getting to them and if it is good for them.”

Mountford isn’t wrong, according to a 2011 food dialogues survey. The survey focused on opinions, attitudes and questions that consumers and farmers had about the state of how food is raised in the U.S. The study found that “consumers think about food production constantly, yet know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table.”

Mountford believes that consumers asking questions about their food and caring where it is coming from is making a difference.

“You get customers asking restaurant owners, ‘Where did this chicken come from?’ or ‘Where did these vegetables come from?’ People didn’t used to ask these questions. And it helps motivate restaurant owners to buy locally,” he said.

Salsa Del Diablo, a Salt Lake City company, has participated in the Winters Market for two years. It also took part in the Saturday Market for the first time in 2015, one of the four Utah summer markets it participated in last year.

The company carries eight different salsa flavors in the summer, and four in the winter. Salsa Del Diablo motivates customers to buy its products by donating 1 percent of profit to adaptive sports in Utah.

Employee Jennifer Lehmbuck said the local markets are what helped the company break through into grocery stores in 2015.

“Farmers Markets open doors for local companies like Salsa Del Diablo,” Lehmbuck said.

Besides the exposure that the market has provided, Lehmbuck said she has seen other benefits of participating in markets.

“These local farmers markets build community. It helps get people connected with their food and lets them get to know where and whom their food is coming from,” Lehmbuck said. Salsa Del Diablo sources the majority of its salsa ingredients from Bangerter Farms, located in Bountiful, Utah.

Michael Pollan, author of “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” and creator of the Netflix documentary series “Cooked,” told “Nourish” that “a farmers market is kind of like a public square, and there is a nice social energy. At the farmers market, city meets country. People learn about where their food comes from and the people who grew it.”

Market Manager Einerson said this growth in community is one of the main benefits of a farmers market. It supports the local farmers and vendors.

Winter Market Transitioning to Summer Saturday Market

 The Winter Market at Rio Grande closes for the season on April 23, 2016. But Einerson and vendors are looking ahead to the Saturday Market, which will be taking place for the 25th time this year. “It has been a staple of the community here in Salt Lake City,” Einerson said.

Many of the Winter Market vendors, including Salsa Del Diablo and White Lake Farms, will return for the weekly Saturday Farmers Market. They will be joined by dozens more who did not participate in the seasonal event.

Einerson said the time off in between the markets seems seamless to staff as they work throughout May to approve applications, finalize vendor lists and assign locations in Pioneer Park.

The summer Saturday Farmers Market, along with the Arts and Crafts Market, run June 11 through October 22, 2016, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“It doesn’t seem like a long break to us because we don’t stop working. But I am sure the public miss it,” Einerson said.

Indeed, for locals like Paula Butler and the Lori Martin who “never miss a market,” the month and a half without a farmers market is too long.

Interested in finding a local farmers market near you? Visit The Salt Lake Tribune for a list of farmers markets near you.

 

 

 

Education, skills and connections: Many say this is the pathway to one’s career

Story and slideshow by PEYTON M. DALLEY

Meet Chris Haston, the head photographer for NBC Studios.

In the small neighborhood on Catalina Avenue in Burbank, Calif., one may not recognize the flood light cameras and crew surrounding the house where the production is occurring. But it’s just another day in Hollywood. The crew and cast are filming a pilot for a television show that they hope will become an instant hit.

Among the hustle, directors are yelling “cut,” “quiet on set” and “that’s a wrap.” Assistants fix fly-away hair, and set designers find the perfect angle of lighting.

Chris Haston, NBC’s head photographer, is part of this scene. Haston has been working for the company for 23 years, and can be found behind the camera capturing the perfect angle of every noted Hollywood icon. He also has had cameo roles in sit-coms like “The Office.”

While Haston’s home may be the rolling green hills of Hollywood, he has also shot movies in Park City and Salt Lake City.

Focusing on the success of Chris Haston

Haston attended a junior college in El Camino, Calif., and tried to figure out which art college he wanted to attend. But he realized formal education wasn’t a good fit for him. “I’m glad I didn’t waste four to six years, when I’m already doing what I love,” he said.

Haston worked at a local camera store in Gardena Calif., a job that meshed with his interest in photography.

While working there, Haston began to take photos of off-road racing, and used a studio called Trackside to edit his footage, experiment with lighting and develop his skillset.

He had also built a connection with a man named Frank Carroll, who was an NBC photographer.

“I stayed on that guy constantly for a job at NBC,” Haston said.

After six years, Haston finally was hired for a lab position in the NBC Studios in Los Angeles producing and making film.

“Persistence and work ethic got me the job,” Haston said. “Being hungry and not letting words ‘it’s not possible’ cross your mind.”

Some aspects of success

Haston not only is doing what he loves, but he also knows his cast and crew. Haston said it’s important to treat everyone with kindness and respect in this industry, because it gets people further than any ego.

“Be nice, not egotistical,” Haston said. “Having egos make[s] it impossible to work with [people] in such a competitive field.”

Haston isn’t the only one making dreams a reality. He works alongside photographers Dave Bjerk, Rafael Ortega and Allan Nadel.

Bjerk said timing in the career process is crucial. “Just because something opens up does not mean a person is ready for it,” he said.

Ortega said, “Some people need to go to college for experience. I took pictures and figured out how to use a camera. Can’t say I’m in a better place than I am now.”

Nadel added, “You can definitely make connections in school.”

While the City of Angels may be the hot spot for future careers, connections play a valid role for hitting the big leagues, Haston said.

So how does one break into the field?

Although higher education wasn’t an ideal fit for Haston, others can benefit from taking classes that help them gain skills. The Career Services office located at the University of Utah can be a good resource for students. Director Stan Inman said his office helps current students as well as alumni to tell their story.

While Career Services provides both connections and help with resumes and portfolios, Inman said students “have to have the skillset to do the job.” That becomes the story students can share with their connections.

“Education credentials are important to have,” Inman said. “We provide contacts that can develop into opportunity.”

Students who have graduated from the U can be surveyed and  jobs they have acquired after graduation can be tracked. Although the survey isn’t inclusive, Inman said, the Career Services website shows students as well as potential employers who has hired Utah graduates. Currently, 35 jobs were booked in the film and media industry, and 11 were booked in the theater industry.

“It’s not a cut and paste process,” Inman said. While a job or internship may not happen immediately, it’s important to have the skillset and credentials.

Haston said even in Hollywood, “knowing someone doesn’t get you the job.” But being able to prove yourself with credentials or skillset can help you get a foot in the door.

 

 

 

 

Public art initiative continues cultural legacy for University of Utah, state

Story and photos by CHRIS SAMUELS

When University of Utah students walk down the main stairs of the Marriott Library, they may not notice a 50-foot-tall mosaic of a stack of books.

Students walk by a public art piece in the Marriott Library.

Students walk by a mosaic created by Paul Housberg in the Marriott Library.

Or, while they’re studying on the third floor common area, they may not see a giant arch with Arabic and mathematical equations that wraps around the center of the open space.

Even in less noticeable areas, sculptures of books rest on bannisters and landings as students pass them by.

After they leave the library, many may be looking at their phones rather than observing sculptures at each of the Utah Transit Authority’s TRAX stations on campus.

Hidden in plain sight, public art can be noticed anywhere on campus.

Art instillations in spaces like the library and other buildings are actually a fixture of the university.

Luise Poulton, rare books manager at the Marriott Library, said three public art pieces were commissioned when the library was renovated in 2009. The works include a 50-foot glass mosaic that scales all floors of the grand staircase titled, “Another Beautiful Day Has Dawned Upon Us,” by Paul Housberg, and a collection of sculptures of books by Suikang Zhao.

But art in public spaces is not just an initiative of the University of Utah.

The state unveiled the Percent-for-Art Act in 1985 in an effort to introduce more art in public spaces and reach more audiences. According to the bill, the measure designates 1 percent of the cost of the building be spent on furnishing the space with permanent public art pieces. The intention of the act is to enhance “the quality of life in the state by placing art of the highest quality in public spaces where it is seen by the general public.” The act also “promotes and preserves appreciation for and exposure to the arts; and foster[s] cultural development in the state and encourage[s] the creativity and talents of its artists and craftspeople.”

A public art piece inside the Spencer Fox Eccles Building.

A public art piece inside the Spencer Fox Eccles Building.

Gay Cookson is director of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the state department that has authority over the bill. Cookson said public art enhances many of the newly created public spaces around the state, as well as the frequent construction projects that are going on around the U.

“I love that the statute is at 1 percent, and that public buildings have to be invested into arts,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to set aside a budget for arts, but with the statute, it’s really the one time when a building is being built that they recognize they need to do a significant investment in art. Even though it’s forced by statute, they were excited to be engaged in the work.”

Obtaining the art, Cookson said, is a process of application and determining what fits best with each publicly funded building. When it is nearing completion, a committee comprised of planners, building managers and those who will be using the space will review proposals for art pieces. At least one art expert is always included in the group.

Cookson said when a new project is considered, the Division of Arts and Museums can receive up to 40 different proposals by artists from Utah or across the country. The committee’s responsibility is to narrow the list down to three finalists. Those finalists are given $1,000 to construct a model to present to the committee. Then, a winner is selected and is given the funding to proceed with the art piece.

Cookson emphasized that the entire committee is not reliant on art expertise. She wants those who will view the instillations much more frequently than experts to make the decisions.

A sculpture of a book is displayed outside the Marriott Library

A sculpture of a book by artist Suikang Zhao is displayed outside the Marriott Library.

“We want the final say to be on who will be living in that space,” she said. “Which is kind of cool because you’re empowering people who really have no artistic experience to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on art.”

Since the act’s inception in 1985, every new publicly funded building that is constructed must have 1 percent of the total cost of the building be dedicated to art, according to the bill. Buildings that were already completed by the time the bill was introduced are grandfathered in, and do not need to retroactively install pieces.

Administrators of public buildings can opt out of the art requirement if a certain percentage of the costs of building the structures are not met by public funds, according to the language of the bill. This was the case for the newly-completed S. J. Quinney Law School, which had enough private donor money in place to exempt it from the Percent-for-Art Act. However, Cookson said law school leaders wanted to honor the importance of art in public spaces, and complied with the mandate.

After a work is completed, the Division of Arts and Museums is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the pieces, according to the bill.

On the Utah public art website, finalists and commissioned artists of each project are publicly listed, with their website or portfolio attached.

A public art piece outside the Sorensen Arts and Education Complex.

A public art piece outside the Sorensen Arts and Education Complex.

Traveling Exhibit Program provides Utahns access to high-quality art

Story and slideshow by JORDAN SENTENO

According to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Traveling Exhibit Program (TEP) delivers high-quality, professional exhibits to numerous educational and nonprofit organizations, including underserved communities. The exhibits travel to museums, colleges, universities, community galleries, arts and cultural centers and libraries.

TEP Coordinator Fletcher Booth said the program is particularly important to rural communities where access to high quality, original art is limited. The exhibits nurture understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, promote creativity and encourage cultural activities in local communities. The program also provides artists a way to showcase their artwork, gain public recognition and increase the value of their art.

Laura Durham, who does marketing and communication for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, said, “The Traveling Exhibition Program is one of the more far-reaching programs we have. It takes visual art to all the regions in the state of Utah, including a lot of schools and community centers that don’t get to see very much artwork.” She added, “The kids especially get very attached to the exhibits when they come to their schools and they hate to see them go. We provide educational materials for the teachers so the kids can interact with the artwork in a meaningful way.”

TEP aims to provide meaningful arts experiences by including educational components that teachers can download and use. The materials vary from exhibit to exhibit. For example, the Design Arts Utah exhibit provides two documents called “Why Teach Art?” and “Looking at Art.” They discuss why art is important and how to look at art in different ways.

“It [TEP exhibits] is the one thing that students will stand and talk about,” said Rhonda Harrison, principal of Fillmore Elementary School, in an interview at Hogle Zoo. “We have seen a lot of conversations about why they think it is drawn or painted. Students look forward to the art work coming [the zoo] once or twice a year.”

Every year, Hogle Zoo sponsors the World of the Wild, which showcases artwork of animals and the wild. According to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the goal of the exhibit “is to bring together the works of serious artists who are interested in displaying their view of wild animals, plants and places with which we share our world.”

According to a press release, “by highlighting animals and plants in the wild, this exhibition strives to educate viewers on the challenges faced by artists and techniques used when depicting animals. Additionally, this exhibition strives to draw public awareness to and increase appreciation for the animals and fragile ecosystems depicted.”

The companion curriculum, “Stamp Out Extinction,” “encourage[s] students to examine wild animals in their community that may be endangered or approaching extinction.” Teachers can help students use printmaking techniques to create posters that promote animal conservations.

Rose M. Milovich, preservation manager and exhibition program director at Utah State University Special Collections and Archives, said, “Having the opportunity to see and study original artworks from cultural, aesthetic and technical standpoints can really encourage creative/critical thinking and doing.” Milovich, who was at the zoo, added, “This kind of encouragement can happen for anyone at any age. Our world needs people who can think creatively – people who can examine the work and find solutions to all that faces us.”

Each year, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums curates about 20 traveling exhibits that feature many different mediums, processes and styles. For example, photographs that won prizes at the 2015 Utah State Fair are being shown at Grand County Library in Moab through April 26, 2016. The traveling exhibits are scheduled for one-month periods at $125 per exhibit and people can sign up for them online.

Fletcher Booth, as TEP’s coordinator, then creates a schedule. On average, he arranges about 80 exhibits each year.

Laura Durham said, “Not only does this provide the communities with a new show to look forward to, it’s also great for the artists who have work in the shows. Their audience is greatly expanded as a participant in these exhibitions and they can put all these locations on their resume of where individuals have viewed their artwork.”

Laura Durham: The work of an artistic woman

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Laura Durham enjoys her job with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Photo courtesy of Durham.

Story by JORDAN SENTENO

Utah native Laura Durham has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Brigham Young University. She currently works for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums in Salt Lake City and manages marketing and special projects that encourage public value of the arts in the state.

Growing up as a young girl, she really enjoyed music and art. Both her parents were musicians so she was surrounded by music all the time. The turning point for her was when she was in high school. She went to London with her father when she was 17 to study art and music.

“Since my parents were both musical artists I knew I wanted to do something with art and music and kind of rebelled against them by going into the field of art history,” she said in an email interview.

She has 15 years of working experience with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Before being promoted to marketing and public value manager, she worked as the visual arts coordinator. She also does graphic design on the side as a hobby, but has used those skills to create a brand and unique look for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

Durham also enjoys cooking, traveling, writing and sharing stories in her spare time. With her enjoyment of music, she sings with the Utah Chamber Artists.

Durham works out of the division’s main office in the historic Glendinning Mansion at 617 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City. Also located there is the Alice Gallery, named after founder Alice Merrill Horne. Durham chose to work at the Utah Division of Arts and Museums because she wanted to work with the arts and build programs, while also giving back to the community.

She serves on many boards, including the Salt Lake Gallery and Utah Emerging Museums Professionals. And she sits on the Downtown Marketing and Events committee, assisting with the Downtown Farmers Market, Dine O’Round and other community events.

She has worked for several other arts programs within the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and was the visual arts coordinator managing the Rio Gallery and Traveling Exhibits. She also served as the vice president of the Salt Lake Gallery Association from 2003 to 2006.

Durham was program director of the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll from 2005 to 2010. “It was significant because it’s a great anchor in Salt Lake City when it comes to the visual arts,” said Durham in an email interview. “It’s a community event that people can count on each month and it has fostered a fertile environment for new galleries to pop up and join. A lot of business have joined the fun too, as we see more small business rotating local artwork on their walls and opening up their doors for the Stroll.”

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A piece that Durham designed for “15 Bytes” about Utah artists. Image courtesy of Durham.

She regularly contributes to “15 Bytes,” which is an online visual arts magazine in Salt Lake City. She serves, too, as assistant editor and managing music editor. Durham has developed a longstanding partnership with Artists of Utah, publisher of 15 Bytes. The magazine publishes two free adds every month for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums so it can advertise what is going on in its galleries, literary arts programs and more.

Durham has developed many other partnerships, such as with the Salt Lake Film SocietyUtah Film Center and Utah.com. She is in the process of helping the latter showcase its website and direct tourists to the wide variety of arts that are available here in Utah.

In 2014, Durham completed the Change Leader Program, which is a professional development course. According to the Utah Division of Arts and Museums website, “Participants attend a three-day institute with instruction on assessing environment and the communication and facilitation skills necessary to implement change.” As part of the program, Durham initiated a project called “Utah’s 15 most influential artists.” In a press release about it, Durham said, “Hopefully this program will inspire more people to recognize how art has enhanced their quality of life as well. And hopefully we will nurture a society that more widely and visibly values artists and their contributions.” She  said in the release she believes artists influence our landscape and culture. “I sought to identify Utah artists who influence and impact our community,” she said.

 

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Spotlight: Mod a-go-go

Story and photos by PEYTON M. DALLEY

Clear pane windows line the walls and the smell of old furniture fills the room. In the background, a smooth-jazz album spins on the record player.

Welcome to Mod a-go-go, at 242 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City,  and step into the scene of the iconic sitcom “Mad Men.” Jon Hamm’s character, Don Draper, would not be disappointed. With local artwork on the walls as well as a compilation of old-school furniture, this store-turned-gallery is just one of the 36 galleries featured in the monthly Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

On the main floor, buyers or patrons of the event can look at both furniture and artwork.

But the real masterpieces are located upstairs, where Mod a-go-go hosts its stroll event. And on the night of Feb.19, that event, which focused on landscapes, captured the essence of what artists here in Utah have to offer.

The idea became a reality

Eric Morley and Marcus Gibby are the owners of this local gallery. When artists choose to have Mod a-go-go promote them, Morley and Gibby split the profit 50/50. “We’re a launching pad for artists,” Morley said. “We have had people here who now are featured outside of Utah.”

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Eric Morley, left, and Marcus Gibby, owners of Mod a-go-go, enjoy a break during February’s Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

He and Gibby set up everything for the artists. “We don’t even require volunteer work,” Morley said, unlike some galleries. “Our goal here is to get artists out of cafes and restaurants and give them a place to showcase their work.”

Morley came up with the idea for the gallery during a project he was working on as part of his MBA. He said his entrepreneur class at Westminster College in Salt Lake City helped spark the idea, because students had to identify a gap in the market. Morley knew the business of art, while his business partner, Gibby, was an artist. Together, the two balance out the scene of the gallery.

Emergining artists

Artists who are interested in showcasing their work through Salt Lake Gallery Stroll must contact the specific gallery they want to work with. For example, Mod a-go-go has an online application that individuals can submit with a sample of their portfolio.

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Artist Laura Beagley and husband James stand by a piece they designed together. James creates the base, and Laura uses copper wire and precious stones to construct the piece.

Artist Laura Beagley promoted three pieces for the first time at Mod a-go-go. She showed delicate sculptures created as part of a “Wishing Forest” theme.

“Wishing trees and the tree of life are what inspire me. Every culture has a tree of life in it [that] links us to the world and heaven,” Laura said. She handcrafts the works with copper cord and precious stones that her husband, James, finds from the Utah mountains. He also helps her set the foundation for her works of art.

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Artist Oscar Da Silva stands in front of his canvas artwork portraying the theme of the West. He was exhibiting for the first time at Mod a-go-go.

“I get different inspirations. I like the feeling of the seasons,” Laura said. Her pieces also reflect a mythical approach and include fairies and fantasy.

Local artist Oscar Da Silva also had his first showing at Mod a-go-go. He had on display six of his original oil pieces portraying the theme of the West.

“I like working with subjects that don’t limit my creativity,” Da Silva said.

He said he prefers to paint portraits, but said he loves the land.

“Take a look around you, that’s inspiration,” Da Silva said. “Inspiration comes, let it find you.”

He is passionate about what he does. S0 passionate, in fact, he quit his full-time job in customer service at the University of Utah to pursue his art. He has shown in galleries across northern Utah.

Gallery Stroll draws crowds of all ages

Word of mouth, and promotions by local media such as City Weekly and SLUG Magazine, are how artists and viewers alike get a snippet of what is offered at the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

Natassja and Ryan Turek said it is their second time attending the gallery stroll. They said they are merely “art appreciators,” but hope to one day buy pieces of their own.

The Salt Lake Gallery Stroll on the night of Feb.19, 2016, drew crowds of all ages to venues such as Mod a-go-go. With the scent of old finished wood still lingring in the air, and the record player spinning jazz music, the gallery slowed down for the night. But a  few visitors lingered in the “Mad Men”-like setting.

 

 

 

Artist exposed: What does it take to make it in Utah?

Story and photo by PEYTON M. DALLEY

While blue skies and daunting summers may claim Utah’s geography, the passion driven from local artists shines brighter than any summer day could.

From public art outside to Saturday morning farmers markets, local artists can be seen from every part of the state, enlightening audiences from Saint George to Logan.

What exactly does it take to be a successful artist in this state? Utah has world-renowned programs at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University that focus on art-related programs, and platforms like the Utah Cultural Alliance that allow local artists to be showcased.

However, does education play a role in the success of the artists that Utah is producing? Or is it the connections made by individuals that create their success?

Young-Otterstrom

Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Crystal Young-Otterstrom, executive director of the Utah Cultural Alliance and a noted opera singer, is one example of Utah success. She has been named one of Utah Business Magazine’s “40 under 40″ and boasts an impressive resume that includes performances in Vivace, an opera group based in the Utah area, helping to start the Utah Symphony and founding her own company, Foursight Partners. Young-Otterstrom is an artist who has shown success in the Utah community.

Young-Otterstrom earned a music theory degree from BYU, and completed her master’s degree at Queens College in New York. She credits her success to her knowledge of the field and the skill sets she learned in college. But, she added, “You [also] learn along the way.” Young-Otterstrom currently promotes her own company while serving on the board of several art organizations, including LDS Composers Network.

Young-Otterstrom said connections can help people get from one step to the next. She said she has gained valuable contacts through the wide variety of work she has done with local organizations.

Another success story in the Utah community is Pat Bagley, the editorial cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune. He said in a phone interview that he “immersed” himself in the arts community and took history and political science classes. Bagley said “it helps to be exposed to what you want to do.”

Bagley’s work has been featured in Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Bagley, also a  graduate of BYU, has been putting pen to paper at the Tribune since 1979. He said connections are helpful, but skill set is more valuable. He obtained his job at the newspaper based on his portfolio.

While success can be found in the Utah market, what are the necessary steps to get there?

Tanner Forbes aspires to one day make Broadway headlines. Photo courtesy of Tanner Forbes.

Tanner Forbes aspires to one day make Broadway headlines. Photo by Wendy Clymore.

Tanner Forbes, a student at BYU who is triple majoring in the Music Dance Theater Program, is hoping to one day break into the arts field, locally as well as nationally.

“I think there needs to be a balance of talent and connectivity,” Forbes said in an email. “I strongly believe that all talent will eventually make its way to the top, but there’s communities of artists everywhere and you have to immerse yourself in that world in order to expand your success as an artist. But always be trained! Always be trained before you jump into communities of artists. Education works wonders with that.”

Forbes is currently a BYU Young Ambassador. He credits his ambitions to the skill set he has developed in his courses and  through outside training. He also studies the work of individuals such as the late actor Heath Ledger, who died in 2008, for  inspiration.

Forbes is focused on his future and is passionate about his career choice. He hopes to land an audition on Broadway after his training at BYU, and hopes to play a role such as Elder Price in “The Book of Mormon” in New York City.

“I’ve found that Utah is extremely diverse,” Forbes said. “Sure, it’s no New York or [Los Angeles,]  but we have so many different types of people pursuing so many different types of paths, especially in the Salt Lake area. There’s really opportunities for everyone here.”