Artist/Dad

Artist/Dad is a show I curated that includes eleven artist fathers. The premise for the show was simple: How does being a dad affect your art? Each participant was given free reign to answer this question through their work.
The artists who participated are: Steven Stradley, Namon Bills, Jorge Rojas, Duston Todd, Fidalis Buehler, Tyler Swain, Colby Sanford, Spencer Budd, Jeffrey Hale, and myself. The show will be at Alice Gallery in Salt Lake City until January 12th.

Some of the participating artists: (l-r) Clinton Whiting, Spencer Budd, Jorge Rojas, Justin Wheatley, Tyler Swain, Duston Todd

Some of the participating artists: (l-r) Clinton Whiting, Spencer Budd, Jorge Rojas, Justin Wheatley, Tyler Swain, Duston Todd

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Interview on KRCL

It was a new experience to go on air and talk about an art show. Thank you Lara and Nick at KRCL for inviting me to share a few thoughts on "RadioActive" about the Artist/Dad show that is up at Alice Gallery in Salt Lake City until January 12th. Here's a link to the show:

http://www.krcl.org/blog/radioactive-november-29-2017/

 

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Upcoming and Continuing Shows

It's been a busy few months and I'm excited for the coming weeks. Thanks for all the support!

October 26th: Concatenation: Faculty and Alumni Art Exhibit. The opening goes from 5-7pm in the Tippits Gallery in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU campus. 

November 1st: The President's Show, Salt Lake Community College. The opening reception is from 6-9 pm at the South City Campus, 1575 State Street, SLC, in the multipurpose room of the Center for Arts and Media. The show then runs from November 2 - 14, Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 7 pm, Friday 10 am - 3 pm.

November 11th: The 1-3-5 Show at the Sugarhouse Park Garden Center. Works from 27 artists will be priced at $100, $300, and $500 each. The show runs from 5-9 pm and is one night only. See @utahartmarket on Instagram for more details

November 17th: Small works at 15th Street Gallery as part of Salt Lake City's 3rd Friday Gallery Stroll.

November 24th: Solo show at Terzian Gallery in Park City. I've been preparing for this show for a couple of months and am really excited about it. This past week Terzian Gallery and I were given an opportunity to plug the show live on Fox 13's Good Day Utah.

 

November 30th: The $100 Show, Springville Museum of Art. Lots of well known local artists offer work at $100 per piece. Follow the museum on Instagram and Facebook for upcoming details.

December 1st: "Artist/Dad" is a show that I curated which will feature twelve artists, including myself, addressing the question "How does being a father affect your work?" The show runs from November 17th through Jan 12th, with an opening December first from 6-9 pm. Alice Gallery is located right by the governor's mansion, 617 East South Temple.

Continuing Shows:

Springville Museum 32nd Annual Spiritual and Religious Art of Utah. I have two pieces in this show, which is up until January 10th, 2018.

BYU Museum of Art, The Interpretation Thereof: This is one of the most incredible shows I've participated in. I have two pieces in the show, which is on the main floor of the museum and runs through March 31st of 2018.

A Painting for the Marmalade Library

Justin stands next to the painting, which will be on permanent display at the library.

Justin stands next to the painting, which will be on permanent display at the library.

On February 26, Salt Lake City held the grand opening of its newest library in the Marmalade neighborhood. I feel honored to have been asked to provide a painting for this incredible public space. The painting, titled "Antelope Island and the Oquirrh Mountains," provides a vista of the Great Salt Lake, which can be seen from the neighborhood hills.

Chairs for Charity

I had the privilege of watching the father/son team of Dan and Joshua Toone take my idea for this charity project and bring it to fruition. The chair will be auctioned off on December 10th at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. The money will go directly to Habitat for Humanity. The chair is titled "Shelter," in harmony with the purpose of Habitat for Humanity, and also features a bench made from re-purposed wood and lights powered by a solar panel that is attached on top.

The LDS Church's 10th International Competetion

I am thrilled that my painting "Prodigal Son" was one of 93 artworks selected from over 900 to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ's 10th International Art Competition! Even more exciting - the piece was purchased by the Church History Museum.

Show at Writ and Vision

Orem Library Interview

Artist Interview: Justin Wheatley

July 17, 2015 · by Orem Public Library · in ...and the Kitchen Sink. ·

Justin Wheatley is an artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah State University with an emphasis in drawing and painting and a Master’s in Education from National University. His art show will be at the Orem Library in the children’s section through August 6.
When did you decide to become an artist? What struggles did you encounter along the way?
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to make and teach art. I’m fortunate that I get to do both. The struggles have all been on a personal level. Art is definitely something that is self-driven and there is no room for getting tired or taking a break. If you do that, no one stops to wait.

Tell us about a piece you painted that was important to you.
“One Way” is an important piece for me. I love the idea of an all-white work of art and this one was a challenge. It’s much more conceptual than most of my work and I enjoyed the challenge of getting to the point where I was happy with it.

Which artists are you inspired by?
On a local level, Namon Bills from Spanish Fork has been a huge mentor and inspiration. He taught me a lot about the processes I use. Caitlin Connolly, Colby Sanford, and Leslie Duke are also good friends who I have learned a lot from. On an art rock star level, Lyonel Fieninger, Mark Rothko, and Richard Diebenkorn are all artists I look at when I need some inspiration.


Tell us a little about your process for creating a work of art.
My process is very intuitive. Probably too much. I usually have some sort of idea of what I’m going to do before I start, but the final product is almost always something that I hadn’t envisioned. I’ve been trying to do more studies and sketches before putting paint on the canvas, but I’m always so eager to get started that sketching is just something that gets in the way of painting.

What questions do you hope people ask themselves as they look at your art? What’s your advice for how to interact with and appreciate art?
Most of my work revolves around the home. I mean this in the sense of home vs. house. The paintings aren’t houses. They are portraits of places that a small number of people create their own little existences in. My advice for people who want to interact with art is simple. Ask yourself what it means to you. Don’t be concerned with what the artist is thinking.

Many of your paintings at the library draw from architectural shapes and use striking, bright colors that look unnatural. Do these shapes and colors have a special significance to you?
I have always been interested in the way man-made structures relate to nature. The bright colors are a way to reflect the idea that lots of what we do as people is an abrupt front to the beauty that can be found in our natural surroundings.

Interview with KooZA/rch

This interview took place on May 4, 2015 with www.KooZA/rch.com, and can be found at: http://koozarch.com/2015/05/04/its-all-about-suburbia/

It’s All About Suburbia
Justin Wheatley
Interview

Who influences you graphically?

Lyonel Feininger. I had one of those epiphany moments when I came across one of his paintings at a museum in Essen, Germany. His sometimes subtle, sometimes bold division of space introduced me into the relationship between architecture and nature that I continue to navigate.

The architecture of Rem Koolhaas has also been a big influence.  About five years ago I visited the Seattle Public Library and it completely changed the way I look at the relationship between nature and structure.

 Do you consider yourself a colourist?

I enjoy creating relationships with color that are not typically expected or accepted.  Not too long ago I introduced some colors into my palette for the sole purpose of trying something uncomfortable.  It has been a positive experience and I’ve learned a lot about the influence color can have on a composition. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am a colorist, but color does play an important part of what I am doing.

Do you see your paintings as a fast forward of Hoppers’, in terms of reflecting your vision and frustration with the contemporary American culture?

Without a doubt Hopper has had an influence on what I do. His paintings are peaceful and haunting at the same time, which is something I consider when creating a composition. When I paint a single home I want the viewer to engage with it just as they would with a portrait of a person. The house might provide a feeling of ease or it might make the viewer uncomfortable. Either way, if it evokes something, I’ve been successful is some way.

To what extent do the perfectly crisp edges of the houses help to emphasise the idea of a fake stucco façade that hides the jungle of our everyday lives?

The crisp lines and bold colors are all part of the artificial projection we suburbanites are guilty of. Our homes are the most visible part of our lives. However small and insignificant the façade, it is all we have to tell the world that we are living our dreams exactly how we had planned, whether true or not. I don’t think this is a bad thing. It’s something we can have control of even if other parts of our lives aren’t so easy to predict.

How does your use of mixed media and collage relate to the acrylic on canvas pieces?

The mixed media pieces are a more literal interpretation of the layers of our existence. I start with collage and add layers of photography and paint. The layers that end up being hidden are still there in the work. In the painted pieces the layers are figurative, leaving the viewer to decide what is happening underneath the surface.

What role does the texture back ground play, in terms of depicting an idyllic image and or in reducing the scale and monumentality of the house in 02 acres (image 5)?

The background is an escape from the labyrinth below. When I begin a painting I nearly always start with multiple layers of background, which is a nod to the creation of nature, peace, beauty, etc. I let the brush and the paint dictate where colors will show through or be covered. When I am happy with the background I will introduce the houses. It’s very much like any suburban development, I suppose. Take a natural landscape and introduce something completely un-natural.

About

Justin Wheatley was born and raised in Clinton, Utah. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah State University with an emphasis in drawing and painting and a Masters in Education from National University. His work is influenced by his love for nature and architecture. Justin currently resides in Salt Lake City with his wife and three daughters.

Surviving Suburbia

By Ehren Clark of 15Bytes

“It’s about suburbia,” says Justin Wheatley of his newest work, on view beginning this week at Salt Lake’s 15th Street Gallery. “Suburbia is loaded with kitsch, we’re all living in this kitschy world where we try to make things look nice or beautiful or wonderful, but in reality, a lot of the times, its fake.  It’s not always fake, but a lot of the times it’s just a facade. A stucco facade.”

Shaking Things Up
32" x 48"
Acrylic
 

 

In previous works, Wheatley focused mostly on individual buildings, and usually in a sympathetic manner; but this new work is about the collective and the critique is more acute, the insinuations more astute. A repeating pattern of nondescript roofs, like we see in “It’s all a façade,” is a motif that appears in many of these works. “The Great Wall of Friendly Grove” is the kind of scene one can see driving any major thoroughfare in Utah (and in so many other places just like it across the United States): a tall wall blocks the view of everything but the ever-repeating slopes of roofs in a planned community. But one must question, are the walls here meant to protect, or to hide?

The Great Wall of Friendly Grove
20" x 20"
Acrylic

The claustrophobia of  “Huddling Within Walls,” is an obvious reference to the disharmony that may occur within the well-intentioned harmony of the master-planned community on many levels, be they social, environmental, economic, political, or religious.  It can be a jungle out there in these pre-fabricated living environments, according to Wheatley.

Huddling Within Walls
18" x 18"
Acrylic

Even the more chic communities come under his brush’s scrutiny. “It’s a mess,” he says of Salt Lake Valley’s Daybreak community, built on top of a tailings pond from Kennecott Copper Mine.  “First of all, it’s all stucco, but it’s all villages, one is supposed to be a Cape Cod architecture, and then there’s little cottages, and then there’s horrible condos, and they’re all brought together in this big mess, and it’s like the Truman Show.” In “Deconstructing Daybreak,” large structures in the sky are about to be dropped, with no rhyme or reason, on top of a large surface, this amounting to the rationality of Daybreak, for Wheatley.

Deconstructing Daybreak
18" x 18"
Acrylic
 

But Wheatley is no activist and says, “I’m just as much a part of it. Maybe I would live in Daybreak if I had the opportunity to buy a house there. I don’t know. It’s like making fun of myself. It’s making fun of our society, while at the same time being a little ashamed of it. How long can we sustain it?’”

Something About the Modern Community
35" x 35"
Acrylic

Perhaps his answer is found in “Something About the Modern Community,” an amalgamation of clean modernist homes floating in the sky. But this 20th-century utopia is more an ironic than any kind of literal statement for him.  The castle- in-the-sky mentality may be a lingering dream for some, but perhaps the best part of Wheatley is found in his down-to-earth honesty and willingness to accept his role in his own reality, and to not remove himself when questioning and opening minds, while always being open about his personal supporting role in the absurdity of it all.  For assuredly, as soon as the laughter stops, then the battle is lost.

Review of the 15th Street Show

Surviving Suburbia
Justin Wheatley at 15th Street Gallery
by Ehren Clark

“It’s about suburbia,” says Justin Wheatley of his newest work, on view beginning this week at Salt Lake’s 15th Street Gallery. “Suburbia is loaded with kitsch, we’re all living in this kitschy world where we try to make things look nice or beautiful or wonderful, but in reality, a lot of the times, its fake.  It’s not always fake, but a lot of the times it’s just a facade. A stucco facade.”

In previous works, Wheatley focused mostly on individual buildings, and usually in a sympathetic manner; but this new work is about the collective and the critique is more acute, the insinuations more astute. A repeating pattern of nondescript roofs, like we see in “It’s all a façade,” is a motif that appears in many of these works. “The Great Wall of Friendly Grove” is the kind of scene one can see driving any major thoroughfare in Utah (and in so many other places just like it across the United States): a tall wall blocks the view of everything but the ever-repeating slopes of roofs in a planned community. But one must question, are the walls here meant to protect, or to hide?

The claustrophobia of  “Huddling Within Walls,” is an obvious reference to the disharmony that may occur within the well-intentioned harmony of the master-planned community on many levels, be they social, environmental, economic, political, or religious.  It can be a jungle out there in these pre-fabricated living environments, according to Wheatley.

Even the more chic communities come under his brush’s scrutiny. “It’s a mess,” he says of Salt Lake Valley’s Daybreak community, built on top of a tailings pond from Kennecott Copper Mine.  “First of all, it’s all stucco, but it’s all villages, one is supposed to be a Cape Cod architecture, and then there’s little cottages, and then there’s horrible condos, and they’re all brought together in this big mess, and it’s like the Truman Show.” In “Deconstructing Daybreak,” large structures in the sky are about to be dropped, with no rhyme or reason, on top of a large surface, this amounting to the rationality of Daybreak, for Wheatley. 

But Wheatley is no activist and says, “I’m just as much a part of it. Maybe I would live in Daybreak if I had the opportunity to buy a house there. I don’t know. It’s like making fun of myself. It’s making fun of our society, while at the same time being a little ashamed of it. How long can we sustain it?’” 

Perhaps his answer is found in “Something About the Modern Community,” an amalgamation of clean modernist homes floating in the sky. But this 20th-century utopia is more an ironic than any kind of literal statement for him.  The castle- in-the-sky mentality may be a lingering dream for some, but perhaps the best part of Wheatley is found in his down-to-earth honesty and willingness to accept his role in his own reality, and to not remove himself when questioning and opening minds, while always being open about his personal supporting role in the absurdity of it all.  For assuredly, as soon as the laughter stops, then the battle is lost.