We are pleased to share the winning works from our visual art contest.
About the Artists
1st Place Winner, Anne Mecham Gregerson:
I grew up in Idaho, the daughter of an avid outdoorsman. Following my dad over mountain trails, and floating the South Fork of the Snake River with him in the old yellow rubber raft, I learned to see and love the beauty of the earth. That connection with nature is still my touchstone, my soul’s anchor. I moved from Idaho over thirty years ago, and have since lived in Arizona and Utah, where I have fallen in love with the desert, especially the red rock country.
I first studied sculpture at the Tucson Museum of Art School with Michael Cajero, then took classes at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, and received a BFA in fine art with an emphasis in sculpture from Brigham Young University. I also completed K-12 Art Education certification and taught art for several years in Utah schools. I have also taught workshops for adults, teens, and children in several venues, including ArtAccess in Salt Lake City. I later returned to BYU for graduate work in ceramics, and continue to learn from other artists through classes and workshops. I exhibit my work mostly in regional shows, and am represented by A Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Anne’s rich, deep and elegant sculptures evoke comfort, compassion, contrition and a deep sense of feminine life and power. The “Home to Roost” piece shows with humor and delicate beauty the subject’s resignation to the “expect the unexpected” aspects of daily life, lingering mental conundrums that have “come home to roost”, as well as a kind of holy echo that this these avian familiars represent the reminder from 3 Nephi 10:5: how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.
“The Guardian” stands – her halo radiant and divine – serene, wise and reverently mute. She gracefully presents, protects and embraces the household of a mother and her children. This is no fluffy woman-on-a-pedestal image but an artful invocation of power, strength and love.
In “Offering,” a richly textured and intriguing woman emerges – might it be from baptismal waters or from the baptism of fire that life’s experiences provide? The clinging lace and the darker tones add visual vigor and energy to the piece. She holds her hands cupped. Is she receiving or giving? Her expressive face raises questions for the viewer to ponder. Is she grief stricken? hollowed? sacrificial? bone-and-soul weary? Is she grieving something she has just offered up? Or is she awed at the prospect of accepting an offering for her life of service and struggle?
2nd Place Winner, Katie Liechty:
Having grown up in the damp green of Seattle, I learned to love the outdoors at an early age. It was not until I had taken some film photography classes in high school that I realized that recording images of what I explored was a real interest to me. I completed my bachelor’s degree in photography at Brigham Young University in 2015, and worked almost exclusively with film photography. Now living in Davis, California, I am learning how to approach photography in a new environment.
These photographs demonstrate the artist’s eye for texture, tone, composition as well as mood and setting. In “Window” the image, bold in design and deeply evocative, presents a gauzy, haunting, time-morphed nostalgia. “Deep” shimmers infinitely with texture and the interplay of light and darks as though we were seeing the conception of the universe – rich, diverse and spectacular. “Roots” is another interplay of contrasting textures and shapes, gnarled lights and darks and graceful curving lines – a pulsing totem of interconnected life.
3rd Place Winner, Lisa Jensen:
While working on my Masters in Art Education from BYU, I was privileged to have worked at the Springville Museum of Art, and be involved in organizations like the Statewide Art Partnership (SWAP), and the Professional Outreach Programs in the schools (POPS). I came to know and work closely with many of Utah’s finest artists and art educators, and loved traveling through the state sharing art presentations and professional development programs with all of Utah’s schools. I felt at home in the museum atmosphere, and at one point was awarded Museum Educator of the Year for the state. It truly was a dream job for those few years, and even though I eventually left that job for the better job title of Mother, I’ve ached to be actively involved again in the art world ever since.
My husband and I have three elementary-aged children now, so Motherhood is still very much my job, but as they grow I find myself with a little more time here and there, and being pulled more and more to weaving more of what makes me feel like me back into my life. I truly believe our greatest joys in life come from creating, which is only natural I guess since we come from the most creative being in the universe (a concept that has long stuck with me since hearing President Uchtdorf’s “Happiness Your Heritage” talk in 2008). Currently my work has been in abstracted landscapes–breaking down our connection to place into the colors and textures that create the emotive experiences we have in nature.
The artist pares down elements in these landscapes to their essentials – the impressions of motion, joy, emergence, growth, vitality. The compositions spring with energy and abundance, robustly lifting our hearts as well as our eyes.