Jose Pulido + Nerf Hearders, Super Mario and Benjamin Franklinstein

Star Calaveras

Super Mario Skull

I know a bit too much about pop culture. Who doesn’t anymore, I guess? I don’t read People magazine or anything like that, but I do have a soft spot for old sci-fi movies that don’t seem quite as good as they did when I was a kid. Or a classic character from a good old fashioned Nintendo video game. And one thing I absolutely love is when a pop-culture icon is taken from their familiar setting and looked at from a slightly irreverent angle. Nothing says love like parody.

Benjamin Franklinstein

Not too long ago I got home from work and discovered a gift from Anna. She suprised me with the print “Star Calaveras” by Jose Pulido (top image). Love it!

Check it out. Maybe you’ll like Jose Pulido’s artwork too. You can learn a little more about him and see more of his work by clicking through the links below:

Craft Lake City – Call for Volunteers

Anna @ Craft Lake City

Want to be cool like Derek Dyer? And, well, cool like me (Anna)? Come out and volunteer at Craft Lake City, one of the radest art events in Salt Lake!

SLUG Magazine’s alternative arts and crafts festival is calling for volunteers to help with the second annual Craft Lake City. Volunteers will be asked to help prepare for the festival by lending a hand in one or more of the following areas: artist set up day before the festival, artist set up day of, tear down day of the festival, offer directions at the information booth, help shoppers find specific artists at the information booth and oversee the creation of children’s crafts in the kid’s area. Volunteers are also needed in the weeks leading up to the festival. Volunteers will be utilized starting at 2-hour shifts and extending into as much as 10 or more hours depending on their availability.

“Our volunteers will gain hands-on experience working to produce this growing alternative arts and crafts festival,” says Angela Brown, SLUG Magazine Editor and Craft Lake City Organizer. “We will also be offering little gifts to our volunteers to say thanks.”

Angela & Derek @ Craft Lake City

“Volunteering at the first annual Craft Lake City was a rewarding and inspiring experience,” says Derek Dyer, local artist, founder of the Utah Arts Alliance and Craft Lake City 2009 volunteer. “The shear amount of creativity from the local artisans represented at the alternative craft fair was refreshing. I can’t wait to lend a hand in 2010.”

Craft Lake City will be held on Saturday, August 14. 2010 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The event is free and open to the public. It is an outdoor arts festival that will showcase over 100 artists, specializing in handmade goods. Affordably priced items like silk-screened posters, reconstructed clothing, knitted items and jewelry will be available. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day and will include craft demonstrations, street performers and musical acts. The event is sponsored by the Gallivan Center and hosted by SLUG Magazine. Last year’s event included 70 artist booths, 15 sponsor booths, eight local bands and over 3,500 visitors.

Despite the construction going on at the Gallivan Center, Craft Lake City 2010 will still call the Gallivan home. This year, artists will be located along Gallivan Avenue. The space will be more condensed, bringing the artists closer to one another and opening up more space for more vendors. There will also be a band stage set up on Gallivan Avenue for entertainment throughout the day.

For more information or to fill out a volunteer application please visit: And be sure to add us as a friend on Facebook.

Ready for some Cuteness? Check out Holly’s Puppets

Alligator Puppet with Baby Monkey Snacks
Alligator Puppet with Baby Monkey Snacks

Had enough fashion for a while? Ready for something that is just plain cute? Today I wanted to tell you about an artist we discovered on Etsy. Her name is Holly, and she crochets the most adorable handmade puppets. So far I have 4 of them. I bought the zebra, two unicorns and a wizard for Todd. We wanted to tell you a little bit about Holly because her stuff is so damned cute. And the amazing thing is, she sells her puppets for just $9 each. Her prices blow me away. Holly lives, works, and crafts in Los Almos, but believe it or not she actually has Utah ties and has sold in a Utah craft store. Here is my interview with Holly.

Question 1) How did you get the idea to make puppets?
Answer 1) I had a friend who thought I should be able to make some puppets of some of her children’s favorite characters, and sent me some patterns she purchased off the internet and told me I should be able to “figure it out.” In the beginning I made puppets that looked like copyrighted characters…I don’t do THAT anymore, though. For many years I sold at Mormon Handicraft (editors note, this is a Utah store that I loved when it was downtown!).

Grandma and Big Bad Wolf Puppets
Grandma and Big Bad Wolf Puppets

Question 2)Are all the puppets your original designs?
Answer 2) I design all my puppets, although if you look carefully there or two or three basic types, with variations. It’s the details that make the difference.

Question 3) Your prices are VERY affordable! How do you keep your prices so low?
Answer 3) My prices are low because I work cheap (and fast). If I were trying to support myself by crocheting I would charge a lot more, but it is more of a hobby (some would say addiction). I crochet ALL the time : in the car, watching TV. Since I don’t use written patterns, my craft is portable and limited to the amount of yarn my husband will let me put in the car! I work half-time as a technical services librarian, so this is definitely “supplemental income” for me.

Crocheted Dragon Puppet
Crocheted Dragon Puppet

Question 4) Do you continually design new puppets? Where do you get your ideas?
Answer 4) I get requests for new puppets all the time. At first it was my friends and children who inspired me; then I worked as an elementary librarian and students were coming up with ideas. Now I have grandchildren! The sheep was my latest creation.

Question 5) What tips or advice do you have for other crafters on building a successful Etsy business?
Answer 5) I am relatively new to Etsy (less than a year), and before that have sold items in shops and craft sales. I not only make puppets, but potholders, dishcloths, water bottle holders and hacky sacks, among other things. I am not sure I am really a “success” at Etsy yet. My son, the engineer pointed it out to me and it took me 6 months to get enough puppets set aside to actually post. I appreciated the discipline of setting up the shop,getting my daughter and husband to do photographs, and the business credit card and the PayPal account. I have always kept business accounts and had a license and state tax number, but this certainly made it easier to “do it right.”

Check out Holly’s Puppets on etsy at Oh, and just a tip, if you start collecting Holly’s Puppets like Todd and I have, beer bottles make a great, inexpensive display stand for these little guys.

Don Olsen – Utah’s Abstract Pioneer

"Thespian" - 1978
"Composition" - 1963

I’ve never really been a pure abstract painter, but I have always loved that style. It’s always a special treat to come across the artwork of one of Utah’s abstract pioneers, Don Olsen. I’ve often spent hours looking at his color and lines. Usually at the Phillips Gallery, Springville Art Center, or the Salt Lake Art Center. Something about his painting makes my eyes sing for joy! “La La La!”

Don Olsen was born in Provo, Utah in 1910. Olsen studied the violin at BYU and graduated with a degree in music in 1935. In the 50’s, Olsen began his career as a professional painter and split his time between Utah and New York so he could study with the first generation Abstract Expressionists. Hans Hofmann specifically, but also Franz Kline, Willem De Kooning, etc. Incredible painters.

"Chelsea VI" - 1980

Don Olsen died in 1983 and I never had the chance to meet him personally, but I did meet his widow, Betty. I was actually able to spend some time in his old studio at their home in Murray, Ut. What a treat! I was honored when Betty gave me a book and some posters that were used for a retrospective at the Salt Lake Arts Center. I’m going to go through my book again right now.. If you haven’t met one of Don Olsen’s paintings yet in person, I hope you’re able to soon.

Spring 2010 SLC Fashion Stroll

SLC Spring Fashion Stroll 2010

The SLC Fashion Stroll is the event that introduced me to Salt Lake’s local fashion scene. I first got involved in Stroll showing my crocheted costumes, scarves and swim wear. After showing in Stroll a time or two, event founder, Matt Monson invited me to help organize the event, doing the PR, marketing and even a little bit of fundraising. To me, Stroll is Salt Lake’s coolest fashion event. I like it because it is low brow and low budget, the only place we don’t skimp and pinch is on the raw creative local design talent. We focus on local designers who haven’t been discovered yet, giving them a chance to show their stuff on the runway. Okay, maybe our runway is actually just a parking lot, but the crowds who come out for the event don’t seem to mind.

Fashion Stroll is coming up Friday night, May 21st. We will have 3 runway shows at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. The 7:30 show should be a fun one because it will exclusively feature the SLCC Fashion Institute students. The band Laser Fang will perform. My friends from Transfusion Hype are also coming out to dance for the crowd before the 7:30 and 9:30 shows. From what I’ve heard, there will be public (though still family-friendly) nudity on display, so don’t miss it.

We couldn’t put on Fashion Stroll without all the great sponsors who help us out. The Downtown Alliance, SLCC Fashion Institute, Retro Rose and Especially for You Flowers have helped us out for Spring Stroll with much needed cash contributions. In Magazine has helped us advertise the event and they, along with the SLC Film Center, have become our partners in crime for our week-long fashion event, Thread. Highlife does all the hair and make-up for the event, and has really showed their commitment this year by getting up at 4 a.m. to style our models for a Big Budah/Fox 13 live shot. Henries Cleaners has served as our home base for all these years, letting us use their space to put on the show. Wilhelmina UTG is a loyal sponsor and good friend, providing models not just for the event but for all the pre-publicity we do, sending out their girls and guys even at 4 a.m. if we need them. Thanks to XMission for hosting our website, this is a great company that does a lot to make Salt Lake cool. Last but not least, I want to thank SLUG Magazine for helping us out with advertising, editorial coverage, and just being great friends. So when you are out shopping, please be sure to patronize these businesses, knowing that when you do, you are supporting the arts!

And here are the details on Fashion Stroll! Hope to see you there.

Spring 2010 SLC Fashion Stroll
Friday, May 21, 2010
East Broadway (300 S) between 200 and 300 E
Salt Lake City

The event begins at 6:30 p.m., with all-local fashion shows at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Free to the public!
Featuring Jordan Halversen, Krista Nielson, the students of the Salt Lake Community College Fashion Institute and many other designers.
For more information, visit or find the SLC Fashion Stroll on Facebook.

Free-Free-Free Fashion Film – “Marc Jacobs and Lous Vuitton”

Thread Week is finally here, a solid week of Spring Fashion Events for Salt Lake City. For the second Thread event, we are working with the SLC Film Center to offer a free fashion film screening. The film, “Marc Jacobs and Lous Vuitton,” is not easy to find. You can’t get it on Netflix, see it at Brewvies or rent it at Blockbuster. And I’m told you can buy it, but it costs $200! So this is your chance to see it for free. And because we just can’t get enough local fashion, the film will be followed by a 30 minute question and answer session with three of my favorite local fashion designers, Keith Bryce, Krista Nielson and Jordan Halversen.

Here are the details:
SLC Film Center’s Fashion Film – “Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton”
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
155 W 200 S
Salt Lake City
8:00 p.m.
Free to the public
Must be 21 or older to enter.
For more information, visit or friend the SlcFilm Center on Facebook.

And while I’ve got your attention, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the cool people I have been working with at the SLC Film Center to plan this event. Levi Elder is the Communications Coordinator for the SLC Film Center. While this is a very cool job, he also DJs a very cool show called Return, Attack and Revenge on Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 on, so check it out. Levi is also putting together the 2010 Damn These Heels LGBT Film Festival. Damn These Heels is coming up June 10-13, so put it on your calendar. Mariah Mann Mellus is an old friend of ours, she is the Membership and Outreach Coordinator for the SLC Film Center. Mariah also writes the Gallery Stroll column for SLUG Magazine. You can find the free mag any place cool and get a great preview of local art when you read Mariah’s column.

I also have one parting tip for you – the SLC Film Center and SLC Film Society are not the same thing! Google them both and get more familiar with our city’s art resources. Thanks for reading and we can’t wait to see you at the movie!

Max Ernst and his Controversial Rubbings

"The Fireside Angel" - 1937
"Europe After The Rain" - 1942

Imagine some strange bird/horse/human hybrid escaping from the forest and dancing through modern city streets. A sight for sore eyes! This is what I imagine when I look at Max Ernst’s “The Fireside Angel”. And then, when done with it’s dance, the city is overgrown with moss and coral. This is what “Europe After the Rain” looks like. I love these paintings and, in my humble opinion, Max Ernst is one of the the greatest artists of the 20th century. I am fascinated by Max Ernst, the artwork he made, the techniques he used, and the lives he touched.

"The Temptation of St. Anthony" - 1945

Max was a German painter and sculptor, and one of the founders and pioneers of both the Dada and Surrealist movements. The techniques he used to create his images are also very interesting. He invented the graphic technique called frottage, where he would use a pencil or other drawing tool to make a “rubbing” over a textured surface like wood or a leaf, and use the “rubbings” as a source of inspiration for images and drawings (Anna tells me the term frottage also means to rub yourself against another person in a sexual way. Didn’t know that…). Max also experimented with another technique called decalcomania, where he’d press paint between two surfaces to create unexpected shapes for inspiration and a basis for further refinement (this technique was used to help create the linked image “Europe After The Rain”, “Temptation of St. Anthony”, and “The Anti-Pope”).

Another technique that he also used a lot, and I’ve borrowed and used from time to time in my own artwork, involved flinging a string that had been soaked in paint across a canvas as a way of drawing and creating unique shapes (as seen in “The Kiss” below). He also experimented extensively with collage. Gotta love Max Erst and his innovation!

"The Anti Pope" - 1942

Max also led a very interesting and, sometimes, very difficult life. He was involved with the fantastic artist Leonora Carrington, until he was arrested by the Nazi’s and held in a concentration camp for creating “degenerate art”. He was eventually released but, when the Nazi’s occupied France, Max was arrested again by the Gestapo. With the help of Peggy Guggenheim, a well known American patron of modern art, Max was able to escape and flee to America. Max and Peggy were married for a short time after he made his escape, but it didn’t last. Max eventually moved from New York to Beverly Hills, where he met and married another incredible surrealist painter, Dorthea Tanning. The two moved to Sedona, Arizona because Max said the landscape matched up with his surreal landscapes. They eventually moved back to France, where Max lived until he died in 1976.

Another fun fact! You will notice that Max Ernst uses birds quite a lot in his artwork. This is an alter-ego he named “Loplop”. The bird symbol evolved from his childhood belief that humans and birds belong to the same species. I guess one day his pet bird died, and an hour later his younger sister was born. He must have felt that his bird was reincarnated in his sister or something.

Whew, maybe more history and background than expected, but I have never met a painting by Max Ernst I didn’t enjoy!

"The Kiss" - 1927