When art’s in season

Salt Lake Tribune, United States

Bountiful Summerfest International

When art’s in season

Annual event featured diverse entertainment, 40 booths
with diverse creations
By Janine S. Creager
Close-Up Correspondent

Article Last Updated: 09/20/2007 12:20:53 PM MDT

Sculptures by Michelle Lawson sit near watercolors…
(Janine S. Creager/Close-Up Correspondent )«1»With the
arrival of the autumnal equinox at 3:51 a.m. this
morning, summer became a memory. But for participants
at the Bountiful Summerfest International (BSI), oh,
what a memory it was.
Bountiful Davis Arts Center Director Emma Dugal
said changes implemented at this year’s festival
helped make the event a success.
"Performances were enjoyed on the beautiful new
stage designed and built by Bountiful . . . [and]
admission was free due to the increased sponsorships
by Menlove Dodge Toyota and many of the municipalities
of Davis County as well as the Davis County
Commission," she said.
Attendance at this year’s event was better than
ever. Festival-goers watched performances by groups
from Armenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Peru,
Philippines and Poland. They also enjoyed performances
by Utah groups such as Salzburger Echo and Salt City
With 40 artists’ booths at the festival, visitors
were treated to a vast selection of talent. Among
these artists were Cottonwood Heights residents Emily
Willis and Michelle Lawson.
Lawson moved to Utah 18 months ago from Australia.
Years ago, she began her artwork with stone and chain
saw sculptures. But with two small children now at
home, she turned to the less dangerous medium of clay.
Her sculptures depict themes such as boab trees and
howling dogs that are reminiscent of her homeland.
Although Lawson loves to sculpt
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the Australian dogs, she laments the fact that her own
dog, Kelby, won’t howl here because emergency sirens
in America sounds different from the ones in
Despite the theme of her art, Lawson doesn’t
believe that art owes allegiance to any particular
Art, she says, allows you to be "able to express
what you’re feeling."
When Lawson moved into Willis’ neighborhood, it
didn’t take long for the two to discover their shared
passion for art. Believing that it would be more fun
to work together, Willis suggested to Lawson that they
share a booth at a festival.
"I love her sculptures [and the stories they
tell]," Willis says about Lawson’s art.
Emily Willis is a watercolor instructor at Granite
Community Education and has received numerous awards,
including one for excellence from the Utah Watercolor
Society Fall Juried Show.
Willis’ start in art began when she was 14 and
took a watercolor class with a friend.
"It was then that I fell in love with painting
with watercolors," she recalls. "I love the
transparency and radiance of watercolors."
Before her children were grown, Willis had to find
time for her art. She enjoys the relative freedom she
now has as an artist.
Art "is becoming more and more of my life," Willis
says. "If there’s an arts festival, I want to be
[there]. If I don’t have something to do, I paint.
It’s like a good friend."

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS