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Draper Journal

Draper artists to display works for sale at the Art in the Barn exhibition

Aug 02, 2022 10:51AM ● By Katherine Weinstein

By Katherine Weinstein | [email protected]

The city of Draper is home to a thriving community of visual artists working in a wide variety of media. The public will have the opportunity to see some of their work at Art in the Barn, an annual exhibition organized by Draper Visual Arts Foundation. The art show will take place at the Day Barn in Draper Park, 1166 E. Pioneer Road, on Aug. 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We like to focus where we can on Draper artists, but there are other Utah artists who come in as well,” explained Jenny Hendricksen Haase, a member of the Draper Visual Arts Foundation Board of Directors.

Exhibit spaces inside the barn filled up quickly. “This year we are opening up the opportunity to have art on the grounds,” Haase said. Some artists will be able to show their work in tents outside of the barn. “A lot of new artists are joining us this year because of that,” added board member and artist Deborah Shurtleff. In fact, this will be the largest Art in the Barn exhibition ever.

Before moving their community art show to the Day Barn about five years ago, Draper Visual Arts Foundation held the annual event at a local hotel. This year approximately 30 artists are participating, 10 of whom are showing their work in Draper for the first time. “There will be quite a variety of artists represented, from people who haven’t shown a lot to people who are very well-known,” Shurtleff said.

Visitors to Art in the Barn will find examples of fine art including paintings, sculpture, pottery and photography in different styles. “We have very contemporary to highly realistic pieces,” Shurtleff said. The former Draper resident will be exhibiting her own paintings which she describes as contemporary realism. “I do more western art such as landscapes and horses,” she said.

Shurtleff added that the show reflects the diversity of Draper’s art community. Leo Platero, a Native American artist and art teacher will show his paintings. Prachi Kulkarni, an Indian-American painter, will exhibit her work as well. Both artists refer to their respective cultural backgrounds as subject matter for their paintings.

Emily Kennard Dunn, an artist from Draper who worked for Disney Interactive Studios for 10 years, is also showing her latest works at Art in the Barn this year. As a high school student in 2000, Dunn won Draper Visual Arts Foundation’s Art Scholar Competition.

The story of Draper Visual Arts Foundation actually has its origins nearly 100 years ago when Draper Park School Principal Reid Beck oversaw the purchase of a painting for the school with money raised by students and teachers. For many years after that, the students raised funds to buy works of art annually. Perhaps the best known piece in the school’s collection is a painting of Ichabod Crane by Norman Rockwell which was purchased in 1953.

When the Park School closed, the art collection was put in storage for many years. In 1992, retired schoolteachers Hulda Crossgrove, Jean Hendricksen and Mary Sjoblom raised concerns about the condition of the collection with Jordan School District. As the district lacked the funds to restore and care for the art collection, the three women teachers founded Draper Visual Arts Foundation in 1993 with donations from the community and the generous assistance of attorney Raeburn Kennard.

In addition to caring for the Reid & Willda Beck Art Collection, Draper Visual Arts Foundation is dedicated to conserving, promoting and celebrating art in Draper. To this end, they sponsor the Art Scholar Competition for high school students each spring. They have started a community art collection and commissioned works of art for public display, including the Draper mural by Linda Curley Christiansen at Draper City Hall.

Shurtleff, who described herself as the unofficial chairperson of Art in the Barn, said that her work with Draper Visual Arts Foundation has been a pleasure. “I’ve enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun.” Shurtleff and Haase encourage people to come to this year’s event to support local artists.

For more information, visit the Draper Visual Arts Foundation website at