Backstage at the Utah Arts Festival 2023: More about Utah art from different perspectives: Urban Art venue, Holladay artist Vincent Mattina



The programming at the Urban Arts venue at the Utah Arts Festival focuses on fostering freedom of expression, independent identities and creativity but also to demonstrate the value and importance of respect, communal bonds and support within the community of urban and street visual artists and musicians. Since it became a part of the festival, the presence of the Urban Arts venue has contributed to coalescing the community’s acceptance and perceptions of graffiti and many forms of street art as legitimate, worthy of the same merit and acknowledgment as any other form of visual arts.

Pablo Pinet, an urban artist with many connections in the community who has served as Urban Arts coordinator for quite a few years, answered a few questions about this year’s programming.

Sunday June 26,2022 : Utah Arts Fest Jeff Swinger/SwingmanPhoto

TUR: What graffiti installations will you have this year? And, which artists will be collaborating on each day?

PP: We will have a long graffiti wall, a cube with a chalkboard surface, and a tuff shed! This year there will be a collaboration between myself (Mr. Vandal) and Rumble Wilskin

Fat Cap Booth

PP: We will have 6-8 artists on site ready to paint custom graffiti hats all weekend. The hats are painted with permanent paint markers and cost $35. Hats take anywhere from 45-2hours 

Doodle Wall 

PP: Doodle wall this year is a cube! We will have the cube primed in chalk paint and chalk paint markers available for the public to paint on the cube until the markers run out.

DJ Lineup:

PP: This year we have a really diverse line up in music. Anywhere from high energy electronic music to more downtempo underground hip hop. I think the crowds are going to be pleased about this year’s performances. 

June 23:  Matone, 5pm; Drix, 6pm; Bearkat, 7pm; Provoke, 8pm; NGHT WLKR, 9pm; Feral Wills, 10pm

June 24: OneFiveOne, 5pm; Pfuzz, 6pm; Drippla, 7pm; OWN, 8pm; Burnell  Washburn, 9pm; DRUE, 9:30pm; Regular Ass Dude, 10pm

June 25: Mousley, 5pm; Marcanum X, 5:30pm; Geovante, 6pm; Sumpplzkids, 7pm; SuprTek, 8pm

From 2021. Video: Les Roka.

Other Artists:

PP: We have Chew, Densr, Jetpack Johnson, Comi, Knob Art

TUR: Significance of this year’s urban arts programming. And, growing acknowledgment and reputation about the artistic value and merit of graffiti and street art? 

PP: We are thrilled to showcase new evolving styles of graffiti at the utah arts festival this year. The artists involved in this project are constantly exploring different different ways to create letter forms that are best suited in specific color combinations and using teamwork to execute the job. Graffiti culture is always growing and widely becoming more acceptable around the world. This has helped many artists like myself help keep the urban arts culture alive in events and festival settings. Graffiti culture has a lot of ties with hip-hop and bboy culture and with all of those elements combined it will always have a place within the art and music community.


Among the 177 artists at the Artist Marketplace at the Utah Arts Festival is Vincent Mattina (Booth 112, Holladay, Utah) who was juried in 2-D mixed media and digital. He turns sketches into collages, formed from his own photographs and computer work to cease visuals that emanate from spiritual, technology and environmental concerns. He agreed to answer several questions by The Utah Review.

TUR: How have you used art media forms in helping to create an holistic body of artistic work that searches for a more complete expression of your own innermost and most powerful states of emotion, inspiration, contemplation, and self-identity?

VM: For me my arc as an artist is ever progressing. I am always looking for ways to experiment with different media. At the same time I am searching for a way to express my ideas in an individual way that is instantly recognizable as my work. I feel I’m also exploring and hopefully improving on the journey.

Vincent Mattina.

TUR: What is your training as an artist? Who do you consider your most significant influences and inspirations? Do these influences shift as you progress both in your work and life?

VM: I received a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration at Columbus College of Art & Design. My influences are: Raushenburg, Dali, Da Vinci, Ed Klienholz, Bosch… It’s actually a long list, but those seem the most important currently. Absolutely, but I try not to be pulled too far by any one of them. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for anyone.

TUR: Do you work full-time exclusively as an artist? Or, how do you augment your work as an artist?

VM: I am a full-time artist. I do building inspection part-time to help pay the bills.

TUR: Do you find it easy or difficult to start new work? And, typically, how do you prepare yourself to handle both the creative and physical demands of creating your art? 

VM: I don’t have any problem with creative blocks. I usually work on a few projects at the same time, if I get stuck on one I switch to another. It keeps things fresh in my mind. I try to keep active, in the winter I ski and in the warmer months bike and hike. Hiking in the mountains always helps to clear my head and sometimes helps me to work out issues I am having on a project.

Vincent Mattina.

TUR: With regard to participating in the Utah Arts Festival, please share your feelings about being a part of this enterprise? Have you been in other festivals and do you plan to explore other festival venues?

VM; Being part of UAF is a real gift to the community! It’s great interacting with people about my work. It exposes people to art that might not ever visit a gallery or museum.I have been to many festivals. Exploring them got me interested in being part of UAF!

For more information and tickets, download the Utah Arts Festival app for free, available to Android and iOS users. There also are links to the UAF’s standard website. 

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Les Roka
I am a native of Toledo, Ohio, having received my Ph.D. in journalism and mass communication from Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism in 2002. In addition to teaching at Utah State University and the University of Utah, I have worked extensively in public relations for a variety of organizations including a major metropolitan university, college of osteopathic medicine, and community college. When it comes to intellectual curiosity, I venture into as many areas as possible, whether it’s about music criticism, the history of journalism, the practice of public relations in a Web 2.0 world and the soon-to-arrive Web 3.0 landscape, or how public debates are formed about many issues especially in the political arena. As a Salt Lake City resident, I currently write and edit a blog called The Selective Echo that provides an entertaining, informative, and provocative look at Salt Lake City and its cosmopolitan best. I also have been the U.S. editorial advisor for an online publication Art Design Publicity based in The Netherlands. And, I use social media tools such as Twitter for blogging, networking with journalists and experts, and staying current on the latest trends in culture and news. I also have been a regular monthly contributor to a Utah business magazine, and I have recently conducted a variety of editing projects involving authors and researchers throughout the country and the world, including Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Lebanon, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan. I’m also a classically trained musician who spent more than 15 years in a string quartet, being involved in more than 400 performances.


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