Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2016: Winners announced for Artist Marketplace, Literary Arts competition, IAMA songwriter


f19f3bee-4f0b-405e-8cc8-f75f3bd18c22 The Utah Arts Festival has announced various awards for the 40th anniversary event. Nine awards were presented for the Artists Marketplace. All of the award winners are eligible for invitation to the Utah Arts Festival in 2017. Best of Show and People’s Choice Award winners also will have their booth fees waived.

The 41st annual Utah Arts Festival will be held June 22-25, 2017 on Library Square and Washington Square.



Sponsor Jury Award: Alex Horst, Jewelry, Prescott, Arizona

Gallery Association Award: Damien Jones, Ceramics, Berkeley, California

Board Member Award: Ken Acton, Wood, Billings, Montana

Artist Marketplace Award: Jake Asuit, Metalwork, Cleveland, Georgia


Sponsor Jury Award: Lee Hendrickson, Photography, Goodyear, Arizona

Gallery Association Award: Eli Helman, Drawings/Pastel, East Hampton, Massachusetts

Board Member Award: Chris Blackburn, 2-D Mixed Media, Salt Lake City

Artist Marketplace Award: Charlie Hastings, 3-D Mixed Media, Salt Lake City

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Rhett Risler, Wearable Art, Lucerne Valley, California

Additional awards from various venues were announced (Fear No Film awards are announced in a separate article):

Wasatch IronPen/UltraPen Contest, The Salt Lake Community College Writing Center, 10th anniversary

Adult Fiction:

1st: Shauvana Peterson, If You Believe
Honorable Mention: Jessica Payne, Still Life Neon

Adult Poetry:

1st: Lin Ostler, Slideback to Gather The Sun
Honorable Mention: Trish Hopkins, Temple City to Orlando

Adult Nonfiction:

1st: Pete Gomben, Niches
Honorable Mention: Lisha Yang, Things to tell my past self about SLC

Adult Ultra:

1st: Pete Gomben
Honorable Mention: Joanne Chapman

Youth Fiction:

1st: Skye Caden, Motel Monster
Honorable Mention: Beatrice Teigen, Temple City Motel

Youth Poetry:

1st: Jane Galian, a long time no longer relevant
Honorable Mention: Elsie Hopkinson, the concierge hates his job

Youth Ultra:

1st: Bess Bateman
Honorable Mention: Audrey Nyberg


Individual: Johnny Osi, Denver

Team: Albuquerque Slam, New Mexico


1st: Josh Harmon, Heber City, Utah

2nd: Eric Warner, Logan, Utah

3rd: Amber Ikeman, Missoula, Montana

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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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