November 11, 2021
“One of our missions with The Collective is to create a platform for selected, local artists and craftsmen to showcase and sell their wares. We want a part of The Collective to reflect the talents of our local community.” - Katherine and Kathy
As we talked with the artists featured in this edition of The Collective Thread, we were delighted to learn more about their inspirations, methods, goals, and attention to sustainability. In many cases, they have found beauty in the imperfections of their work, and for some, COVID was the instigation to take a step back and be able to finally listen to those creative urges. We find it encouraging to read about people in our community who have achieved fulfillment and success in both their art and in starting a business, and we hope you do too. Please stop in and check out the artwork from these talented individuals from now through the holidays.
Trip Hunter of Blue Fig Charcuterie Boards
Hunter is a bit of a renaissance man – by day he is a Senior Vice President at a tech marketing firm, but he was a boat craftsman in college which gave him his first exposure to epoxy and fiberglass. He went on to make custom furniture and cabinets for 7 years in New York City, before heading into the tech world. He inherited his creative instincts from his mother, who designed cufflinks for Tiffany’s; her work is nothing short of stunning.
Like most good stories, it all started with a bar. Trip Hunter was looking for a project during COVID, while he quarantined with his family in Park City, and decided he wanted to build a bar. To learn more about the process, he began producing smaller serving boards to experiment with different woods, epoxy, colors etc. Over the course of 12 months, he gave his “experiments” to friends, and when people’s reactions were overwhelmingly positive, the idea for Blue Fig emerged. He did eventually finish the bar, but now has a healthy following at The Collective where his boards offer the ideal integration of natural and modern elements.
Hunter finds inspiration in each beautiful slab of wood that he selects for the base of his custom charcuterie boards. He uses only repurposed wood ranging from Walnut to Teak, and most recently he is exploring exotic woods such as Black Limba and Guanacaste. He analyzes the grain and patterns inherent in the wood and contemplates what colors will best complement those elements. Producing the boards is an intense process that involves lots of sanding, pouring, blow torches, molds, temperature adjustments, and patience. As he sands and applies each layer, he unlocks new textures, patterns, and colors which keeps the creative progress exciting and interesting, and of course contributes to the distinct look of each piece. The final product arrives in a beautiful Blue Fig bag hand sewn by Trip! For this outdoor enthusiast, working with his hands is a creative release. Trip continues to come up with innovative designs, experimenting with new woods, and looks forward to working on more commissions in the future.
Sarah Ashley Peterson Fine Art
Sarah Peterson has successfully fused her skill in graphic design, her fine arts degree from the University of Utah, and her love of the mountains to come up with a trail-blazing personal style that is unlike anything we’ve seen before in the western art world. Peterson loves to mix organic shapes like mountains and clouds, with more geometric shapes that give her work a more modern aesthetic. Growing up in a small town in Idaho, she spent time camping and hiking with her family, so landscape has always been her primary source of inspiration.
Building and refining the panels that Sarah paints is an essential part of her technique; they must be completely smooth so the paint glides easily over the surface. Acrylic paint dries quickly making it the ideal medium for her to layer and add different colors to achieve her unique look. She usually begins with a reference photo from a place she visited, establishes a color palette, pencils in a quick composition sketch, and then lets the artistic flow take over. Sarah credits many of the classes she took at the U with helping her to become the artist she is today. She was often pushed outside of her comfort zone to experiment with different mediums, portraits, abstract, etc. She fell in love with the feel and grain of wood along with the texture it offered for her painting. As she has evolved as an artist, her work has become more detailed and abstract. Another interesting aspect of Sarah’s work is that her pieces are not always square or rectangular; they are available in a variety of shapes. Sarah took an installation class while getting her degree and found it scary but also freeing that art didn’t have to be confined to a canvas. She created floating installations, anamorphic images, and art that circulated a stairwell. Peterson believes that everyone should be able to enjoy art in their home, so her paintings come in a range of sizes, which makes it accessible to people of all economic levels.
The clever juxtaposition of modern shapes with a classic landscape on her custom made wood panels makes Peterson’s art a perfect fit for The Collective and we are excited to represent this talented young artist and new mother!
Ron Butkovich of RSB Design
The shelves in Ron Butkovich’s jewelry studio are filled with eclectic and quirky treasures – horns, buddhas, small and large gems, mixed metals, soft leather, pearls, old coins, rare beads, charms, watch cases, and branches. It’s like your grandma’s attic, but with a cool bohemian flair and a sprinkle of nature. It is a story of a life well-lived and an imagination that never stops. Butkovich finds inspiration for his jewelry designs everywhere – from the sticks, stones, and flowers in his own backyard to the markets he frequents in Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. Nature always plays a feature role, and Ron particularly loves to contrast natural details like pearls or horns with gold or diamonds, secured on a rough length of leather. Butkovich has been creating jewelry for over 30 years and during that time his style has become freer with a focus on highlighting the stone versus the jewelry that surrounds it. Combining old with new to create a one-of-a-kind design is at the core Butkovich’s creative method and he encourages his clients to bring in a brooch from their grandmother and or a sentimental stone and he will incorporate it into your custom piece. Butkovich has been with The Collective from the very beginning, as his style thoroughly melds with the vision of the mountain modern lifestyle that Kathy and Katherine were looking to create.
Lindsay Arnold of Quincy Candle Co
Lindsay Arnold’s love of candles started as a kid back in New England where power outages are frequent, so candles were used all over the house. Artistry was in Arnold’s DNA; her grandmother was an artist, her mother taught her how to create candles, and she was a studio art major at the University of Virginia. However, it wasn't until she had some free time away from her full time job as the event director at The US Ski and Snowboard Team during COVID, that she was able to turn her artistic talent and passion into a thriving business.
The gift of light has been around for thousands of years, and she was drawn to the opposition between the glittering natural light source and the industrial calm of concrete. She also knew she wanted to make art that people could reuse. At first, her intention was to have the candle holders look machine made. Time and again during the pouring, cooling, and molding process the forms would have holes, textures, and they were maddeningly not completely smooth. Even though she was striving for consistency, none of them came out the same. As she continued through trial and error, sometimes the holes would look like a face, or exactly four dots would create a cool pattern. She discovered that beauty was in the imperfection. Each concrete form was its own little work of art, and what’s even better is that they are reusable as a planter or a pen holder. Customers can order a refill of wax from Arnold’s website, or at The Collective.
Arnold had to master the science of blending the soy wax at the right temperature to maximize aroma and burning time. She uses only all natural scents which she mixes and matches to create specific blends that appeal to her customers. For The Collective, Arnold worked with Kristin, the store’s manager, to formulate a fragrance that represents the mountain modern milieu that is characteristic of the Park City boutique.
Kris Hanaman Fine Encaustic Art
Don’t be surprised if you see Kris Hanaman on the side of the street, bent over a dumpster retrieving some textured packing cardboard. The encaustic artist sees opportunity all around and collects everything from guitar strings and discarded screens to antique stamps to incorporate into her work. She is motivated by the colors in nature, like the vibrant red of a Hibiscus flower, or the orange of a La Jolla sunset. Feeling an empty space in her life after her children left home, Hanaman embarked on a variety of workshops to find an outlet for her creative “whisperings,” as she calls them. She finally took an encaustic class with Jeff Juhlin at the Kimball Art Center, and felt an immediate connection to the medium. Drawn to the playful, experimental element of using beeswax and resin, and in particular - the layering and scraping that would continually reveal new patterns and textures. Hanaman likens it to an artistic treasure hunt, where the unplanned turns into something magical. Another aspect of encaustic that Hanaman feels good about is the ability to melt down and reuse all her wax scraps, so there is no waste.
The encaustic medium is an ancient art form dating back to 500 BC, when Greek shipbuilders used it to repair and weatherproof their ships. Eventually they started adding color, which allowed it to be used for decorative purposes. With the help of modern technology and the ability to easily provide constant heat, encaustic has become a mainstream art form in the 21st century. Finding the necessary heating element required Hanaman to find a well-ventilated space to work, so she rented a studio in Salt Lake City, where she was fortunate to meet and be mentored by another artist across the hall. After months of working and learning, her friend encouraged her to submit her art to the Springville Museum’s annual spring salon and much to her surprise, she was accepted – for three years in a row! This early validation gave Hanaman the needed encouragement to show and sell her work. Kris is grateful to The Collective for supporting local artists like herself and helping increase the breadth of her customer following.
Stefani Kimche, Saam Beads
With a lifelong passion for the visual arts, Stefani embraced an opportunity to combine her wanderlust with creativity. Her collegiate studies of archeology and fine art fueled a fascination with the historical importance of beads. Acquired throughout diverse cultures; beads have retained constant significance as a form of trade, worship, and beauty. She is especially drawn to vintage rosaries, mala chains and prayer beads. Stefani’s interest solidified when she began collecting the ancient Hebron trade beads which are featured in her strands. Hundreds of years old and made from the sands and salts of the Dead Sea, these beads were prized throughout Africa and Europe. The beads have traveled through many countries and cultures, gathering a shared history along their journey. Each unique strand contains a mix of rare and collectible beads, organic material, and fair-trade sourced components. Whenever possible, female artisan products are used. The curated selections, which are only available in Park City through The Collective, are thoughtfully strung together, allowing their combined history to continue in someone else’s story.