* Park City Art Festival participants are finding a variety of visual treats to please the eye this weekend. Not only is Main Street filled with works by 244 booths of artists and craftspersons, but permanent art galleries and pocket plazas are exhibiting their new, exciting works.
Park City's program for art in public places has been in full swing for about a year now. And outdoor art can be seen in several locations.A tile mural by Lark Lucas has just been mounted on a wall east of the Kimball Art Center. To the west of the center and across the street, the unfinished sculpture by stained glass artist Mickey Smith is attracting attention.
And in some of the plazas along Main Street, sculptures by Park City's Bill Kranstrover and Judy Summer and a painting by David Chaplin recently have been added.
Last fall, officials of Park City's public art program assigned the Kimball Art Center to handle two of the commissions - at $1,000 each. In turn, Diane Balaban, director of KAC, commissioned Mickey Smith of Summit Park and Lark Lucas of Albuquerque to create works.
In the case of Smith's sculpture, Balaban said that "the $1,000 barely paid for the footings of the installation." She added that Smith supplied most of the materials herself.
Both Smith and Lucas "gave a considerable donation in time, talents and materials," Balaban said.
Fortuitously, Lucas walked into Kimball Art Center while I was there. Although she was frantically packing her belongings for her journey back to Albuquerque, she very graciously answered some questions.
When asked why she was willing to give so much of her time and energy for her Park City project, she said that she has been connected with the Kimball Art Center since 1979. She has held several shows there as well as taught summer workshops in ceramic tile work. Over the years, she has developed a love of and allegiance to the center.
After she accepted the commission last fall, she spent many hours during the winter months making preliminary designs and drawings.
From the beginning of the project, Lucas felt compelled to pursue the theme "art is a bond between the people of the world." Those words are included on the mural.
The figures, representing different nationalities, were done through research in books and through slides she had taken over the years, Lucas said.
Actual tile work began in earnest in May - after school was out. Lucas has been attending and teaching classes at the University of New Mexico. She plans to graduate next May with a master's degree in art therapy. After graduation, she will pursue a doctorate in art education with an emphasis on drugs and and alcohol abuse.
Lucas laid out, worked on and fired many of the ceramic tile pieces in her studio in Albuquerque. However, en route to Park City, some of the tiles broke. And Lucas also decided to make some last-minute changes in some of the other tiles.
"KAC's kiln was ready and running for me when I arrived in Park City," Lucas said. "And a friend and former student flew in from San Francisco to help me redo and refire the tiles."
* After taking a look at Lucas' tiles and Smith's sculpture outside KAC, visitors will enjoy entering the center to view the mixed-media exhibit by Park City artists.
Some of the highlights of this exhibit include Sally Howe Rosen-blatt's watercolors "Del Monte Florist" and "Casa Fountain"; Linda Myers' fiber piece "Papoose of the Sunset"; Diane Balaban's watercolor "White Adobe"; Shirl Groesbeck's painting "Oriental Geraniums"; and photographers Kathy Pike's "Misty Harbor" and Dave Whitten's "Cottonwoods."
Balaban said that during the Park City Arts Festival, the center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The entire art center staff will be on hand to assist gallerygoers and prospective buyers.
* Other art galleries have been preparing for the hordes of people who invade Park City during the annual Arts Festival. And gallery hours have been adjusted accordingly.
Family Jewels at 591 Main St. is celebrating its 13th birthday with a sale of selected art work. In addition to original designer jewelry, the gallery features prints and posters by Michael Atkinson, Dawna Barton, Cecile Johnson and others.
Picture Framing Annex at 531 Main St. and Right Angle Framing at 517 Main St. also carry posters and prints.
Old Town Gallery (444 Main St.) boasts of attractive paintings by Lynn Berryhill, David Chaplin, Marianne Cone, Gunther Johannes, Fred Lyman and Tom Mulder; original etchings by Trevor Southey and Moishe Smith; and sculptures by David Adams, Ursula Brodauf-Craig, Larry Elsner, Richard Erdman and Frank Riggs.
A new addition to this gallery is a large, well-lighted exhibition room in the back that is filled with a number of exciting art works.
Hoffman Galleries at 333 Main Street Mall can now be found in the space previously occupied by Sun Gallery at 333 Main Street Mall. Several of the Sun Gallery regulars continue to display works there, including Utah painters Farrell Collett, Elva Malin, A.D. Shaw, Jim Olson, and sculptors John and Gary Prazen.
Some new artists exhibiting there are portraitist Bob Holley, who has set up his easel and draws pastel and charcoal portraits right there; and Evelyn Fournier, whose prismacolor drawings capture wildlife in incredible detail.
Further south and up the hill, the Meyer Gallery, 305 Main St., has filled its walls with impressive works by painters Richard Murray and Gary Smith; and sculptors Clark Bronson, Gary Price, Dennis Smith and Grant Speed.
The Lido Galleries, in its new location next to the Meyer Gallery, features a number of works by other top Utah and out-of-state artists.
Participants in the annual Park City Art Festival should take time to cool off in these indoor galleries and shady parks. But for those who can't make it for the festival, these Main Street galleries and pocket plazas will continue to display top-quality artwork throughout the year.