Thirty-one years ago Jann Haworth was in an English studio with her then-husband, the British pop artist Peter Blake, designing and constructing what would eventually become the set for the cover of the Beatles' celebrated record album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
Today, Haworth's home is a mountain cabin on the slopes of Sundance ski resort up Provo Canyon. With her writer husband, Richard Severy, and children, Haworth lives a life only dreamed of by other artists. There, among the picturesque mountains, Haworth not only continues to create her own art but teaches for and directs Sundance's Art Shack Studios."I believe very determinedly in art being accessible," she said in a recent interview. "I don't like art that's elitist. And I don't like art that suggests that only artists can pursue it. That's one of the reasons I'm here. It's ridiculous to think that art belongs to just a few talented people."
Today, Haworth is determined to demystify art by bringing it down to a level that everyone can understand and enjoy.
Born in Hollywood, Haworth spent much of her childhood running around movie studio backlots where her father was a set designer. Her mother, a potter, had a small pottery shop."I'd be in my playpen eating clay while my mother practiced the piano," Haworth said.
As a typical teenager, Haworth rebelled against the family tradition of going into the arts and chose instead to pursue math and science as a career. However, after several difficult classes, she returned to her roots and began to study art seriously.
One summer, on a break from UCLA, Haworth visited her father on the set of the movie "The Longest Day" being filmed in France. "On my way home, I stopped in England and had this experience. As soon as I got off the train and my foot touched English soil, I knew I wanted to stay." She did - from 1959-97.
In England, Haworth enrolled in the Slade School of Fine Art in London, hitting "the '60s very much square." She went through rock 'n' roll and the "Beatles thing" but came away less than starry-eyed. "I think there were some serious problems in the '60s - and I never was involved in that sort of drug culture. I was always very straight. I couldn't understand what they were all on about and why they really felt that drugs was going to do anything for the arts."
It's this propensity to take things seriously that has helped Haworth create such a great artistic climate at Sundance. Ever since she set up shop in May of '97 she hasn't looked back.
"There's potential here, I believe," Haworth said. "It's partly the mountains, it's partly the way the area takes you, you know? It just pulls your spirit out. And it's partly because people are on holiday and they're excited and they're really looking, and they're stopping and up against people from different places. And it's partly the magic Redford has created here."
Along with with her daughter, artist Liberty Blake, and potter Dennis Zupan, Haworth has added visiting tutors to the Art Shack's program. Linda Tay'nahza', Susan Mole and Roger Day will each bring a different slant to art instruction, as well as provide students with a sound back-ground in methods and techniques.
"I used to believe that art was the fat of society. Now I think it's the thing by which our society will be judged," Haworth said.
Sundance's Art Shack Studio programs will run through June 21. On Mondays, by arrangement, there are demonstrations and workshops on painting, drawing and sculpture. Tuesdays bring pottery and clay instruction, while Wednesday has stenciling, printmaking and painting skills. On Thursday the studio will help students learn papermaking, marbling, collage and maskmaking. Friday has right-brain drawing and painting in watercolor and oil. On Saturdays all studio facilities are in use, and on Sundays the studio becomes a gallery.
For more information about the Art Shack Studio programs, call 801-225-4107.