"The urge to create is born in every person. It is an expression of his natural desire to relate as a human being to the environment in which he lives. While these desires may be stifled by the social and economic pressures of our time, there will always be those who have an inner compulsion to create in spite of every obstacle." — David R. Campbell, president of the American Craftsmen Council, 1959-63

This statement — part of Campbell's "Voice Over America" radio broadcast on the visual arts — is as true today as it was back in the early '60s; proof of the statement's accuracy is the resurgence of the Utah Designer Craft Alliance and its inaugural exhibit at the Art Access Gallery.

Noted ceramic artist Dorothy Bearnson and sculptor Angelo Caravaglia founded the organization — originally called the Utah Designer Craftsmen — back in 1960.

The association of craftspeople survived and exhibited under this name until the early '90s when the group became dormant. However, with the continued production of quality artwork by the artists, the association was revived last year under the new name.

The word craft, when used as a noun, means an occupation, trade or pursuit requiring manual dexterity or the application of artistic skill. When used as a verb it means to produce with care, skill or ingenuity. Manual dexterity, artistic skill and ingenuity certainly describe the UDCA's exhibit; every piece is intriguing, visually stunning and finished with the highest, professional quality.

"Utah boasts a strong population of artists making objects which are thoughtfully and skillfully crafted," said Kerri Buxton, president of the UDCA. "As an organization, we embrace the breadth of intent in this artwork; to include the esoteric as well as the functional, the contemporary as well as the traditional."

Whether functional or conceptual, the goal of Utah craftspeople is to produce beautifully crafted constructions. With this exhibit, they have succeeded.

The Utah Designer Craft Alliance Inaugural Exhibit will run through April 13 at Art Access, 339 W. Pierpont Ave. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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