March 2019 Art show at the Downtown Artist Collective

The Downtown Artist Collective is proud to present the work of Desarae Lee and Prajit Ravindran in a show titled Desolate.

March 2019 DAC show featuring the work of Desarae Lee and Prajit Ravindran

March 2019 DAC show featuring the work of Desarae Lee and Prajit Ravindran

Desarae Lee is a fine artist and illustrator from Salt Lake City, Utah. Her art has appeared in galleries and art shows across the US and she has won numerous awards for her work. She is also a published author and illustrator and serves as a founding board member at Salt Lake City’s Downtown Artist Collective, where she can occasionally be found teaching drawing or printmaking.

Desarae’s technique revolves around using line to create value and texture.  Working primarily with pen and ink, Desarae balances exact, meticulous line-work with natural, flowing compositions.  Over time, her work has developed to include watercolor, tea staining, and printmaking.  This shift results in more organic drawings that still maintain her original intricacy.

Influenced by personal trauma and struggles with depression and anxiety disorders, Desarae creates work that revolves around themes of finding humor in pain, beauty in the grotesque, and light in the darkness. As comfortable referencing geek culture as she is bearing the depths of her soul, Desarae’s work ranges in theme but is always, as she says, “an attempt to connect the hidden places in myself to the hidden places in the viewer, to somehow create a bridge of communication over the immense expanse of our differing perceptions, beliefs, and experiences.”


Prajit Ravindran started his journey in the world of photography over a decade ago. He dabbled into different genres of photography before focusing on landscape photography. He has traveled to 24 states in the US to capture the natural beauty that surrounds us. During the last several years he has driven around 100,000 miles exploring the rich, diverse landscape that Utah has to offer. He is currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah and has shown in many venues across the United States and was Included in Time magazine's 51 photographers to follow in the US -

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DAC January 2019 Artist Spotlight - Larry S. Cohen

Downtown Artist Collective member Larry S. Cohen works as a Design Director, Environmental Graphic Artist and Fine Artist, in a variety of media including painting, photography, and mixed media. He is originally from Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Larry makes work by layering textures, stencils, found objects and other flotsam on a variety of different materials. He considers his work as “abstractions that are reflected landscapes of both a physical and metaphysical nature.”

He also considers his work as “a response to my surroundings, my personal history, beliefs & choices. The work acts as a sort of biography. It is an embodiment of the act that is now represented before you.”

Coney Island Boardwalk - W21st

Coney Island Boardwalk - W21st

Larry believes that his art, like any body of art, is an evolving process. “The work evolves as I do. I don't attempt to sway your experience of it. It speaks to you as only you experience it. I don't want to tell people what to think. I want to present an object and let them figure it out.”

Safe House

Safe House

You can see more of Larry’s work here

DAC July 2018 Artist Spotlight – Jamie A. Kyle and Miroslava Vomela

In July 2018, the Downtown Artist Collective hosts artists Jamie A. Kyle and Miroslava Vomela for the show “Concentrated Curated Mess”, an art exhibit featuring photography and mixed media collage works. 

Jamie A. Kyle is a photographer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She completed a bachelor of fine arts degree in art with and emphasis in photography from Weber State University and is currently pursuing her master of fine arts at the University of Utah in Studio Art.

When creating her work, Jamie prefers to gather and arrange materials in to "still life" photographic tableaus. By constructing these arrangements, Jamie is able to create environments and atmospheres not naturally found. The environments she creates draw heavily upon the familiarity of recalled childhood memories and attempts to recapture the lost childhood element of "free play". She says about her work: “these spaces are made from gathered things, many of which have been discarded. The objects are mundane and common. They are the sorts of things we find in drawers and boxes and have no utility. They are the sorts of things that are forgotten and only regain value when we introduced in a new and different context."  

Space II © Jamie Kyle

Space II © Jamie Kyle

Miroslava Vomela was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the United States in 1984 to escape communism.   With money scarce, as a child Miroslava would create the toys of her dreams, making boxes into doll beds and even bigger boxes into doll houses. She imagined the holes in tree trunks were houses for tiny people and the grassy areas in front of them were fenced-in gardens that she created from twigs, leaves, flowers, and other scavenged materials.  This re-imagination of materials and creative play are evident in most of her current work.

Miroslava is a self-taught artist who works in a variety of media including collage, pen and ink, watercolor, and hand manipulated pieces. She usually starts her pieces with a hand cut image that she finds interesting, arranging it with other images, scrap paper, or ephemera that is combined into a scene. Her work is often intricate with many layers, textures, and detailed elements that are transformed into new meanings from their original state.

Retro Glamour © Miroslava Vomela

Retro Glamour © Miroslava Vomela

“Concentrated Curated Mess” will be on display July and August 2018 with an opening reception held on Friday, July 20th from 6-9pm at the Downtown Artist Collective, 258 East 100 South in Salt Lake City.

DAC June 2018 Artist Spotlight - Desarae Lee and Jeffrey Hale

The Downtown Artist Collective hosts artists Jeffrey Hale and Desarae Lee for the show “Conjüring,” an art exhibit featuring paintings, drawings, and monotypes. 

Desarae Lee is a fine artist and illustrator from Salt Lake City, Utah. Her art has appeared in galleries and art shows across the US and she has won numerous awards for her work including Best of Show, Best Illustrator, and Featured Artist. She is a published author and illustrator and serves as a founding board member at Salt Lake City’s Downtown Artist Collective, where she can occasionally be found teaching drawing or printmaking. Influenced by personal trauma and struggles with depression and anxiety disorders, Desarae creates work that revolves around themes of finding humor in pain, beauty in the grotesque, and light in the darkness. As comfortable referencing geek culture as she is bearing the depths of her soul, Desarae’s work ranges in theme but is always, as she says, “an attempt to connect the hidden places in myself to the hidden places in the viewer, to somehow create a bridge of communication over the immense expanse of our differing perceptions, beliefs, and experiences.”

Metamorphosis II © Desarae Lee

Metamorphosis II © Desarae Lee

Jeffrey Hale works as a full-time painter in his Salt Lake City studio. As a primarily self-taught artist he has worked professionally over the last decade showing in both solo and group exhibitions in galleries such as the Finch Lane Gallery and The Loge Gallery at The Pioneer Theatre Company. He is collected throughout the U.S., Prague and Vienna. Recently, Hale’s patrons have steadily increased after he announced he was entering the art market full-time. After an exciting “pop-up” solo art exhibit at Poliform SLC, Hale has been drawing attention from the architectural and fashion communities. He has been juried into the Springville Museum of Art’s State Wide Annual Salon three years in a row and has shows planned at 15th Street Gallery and David Ericson Fine Art in SLC. He recently joined the HOWA Gallery in Bountiful, Utah.

No Spirit in the Hand © Jeffrey Hale

No Spirit in the Hand © Jeffrey Hale

“Conjüring” will be on display from June 15thto July 15thwith an opening reception held on Friday, June 15thfrom 6-9pm at the Downtown Artist Collective, 258 East 100 South in Salt Lake City.

DAC May 2018 Artist Spotlight - Alexanna Wonder and Celine Downen

Alexanna is an artist and activist who builds community outreach and explores themes of memory and occult imagery.  She describes her work as confabulation (verb): in psychology, a memory disturbance defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive. The process of art making is largely about presenting and creating pieces that reflect aspects of life, regardless of the object’s truth of existence. Art, in it's way, confabulates reality. My work uses process and imagery to imitate memory's attempts to simplify complex and multilayered experiences. Memory is equal parts foggy, imperfect, fractured, and reassembled with understanding only gained through repetition of cycles and exploration of intersections.

Alexanna Wonder - Dim the Lights.jpg

Dim the Lights © Alexanna Wonder

Céline Downen pieces together community voices with elements of her natural surroundings to create a sense of place. Her artistic process can be summed up in three words: gather, piece, and stitch. Gather represents the collecting of materials, piece is the various processes used, and stitch is the end result, how everything comes to fruition. Trained as a photographer, Céline also explores mediums such as printmaking, book arts, and sculpture. She recently completed UMOCA's first Educator-in-Residence program. Céline grew up in Salt Lake City and moved to Evanston, IL when she was eleven. She graduated with a B.A. in Photography from Columbia College in 1996, returning to Utah in 2006. In 2016, she completed an MFA in Community-Based Art Education at the University of Utah. She is also the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Downtown Artist Collective.

Céline Downen  Paris_Opera.jpg

Paris Opera © Céline Downen

DAC April 2018 Artist Spotlight – Heather Romney and Katie Strader

Everyone lives with Monsters, each is a living, breathing terror to the one who carries it.  Born from many different types of wombs and wounds, they are often silent to the world as they keep us forever engaged in battle.  

Heather Romney’s large-scale narrative of emotionally charged drawings and paintings address the invisible and internal “monsters” that revolve around depression, anxiety, and identity and how those struggles often go unseen to the people around them.

Untitled - Sorrow II Heather Romney.jpg

Katie Strader believes a monster’s power comes from darkness and secrecy.  She works to reclaim power in authentic Self through transparency; accepting the monsters that follow us from childhood and the monsters we create to fight them.

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Heather Romney holds a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of Utah. For the past six years, she has been creating portrait photography & illustrations using artistic and emotional narratives. Her most recent photo & illustration work can be found on Instagram under @heatherromney (photography) and @heatherromneyart (illustration).

Katie Strader is a recent graduate of Weber State University and will be starting a Low Residency MFA at the School Of Art Institute Of Chicago this June.  Each of Katie’s works are driven by the process of embracing experience.  An intimate interaction and relationship between her and the mediums chosen, she organically builds and subtracts layers until she, and the piece, find their identity as more than a painting or painter.  Katie strives to engage the viewer to experience a subject as a drawn out moment that invites a deeper interpretation by defying the linear definition of a person or thing.

The show Heather Romney & Katie Strader: InVISIBLE Monsters is a multimedia exhibition held at the Downtown Artist Collective in the months of April and May of 2018.  

DAC April 2018 Artist Spotlight – Chris Madsen

For April we spotlight DAC artist Chris Madsen. Chris works primarily in the medium of photography utilizing processes from the 19th century such as wet plate collodion, cyanotypes, van dyke brown printing along with traditional film and digital processes and hand worked pieces with wax encaustics.

Chris is a published fine art photographer who travels the United States participating in arts festivals and exploring gallery opportunities.  Chris describes his work as emotionally cinematic, coming from a strong emotional place that verges on dark or foreboding but still representing femininity and the beautiful in this world.  His work evokes a strong emotional response in the viewer, allowing them to use their imagination to tell their own story about what is happening in the pieces. Chris describes his work with the following artist statement:

For me the purpose of life, the purpose of my imagery, is to compel others to pause. Using photographic mediums digital, film and wet plate collodion I work to create images that will inspire emotion. To tell a story using only a few seconds out of life. I hope that work moves those who see it to stop for a second and ponder. Maybe a memory or a song, some words, a time or place. This is what it does for me. This is what all art that moves me does for me.

I love to shoot with very loose concepts. My editing style or aesthetic is inspired by the work itself, as well as my current mood, and feeling. I attempt to let every image tell its own story, and help to create the feminine emotion that I find comforting to my soul, and hopefully others. My themes tend to be based on the beauty and darkness of feminine form. With a certain melancholy or macabre undertone.

Chris is currently showing his work in a two-person show called 2 Photographers that are Nothing Alike,  with Prajit Ravindran at the Downtown Artist Collective Gallery.  The show runs through April 16th, 2018.

More of Chris Madsen’s work can be found on his website


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     From the series Aphotic by   Chris Madsen

From the series Aphotic by Chris Madsen

DAC February/March 2018 Artist Spotlight – Nathan Mulford

This month we spotlight DAC artist Nathan Mulford who works in the mediums of painting, drawing, and photography.  Nathan Mulford was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He attended the University of Utah where he studied painting, drawing and graphic design. Nathan graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree and then spent an additional year training as an art assistant with local Utah artist John O'Connell.

Nathan's paintings reflect the environment he grew up in. He prefers to work with humble materials and finds inspiration for his work in desert landscape and historical artifacts. Nathan describes his work in the following terms:

My work is inspired by the role memory plays in our lives and how it influences our relationships. Each piece develops a history that is built with layers of paint, graphite and other materials. 

My paintings explore the juxtaposition of concrete and abstract elements of memory. I use both rigid, geometric structures and fluid, ethereal marks that seem to defy gravity. These elements appear and disappear as they are painted over and redrawn from the memory of previous layers. Other times, these elements are excavated from the paint revealing stratified layers. As I create, I reinterpret the work that came before representing the way that memories can be altered by time, experience and perception.

I believe this process reflects how memory works in our everyday lives. Memory influences consciousness and consciousness, in turn, influences how we interpret memory. In this way, our own personal narrative is always changing. 

Nathan is currently showing his work in a two-person show called Sym·bols and Al·lu·sions, Art by Anthony Siciliano and Nathan Mulford at the Downtown Artist Collective Gallery.  The show runs through March 12th, 2018.

More of Nathan’s work can be found on his website


Zero Markers by Nathan Mulford

DAC Artist Spotlight – Karen Kendall

Utah artist Karen Kendall is originally from Michigan where she began creating art as a young girl with pen and ink - a medium she still loves and practices today.  On her website, Karen describes her background and process with a sense of wonder and passion. 

High school art classes brought about oil renderings of rock bands, and an everlasting interest in, and love of, painting. Having had no formal training in art and technique, I developed my own personal style which is continually developing and growing, particularly as “happy accidents” occur that spark a new “Wow, that’s cool!” moment.  

As an artist, Karen hopes to elicit emotion in viewers, whether it is through the subject or through bold color.  To her, a painting should evoke a visceral response, drawing the viewer in, and inviting them to “take a journey” outside themselves. 

Kendall 1.jpg

In January 2018, Karen will be showing her work at the Downtown Artist Collective in an exhibition titled “Evolution”.  Karen describes the show as the following:

Evolution; “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.”  This work demonstrates the Evolution of an artistic, creative and spiritual journey through my practice.  The spirit of change over time is evidenced in my body of work and this is the most modern version of what I have become.  Evolution is unearthed slowly, each discovery bringing something new to light.  A slight change in features, a new shape or characteristic, all fleeting until the most powerful survives.  I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me, and that I am able to elicit a feeling or an emotion in you as you discover my work.

The opening and artist’s reception for “Evolution” is Friday, January 19th at the Downtown Artist Collective, in conjunction with the January Gallery Stroll.  The exhibit runs through February 11th, 2018.   

More of Karen Kendall’s artwork can be found on her website:  

DAC Artist Spotlight – Chris Bodily

Chris Bodily is an alumni and former adjunct professor of the Southern Utah University Art Department. He has been illustrating under the name Hatrobot for almost twenty years. His body of work is primarily ink illustration influenced by cartoons, comic books, lowbrow, tattoos, and graffiti. If you have attended the Utah Arts Festival or Gallery Stroll events in Utah over the last several years, you are probably familiar with his bold, graphic artwork.


Chris has loved drawing for as long as he can remember. Growing up he was big into comic books and cartoons. He taught himself to draw by watching reruns of the Simpsons. He says he was a pretty awkward kid in school, so drawing became his super power for making friends. When he first read Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library in middle school it was like a whole world opened up in his mind as to what was possible for illustration. He realized illustration didn't have to just be for kids, it could have depth and emotional complexity. Stylistically his work today is still influenced by the cartoons he watched as a kid, but thematically he strives for concepts with more weight. 

There are several artists Chris admires, but he tries not to emulate any one style too closely for fear of becoming derivative. Instead he tries to take inspiration from the things around him.  Anything he’s reading, listening to, or experiencing will feed itself into his work. Chris feels it's important to take what his wife calls "Artist Dates" where you take a break from the work and experience things to renew your creative reserves.

Chris never really needed a specific motivation to be creative. He feels most himself when he is drawing, so he draws constantly. Creativity for him takes place when you shut off the part of your brain that edits itself, so he tries to not have expectations for the work. He feels there is no such thing as a mistake if you embrace every decision. The work is better when you stop worrying if the work is any good.  

His work has changed considerably in the last few years. For a long time he used drawing as catharsis for his bipolar disorder. The work was much more visceral and raw. As he learned to better deal with his mental health issues and balance his life in other ways, he’s focused more on mastery and technical proficiency. He’s never much cared for conceptual art and believes an image either speaks for itself or it doesn't. He likes the idea that different people can experience the same piece of work in different ways. He doesn't need the viewer to see him, he wants them to see themselves. 

The last few months Chris has been working on a comic book with his wife called Black Lantern. They are about 80 pages deep, and hopefully next year they can find someone to publish it. Outside of that he keeps practicing his technique.

Currently, he is a drawing instructor for Weber State Continuing Education and the Bountiful Davis Art Center.  His work has been featured in Juxtapoz, Nius-News, Koi Koi Koi, In-Print, and Big Shiny Robot. He’s shown with Blonde Grizzly, Pandemonium, 313 North Studios in Las Vegas, and was the Hive Gallery's in-house artist for six years. He is a regular contributor to Utah Stories, Salt Lake City Weekly, and Slug Magazine, with freelance clients including Bikers Against Child Abuse, iO West, Heebeegeebeez Comics Games & Toys, and Hellskate.

More of Chris Bodily’s work can be found on his website,

2nd Annual Holiday Market

Our two receptions for the 2nd Annual Holiday Market were great! Art lovers, braving the cold, came in to support not just our collective members but also the 11 guest artists. We enjoyed talking with everyone and there were a lot of great gifts purchased. Of course we have more available and are now open for our Holiday Hours:

Friday: 4pm-7pm
Saturday: 11am-6pm
Sunday: 11am-4pm

There is still time to come in and find unique gifts for loved ones or yourself. Did we mention we have gift cards for workshops? Give the gift of art, or the gift of art-making!

One-year Anniversary Pictures

We’ve had an exciting month at the DAC!  We are preparing for our annual Holiday Market and just closed our Anniversary Show. Thanks for the amazing turnout and overwhelming support at our opening reception last month. It was a night full of laughter, drinks, and friends as we celebrated a successful first year for the Downtown Artist Collective. We also introduced our new artists and are excited about the way the group dynamics are developing. It promises to be a great year at the DAC with some incredible collaborations and a heightened focus on getting out into the community. To achieve our goals we’ve added two community outreach members to the collective who will be working with the youth, getting them interested in the arts.

We’ll also be spotlighting collective members each week on Facebook and Instagram. Look for Alexanna Wonder, Alexis Hansen, Anthony Siciliano, Chris Bodily, Heather Romney, Jeffrey Hale, Nathan Mulford, Katie Strader, and Prajit Ravindran. As well as our amazing board members; Amy Leininger, Celine Downen, Chris Madsen, Desarae Lee, Jamie Kyle, and Miroslava Vomela.  And newly added community outreach members; Emily Bagley and Karen Kendall.

Starting Nov 17th our annual Holiday Market opens.  It’s a great opportunity to pick up the gift of art for the holidays as well as supporting your local artists!

DAC Holiday Market Call for Artists

Downtown Artist Collective invites all Utah artists and to apply to participate in the 2017 Holiday Arts Market running Nov. 17th – Dec. 23rd.

To apply: Send an email to that includes a description and/or images of the work you intend to show, as well as a link to your portfolio or website. Applications are due by midnight on Monday, October 23rd. Artists from all media and techniques are welcome to apply. Artists will be notified of acceptance status on or before October 30th.

Grand Opening Pictures

We were completely blown away by the love and support we received during our grand opening! Literally hundreds of people were in attendance through out the night, some we knew and many we did not know which was wonderful. It was a successful evening and a great start to this new adventure we find ourselves on.

Come to our Holiday Gift Show on Friday November 18th for more artwork from DAC artists, and guest artists from the community!


Downtown Artist Collective Grand Opening and Exhibition!

The Downtown Artist Collective is a brand new artist collective in Downtown Salt Lake, and we are having a party to celebrate Friday October 21st! Founded by local artists and entrepreneurs, our mission is to be a place the community and fine art come together through exhibitions, studio space, artists talks, classes and workshops. 

The exhibition will be featuring the members of the DAC Collective and introduce the community to what they do. Mediums range from 3D pieces, paintings, illustration, photography, and mixed media. All pieces will be for sale to support our artists and the collective.

We will have sign up sheets for our upcoming workshops available, ranging from figure drawing, to artist support groups. Come snack on cheese and crackers and enjoy local musicians "The Bookends" and Gillian Chase providing live music through out the evening.

We will be having art give aways the week of October 17th-21st so watch our facebook page for more information!

Reception from 6-9pm

All ages welcome and free to the public!

Hope to see you all there!



Downtown Artist Collective: Our Mission

We are creating opportunities for artists and the community to come together through our newly created Artist Co-Op Downtown Artist Collective (DAC). We hope to provide an environment for artist to cultivate and strengthen their work, be exposed to various artists and learning different technique and skills, and providing a place for exhibition and interaction with the community.