The Utah Arts Festival is in full force once again, and one thing that is apparent when walking through the festival grounds is the diversity and talent of the artists there. The tent of landscape photographer Prajit Ravindran is lined with scenic photos of Utah. His interest in landscape photography comes from a love of the outdoors; he says that his inspiration behind the photos is “being out in nature and capturing good moments.”
Ravindran has lived in Salt Lake for eight years, and has been showing his work at the festival for four years.
He says he keeps coming back to the festival because of the atmosphere, and he can sell most of his items, which is impressive considering the level of competition at the festival. He says what he enjoys most about having is artwork featured is that he gets feedback and new perspectives about his photos. Ravindran also says that the dialogue he has with the public helps him grow as an artist.
When asked what his favorite photo was, he pointed out one called “Eyeing the Stars,” a photo of the white pocket sandstone rock formation in northern Arizona (pictured left of Ravindran). It was a 30-minute exposed photo that was taken on film, and he said that it took him more than a year to develop. His tent is on the west side of the festival, very close to the City and County Building. (Sean Hemmersmeier)
While the 2019 Utah Arts Festival may be a local event to Salt Lake City residents, patrons and artists travel from around the nation to be a part of the annual celebration. Rachaela DiRosaria, a full-time traveling artist from New Orleans, made her way to Salt Lake for her second consecutive Utah Arts Festival this weekend. DiRosaria found her love for hands-on art in rural Indiana, where she grew up in a low-income household. She recalls building dollhouses and other structures out of anything she could find around the home or the land outside of it, her crafting beginning at a very young age.
“I love building more than anything.” she informed me, making it clear that her love for art comes from the 3-D, interactive nature of her pieces.
DiRosaria’s pieces are astoundingly unique: A collection of “narrative cabinets and shadow boxes,” with articulate, hand-painted figures, many hiding behind interactive wooden doors. Most of the art has a common theme of a freak show, or, according to DiRosaria, “The Circus of Humanity.” The collection is a subtle social commentary on the absurdity of the human race, with portraits of strong men, conjoined twins, and, to my surprise, fire-breathing roosters. Each shadowbox is home to a hand-painted wooden figure and background; some are even equipped with built-in lights to highlight the subject.! Lucky for her dedicated supporters and friends, DiRosaria plans to continue showcasing her personal “Freak Show” in art festivals and shows around the country; follow on Instagram @feralfemmeart. (Augustus Slagle)
Meat Pie Wagon
Hailing from Hamilton, New Zealand, the uncle-and-nephew duo of Keith and Brad Prouse created an entryway to their country’s comfort-food staple: the meat pie. They run the Meat Pie Wagon, a food truck that launched in 2018. Often selling outside the stadium of Utah’s rugby team, the Warriors, they have gained a loyal base of fans who can embrace a good meat pie.
This year marks this culinary delight’s first year at Utah Arts Festival. Behind the table, there’s no equipment for cooking or hot oil crackling, only a proofing cabinet to keep their pies hot. They’re equipped to handle the crowds ready to nibble on their delectable saucers by making orders in advance for a no-fuss transaction. “It’s fast, efficient and ready to go,” Keith Prouse said. “It’s fun to bring the culture here.”
You will get your basic needs of both fattiness and savory with these pies, plus a vibrant dose of herbs and terrific flaky crust with some give. Without muddling the flavor, the gravy manages to animate its accompanying cheesy steak neighbors for a comforting bite. At five inches wide, it feels decadent to have such a generous dish to yourself. Most importantly, the pies are fluffed with Kiwi pride that cannot be replicated.
Is this art? Keith explains that the festival wanted to complement its celebration of imagination and creativity to food, requiring his application to supply photos of his meat pies. Inspecting the golden pastry adorned with cheese and a wonderful sheen, Meat Pie Wagon meets the mark. (Miacel Spotted Elk)