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Work of Art

Local artist Flossie Kehr reflects on life in Utah.


  • Stan Rosenweig

Flossie Kehr is a successful artist, an amateur musician and is involved in numerous sports. Her secret to keeping a smile on her face? She never talks about religion or politics.

What first got you into painting and how is that working for you today?
I grew up in Philadelphia where my grandmother was an artist. Even before I was old enough for school, she would paint with me and explain to me all about colors and composition. I remember my first completely finished painting of a man playing bongos when I was 10 or 11. It was very satisfying. In my adult life, I put art aside for many years. But here in Salt Lake, I reconnected to art and have had several successful shows.

Before Utah, though, didn't you do a bit of free-spirit traveling?
After my husband Roger and I got married in '78, we bought a 30-foot sloop in Miami and spent the next two years living aboard and touring the Bahamas. It was a fabulous carefree life. When we decided to have a child, we brought the boat to Maryland, sold it and moved back to Philadelphia to have a family and a more traditional life. We each built our own businesses and transferred our love for the outdoors to Utah, where we bought a home in 2000.

When did Utah become your permanent home?
We retired in 2006 and moved here full-time. More recently, our son got married, gave us a couple of wonderful grandchildren and moved to Utah right down the street from us. It's pretty cool. When we moved here, I took up teaching Pilates and aerobics at Snowbird Racquet Club, Cliff Lodge at Snowbird and the Cottonwood Heights rec center. Roger also retired and became a snowboard instructor for several years. Teaching helped us make lots of new friends.

Is that when you got back into painting?
One friend gave me a gift [to go] to an art class. I began taking lessons at the Petersen Art Center in Sugar House and got involved with the Intermountain Society of Artists. Along with three others, we opened up our studio in Sugar House. The art shows have been fun, and I'm looking for our next venue for some time in the fall.

Your activities don't end with doing art and hanging out with grandkids, right?
I ski, play tennis and pickleball, road bike a lot up in Summit County and take care of our new puppy. And, of course, Roger and I are in what I call a non-performing, social band with two other couples, three guitars, a bass, a keyboard and drums. We meet every month in someone's basement and we prohibit anyone outside the band to hear us.