Photo: Patiri Photography
Hailing from the greater Ogden area, Andy Chase is a Craft Lake City veteran. Chase’s paintings, silkscreened and lino-cut prints and pillows will be available at this year’s CLC from $15 up. Like many prolific crafters, Chase’s “hobby” is fed by a serious love for the process. “It’s a need I have—an outlet.” she says, “If I don’t create for a while, I feel like I need to release the creative tension.” And it’s just that kind of attitude that makes a festival like Craft Lake City so special—these people do it for the love of creating. The positive, grassroots quality of Utah artists is one of Chase’s favorite parts of the crafting scene. “Seeing other people’s work is really exciting for me—how creative everybody is, I just can’t believe it. We’ve got a lot of talent in Salt Lake City, it’s really amazing.”
As you might expect from a passionate person, Chase’s affinity for the act of making has been life-long. “I’ve always picked coloring and crafts over whatever most kids played with . . . and I always kinda kept with it. I took classes through junior high and high school and then got my bachelor’s from Weber.” During school Chase began an internship with the inimitable Leia Bell, through which she landed her current job at Signed and Numbered Gallery. It’s a setup that suits her: “I have an artsy job, and I also get to make my stuff, too,” she says.
Chase can trace much of the origin of her art’s subject matter to nostalgic memories of a family-owned cabin in Ogden. “It’s called Scare Canyon Ranch. It’s got all these weird antiques . . . this old jukebox and slot machines and jugs and old beer cans.” Chase says, “A lot of my imagery comes from my cabin.” A throw pillow silkscreened with these bucolic childhood images ain’t always just a throw pillow. “I had a girl tell me the other day that my work is nostalgic for her— she said, ‘I feel like I should have been there, like I can relate to that even though I wasn’t there.’” But at the end of the day, a screenprint of bluebirds in cowboy boots playing banjos is fine being just what it is. “I don’t usually like people to read too much into my art—I like to have people get what they want out of it,” she says. As well as nostalgia, Chase’s splotchy, rustic wild-west style is all about motion—both conveyed and wielded in the painting or cutting process. “I draw with a twig,” she says, “it gets kinda messy, too.”
Mark August 14 on your calendar and come on down to the second annual Craft Lake City. Chase will make sure all the ink’s dry by then.