As the Utah Arts Festival's official photographer in 2014 and 2015, I took roughly 10,000 pictures of our vibrant arts community. Each year, the delightfully curated four-day lineup encompasses visual arts, as well as performing arts and live music on six stages. And with 90,000 energetic patrons attending annually, you might image that it's a photographer's dream to run around and document the goings-ons. You would be correct.
Like many other festival attendees, I’ve seen marching bands and second lines roaming and making noise throughout the festival. I’ve seen gypsy cabarets and b-boy dancers enthrall people of all ages. And I’ve seen amazing touring acts, and also the best local bands perform on the festival’s stages. What's more, there are artist outreach programs and workshops to participate in, as well as a children's art yard and hat making area. There's food, shenanigans, laughs, and dancing.
The annual event is truly something not to miss, and multiple generations of Utahns and tourists have grown up partaking in the festivities, To say the least, the Utah Arts Festival has been a jubilant thing to photograph.
The Utah Arts Festival is now celebrating its 40-year anniversary, and as such has gotten some mighty praise. In 2016, the Utah Arts Festival received Utah’s highest honor in arts and culture with the Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award. On a national level, it has received recognition as one of the top festivals of its kind by entities such as the International Festival Events Association, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Art Fair Sourcebook.The festival is celebrated locally for fostering a multitude of community partnerships with business and nonprofit organizations.
An honor to be chosen as the photographer for two years, my approach was to make visually stunning and vibrant photos that capture the imagination and inspire people to come to the festival to interact with and appreciate art in its myriad forms.
So out of the 10,000 photos, here you'll see less than 100 that constitute a hodgepodge of my favorites. They are displayed in approximately chronological order from 2014 and 2015. I hope you enjoy the longest 13% SALT post to date!
For more information about the 2016 festival, which takes place June 23 - 26 on Library and Washington Square, visit the Utah Arts Festival website.
Photographer and award-winning journalist Austen Diamond specializes in creative portraiture, commercial photography and editorial photojournalism. For booking inquiries and to view his portfolio, go to www.AustenDiamond.com.