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Artists converge in Salt Lake City for Utah Arts Festival after year off

Posted at 2:09 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-28 00:40:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Artists from all over the country are in Salt Lake City this weekend for the Utah Arts Festival.

“I typically draw with a micron pen, and I do all the line work by hand. I scan it in, color it digitally,” said artist Chris Bodily.

Bodily considers himself a pop surrealist, making comic books and art inspired by cartoons, graffiti and tattoo art.

“When I try and show off my work, I try and make work that I would’ve gotten excited about when I was a kid,” he said.

Showcasing his work at the Utah Arts Festival is a dream he’s had for years.

"My mom used to bring me to this festival when I was a kid," Bodily said. "All growing up, I wanted to be an artist here."

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There are 95 visual artists, 50 to 60 live performers and 40 literary performers at the festival this weekend, and they're excited to be back after a year off due to the pandemic.

“It was tough during the pandemic because my bread and butter is doing festivals, comic cons things like that," Bodily said. "So you know, it was tight for a while there."

The festival not only helps put money in the pockets of artists, but it’s an economic boom for the city as well.

“I think art is so vibrant and makes a vibrant community, and so people have been missing that, and also it’s an economic driver because it’s bringing business and tax dollars into our city and county and people traveling in, and even the art sales,” said Aimee Dunsmore, executive director at Utah Arts Festival.

While it was difficult planning this event with the unknowns of COVID, Dunsmore says it was all worth it to see it come together this weekend.

“I'm really flattered that they invited me out, and I feel lucky to be here,” said Bodily.

The festival runs Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

You can get tickets online at uaf.org for $15 or at the door.