Art is Abounding in South Jordan

One+of+Emma+Mecham%27s+latest+crystal+creations.

Photo by Emma Mecham

One of Emma Mecham’s latest crystal creations.

 It can be both beautiful and ugly, bold and bland, innovative and traditional. It allows people to relax or get riled up, remain quaint or declare their passions, hideaway or get involved. What am I talking about, you may be wondering, that is so obscure? It’s the ultimate form of self expression: Art.

We have amazing artists all around us, each with a different style, perspective and work ethic. Chloe Ogden, a senior at Bingham High School, is a great example of this. She has been creating digital and watercolor art for her family and friends with the aspiration of becoming a graphic/digital designer when she is older, and even starting her own sticker company. She says, “By looking at art, you can learn more about people.” As Chloe states, art is unique to the person who makes it, which is why it’s so important to share.

Emma Mecham, also a Bingham senior, is another great example of an artist with her own individual work ethic and art expression. She has recently started her own jewelry business where she wire wraps crystals and turns them into necklaces, earrings, etc. If you’d like to see some of her work, you can visit her @emsgems on Instagram. After asking her why she finds it important to keep up with her art, she responded, “I do what I do because I love it! … It makes me so happy to make someone something they’ll love and it’s so fulfilling and sweet to hear when someone likes what I do. It means the world.” Emma’s passion doesn’t just come from doing the art, but from the joy she can give other people using her talents. Art has the power to make people feel happy and confident, and with projects like Emma’s, can provide a piece that’s wearable so people can represent themselves with it. This power is more prevalent in our community than we might think.

The South Jordan community is full of opportunities for artists to proclaim their voice, with different programs, shows, and classes available to any artist willing to put themselves out there. Schools involve their students in art shows held by the city, spotlight students by displaying their art, and present awards and scholarships to those who go the extra mile. The city makes a lot of effort to help artists showcase their hard work.

South Jordan has established an admirable system for representation of artists throughout the community. There is an official Art Council for the city, consisting of residents appointed by the South Jordan City Council. They hold a mission to “create life-long appreciation for the Arts for the residents of the City of South Jordan.” To succeed with this goal, they’ve developed several projects for artists in South Jordan to participate in.

The “Artist on Display” program goes all year long, choosing one artist per month to spotlight at the Gale Center and City Hall. The art that is featured in this program can take many different forms, including paintings, drawings with charcoal or pen and ink, and even photography. Their 2021 show has several vacant spots, so if you would like to display your art in this program, or you know someone who might, contact sojoarts@sjc.utah.gov. This is only one of the many programs provided for the South Jordan art community.

The city Art Council has made specific efforts for students to stand in the limelight too, through programs like “utility box art-work.” If you live in or near South Jordan, you may have spotted this artwork before. Students are asked to create a painting showing their style and skills, and chosen students have their work displayed on those large, green utility boxes around the city. 

The council also has a program called the “Trail Wall Rotating Murals.” This is a series of rotating murals done by students along the South Jordan River Trail. This project is in partnership with the Utah Department of Transportation. They encourage amateur artists to submit their work, to give them a chance to demonstrate their early art talents. Details on how to enter this project are coming soon. This is just scratching the surface on what the council has done to provide a beautiful community of artists within our city. You can learn more about and even get involved in this community yourself by going to South Jordan City Arts. Another great example of an organization that inspires young artists, similar to our city council, is the UtahPTA.

Younger kids in elementary school have the opportunity to participate in the “Reflections” contest, organized by the UtahPTA. This competition includes visual arts, performing arts, literature, and music composition. Because of projects like these, students are invited to dive into their own craft and create something unique to them.

There are a plethora of opportunities to dive into art in the South Jordan community. Art is one of the most beautiful and free forms of expression. It provides people with a voice louder than their own and bravery they otherwise would struggle to find. It is exactly what you want it to be, and that’s what makes it so worth protecting.