Murals, Icons, and Alleys

Trent Call has been leaving his mark on buildings for the past few years in Salt Lake City.  Tracking these murals down took me down a rabbit hole.  I ended up behind buildings, through alleyways and courtyards, and past some architectural gems.   I emerged in neighborhoods of Salt Lake City I hadn’t seen before, […]

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Spring City Heritage Day

We always traveled to Brigham City on Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, as some of the aunts called it.  The cousins played in the irrigation ditches, hid behind the lilac bushes, and practiced not stepping on the graves.  We lolled on the grass under a bright blue sky with a sense of purposelessness — naive to death […]

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U.F.O. Hijinks

Vaughn Reid is having entirely too much fun off Highway 10, near Clawson, in Central Utah.  Reid is a 72-year-old retired steel worker, machinist, and blacksmith who decided to do something with his collection of junk left behind by previous generations.  He and his buddy, Rich Fairbanks, combine metal, wood, and mystery scraps into large-scale pieces […]

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Blue House/Blue Studio

    The lyicral figures oozing onto the façade are just the beginning. This Salt Lake City storefront, which used to house an auto shop, has been slowly morphing for close to 30 years – so slowly that few residents take notice. Swooping graphics about Raphael’s Stradivarius are scrawled below the roofline beneath an expanding […]

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Splendid Death in Buenos Aires

The Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is seductive.  Even if one has no interest in visiting Evita’s tomb, it’s easy to get lured in by the statues and spires that beckon to one from over the high brick wall.  These photographs were taken on a hot, humid afternoon in January 2011. The cemetery is laid […]

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Day of the Dead and Dynamite-fueled Dreams

Ten summers ago my husband and I drove through a dusty, sparsely-populated area in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, in search of the devil. How we found this tiny village at the top of a hill on a windy, narrow dirt road, based on vague directions, is still a mystery to me. We immediately identified […]

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Gilgal Garden

Tucked behind the Wonder Bread Bakery on Fourth South in Salt Lake City is a twenty-five-ton stone sphinx bearing the face of Joseph Smith, the first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It is one of the most significant public stone sculptures of its size in the United States.  The […]

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Cats Cradle

There is an unconventional shop on historic Center Street in Provo.  From the moment you step in you’re a part of the motley jumble of dramatic and well-crafted items from all over the world.  Saints, angels, and devils perch on Arts & Crafts pieces along with art, props, holiday ephemera, and estate jewelry.  It’s the […]

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Pioneer Craft House

Pioneer Craft House (PCH) began operation 60 years ago on the corner of 3300 South and 5th East with the purpose of keeping alive the skills necessary to survive in the wild west 150 years ago. In those 60 years conditions of survival have changed appreciably, and those wild west skills have been rebranded as […]

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Atkisson’s Gypsy Wagons

“People either lie down and roll around on the ground because they want one so badly, or they walk right by and don’t even see it.” This is what antiques-restorer, tinkerer, inventor Brad Atkisson says about his current passion for building Gypsy wagons. “It’s like a cross between an armoire and a house. It’s just […]

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