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About this Limited Series

A little-known part of the state’s history, the Governor’s Mansion Artist Awards series has honored Utah’s visual, performing, and culinary artists at the historic Utah Governor’s Mansion since its inception in the late 1930s.

Originally conceived by Governor Henry H. Blood — who was purportedly looking to raise funds to secure a piano for the mansion — the artist awards have been upheld by Governors Michael Leavitt, Olene S. Walker, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Gary R. Herbert, and Spencer J. Cox. The series traditionally features three events per year, and serves as a fundraiser for the historic Governor’s Mansion.

Each year, three visual artists and three performance artists are selected by the governor and first lady from a pool of nominees submitted by the Governor’s Mansion Artist Awards Committee. The awards events raise funds in support of the Governor’s Mansion Foundation’s mission to preserve and furnish the Governor’s Mansion, a beautiful historic home on South Temple in Salt Lake City that was donated to the state by the Kearns family. 

 Governor Spencer and First Lady Abby Cox are enthusiastically continuing this Utah tradition. With the intent of recognizing and awarding first-rate artists for life-time achievements, the 2021 recipients include artists from every corner of the state who represent a wide range of ethnicities and sensibilities. 

 As Abby Cox states, “I hope that the artists we select reflect our inclusive vision for Utah — a celebration of what makes this state beautiful, unique and diverse. We want people to be seen and feel that they belong. Everyone should have a place. We want people to feel that when they come into this home.” 

2021 Governor’s Mansion Artist Awards Recipients
 

V. Kim Martinez 
muralist, professor, community activist

Elsie Holiday
Navajo basket weaver

Fidalis Buehler
painter, professor

Alicia & Camille Washington
theater artists, founders of Good Company Theatre

Jack Ashton
former assistant principal violinist, Utah Symphony, educator

Ta’u Pupu’a
opera tenor

Diane Stewart
philanthropist & owner, Mountain West Fine Art

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Art Elevated: The Governor's Mansion Artist Awards is made possible in part by Zion's Bank, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation, The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, Thomas A. & Lucile B. Horne Foundation.