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Episode Three

Ta’u Pupu’a, Diane Stewart & Elsie Holiday

Meet basket weaver Elsie Holiday, opera tenor Ta'u Pupu'a & gallery owner Diane Stewart.

For artists, heritage and community can be powerful sources of inspiration. A former pro football player, opera tenor Ta’u Pupu’a found his voice through church service. Philanthropist & gallery owner Diane Stewart curates works from a diverse body of artists, connecting art and her community. Elsie Holiday, part of a long line of basket weavers, now passes the family tradition on to her daughter.

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Ta'u Pupu'a

Meet Tongan-American football player-turned opera tenor Ta'u Pupu'a.

While his teammates listened to rock or hip-hop to get pumped up before a game, Ta’u Pupu’a listened to Luciano Pavarotti. After an injury ended his professional football career, Ta’u moved to New York City to purse a new life in the opera. Now, Ta’u works as a professional opera tenor, sharing what he calls the “universal language” of music with the world.

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Diane Stewart

Meet Diane Stewart, philanthropist, activist, and owner of Mountain West Fine Art.

For philanthropist and gallery owner Diane Stewart, there is no better way to bridge a message with people than through art. Diane founded Mountain West Fine Art on Salt Lake’s near west side in 2014 as a way of integrating art in the community, and features works from a diverse body of local artists. “Art is a catalyst for change,” says Diane. “And I want everybody to have a place at the table.”

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Elsie Holiday

Basket weaver Elsie Holiday’s designs range from traditional Navajo patterns to pop art.

“You have to be patient to weave baskets,” says Elsie Holiday. After marrying into a family of basket weavers at age 19, Elsie quickly took to the family trade, creating baskets whose designs range from traditional Navajo patterns to pop art. Whether she’s gathering Navajo willow sumac with her daughter in Douglas Mesa or taking commissions, Elsie always finds a way to try something different.


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.