Magazine names two Sanpete artists as very influential in Utah

Joseph Ostraff of Fairview in his studio. Ostraff was named one of the 15 most influential artists in Utah.

Magazine names two Sanpete artists as very influential in Utah


By Robert Green




SALT LAKE CITY—Two Sanpete-based artists have been named among the 15 most influential artists in Utah.

Amy Jorgensen, on faculty at Snow College and executive director at Granary Arts in Ephraim, and Joseph Ostraff, who lives in Fairview and is on faculty at

Amy Jorgensen

BYU, were both listed by the magazine “15 Bytes” as some of the most influential artists in Utah.

The magazine began finding nominees by asking its readers to submit names on-line. It then asked more

than 150 art professionals to vote for up to 10 artists.

As 15 Bytes editor Shawn Rossiter told the Salt Lake Tribune, the magazine wanted to avoid two things. “One was a small panel of quote-unquote ‘experts’ who tend to think of the same people every time.”

Video still from ‘far from the Tree’ by Amy Jorgensen.

And the other was, “We didn’t want to make it a popularity contest where people were saying ‘vote for me’ on Instagram.”

The result was an eclectic and diverse range of artists from around the state.

According to her web-site, Jorgensen is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice involves creating conceptual, immersive works that blend photography, performance and video.

She blends historical and contemporary perspectives with narratives related to the body, desire, violence and power.

Jorgensen is an associate professor of visual arts at Snow College, where she is head of the photography emphasis.

Ostraff says, “I see the collections of shapes and layers of paint as a form of mapping as I…attempt to secure my place in the human geography.”

Joseph Ostraff

His paintings evoke the varied shapes and motifs of human cultures and geography. Using subtle color gradations and rich patterning, Ostraff creates works with startling compositional depth.

Ostraff is a professor of art at BYU. He is married to Melinda Weston. They have six children and eight grandchildren. Melinda is an ethno-botanist, and she and Joseph Ostraff collaborated extensively over the past 30 years.