Lori at the SAANS Gallery Salt Lake City - Photograph by Lori Ballard



An Artist's Reception with Lori Ballard  - A Review


Ladies and Gentleman, today the sideshow came to Broadway.  So Step Right this Way, you're about to see the most amazing sights your eyes have ever seen.  Yes, and it's right here, it's right now, so step inside, it's all on the Inside of the SAANS Gallery, Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. 


As I entered the gallery I was greeted with glimpses of Americana on the Midway, which invoked childhood memories of a time when children rode on large carved figures spinning round and round while trying to grab the shinny brass ring.  Of shadows of what is on the inside, the two headed snake, the wooden headed dummy, the crown of jewels that grace the head of the performer, the laughter which only a clown can bring to a child. Yes, it's all there!


Lori Ballard's banners are reminiscent of that time, of days gone by, of a simpler time, when what is seen as common today was unusual. 


The exhibition at the SAAN Gallery will run through October 14th, 173 East Broadway SLC UT.


John Robinson Sideshow World




Photograph by John Robinson 2008 All rights reserved

Artist Statement

I have long appreciated the art of the circus sideshow banner line. Since childhood, I have been intrigued by the odd and unusual.-probably because I felt a little odd and unusual myself being a awkward and shy only child.


About 4 years ago, in my thirties and not so shy, I began to document the people and the attractions of the mysterious carnival life. As I got more and more excited about my images, I soon began to wonder how I could recreate the banner line art with my photography. I was invited to participate in an art show where I had to create a work on fabric, and the invention of this banner project was born! When I received the invitation, I didn't know what I was going to do but I was excited by the challenge of stepping outside my box of traditional prints presented in frames.


Immediately I wanted to put my imagery onto canvas blanks like the old banner painters used, but I wasn't sure how. I also knew that I didn't want to drop off a digital file and have it commercially printed, because I didn't want such a polished look. I was in the shower one day (the place where so many of my ideas come to me) and I remembered someone telling me about heat transfers.- That was it! -and so I started my experimentation. It was perfect because it offered the weathered appearance that I was looking for and the final coat of sepia tinted acrylic medium just added to the antique feel that seems to transcend time.


 It started with "A Giant in the Morning Light", but I knew then that there would be more to follow. I wanted the banners to be traditional in their structure, but since I have always loved the art of black and white photography, I wanted to use my mostly monochromatic images as opposed to the traditional bright colors that are used for midway advertisement. With the financial assistance of the 2008 Individual Artist Grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County in Florida, it is my hope that these modern recreations will offer the feel of the traditional art form, while presenting imagery in a unique, different and more subtle way.



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