Local Artist Spotlight: Tim Candelaria

By Adele Flail

Welcome to the Local Artist Spotlight—highlighting local, practicing artists and makers, from the well-established creators setting the bar to up-and-comers pursuing their craft. (And, if you’re a Utah-based creator, and are interested in being featured, or want to see someone else and their work featured here, drop us a line at art@catalystmagazine.net.)

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The first featured artist was mentioned earlier in this week’s Art Happenings: Photography: By Tim Candelaria, A Celebration of Local Musicians opens this Friday at the Hive Gallery, and will feature live performances by an assortment of local bands—all of which have been documented by photographer Tim Candelaria. Some of the photos are the results of official promo shoots, while some have been taken at live shows and feature the fans as well as the musicians, but in most cases they are the result of a relationship between band and photographer developed over multiple shoots and multiple performances. In some cases, Candelaria has been there to record the practice sessions of musicians before they went public as a group. This sensitivity to the changing energy of the performers, over time or over the same set, comes through in the photographs—so even if you weren’t listening to them from the beginning, if you find your new favorite band at this event, Candelaria’s photos will make you feel like you’ve been with them throughout their journey. Here are a few words from Candelaria about his project:


How long have you been working in the field?

I have been into photography for around 20 years, but over the last 10 years I’ve been focusing more and more energy into it. I produced a few shows when I lived in Seattle— that was a inspiring time for my craft. Now photography is what I do full-time.


How did you get started?

My good friend Ben Altman is a photographer, and I would help him on some of his projects—from carrying gear to setting up lights to some modeling—and that got me interested in the possibilities of what photography could do. I worked in photo labs for several years doing custom printing and film processing, so I started working with film and then moved to digital. I do prefer working in photoshop, but the experience of working with traditional film was really helpful.


120405 TCand3Tell us about another artist whose work inspires you.

Most of what inspires me is seeing people create, share and strive to get better at what they do. For a photographer, I would say Brian Gerber has a terrific collection of works; but my long time friend Christian Coleman has been a a big inspiration to me. As we all get older and and haven’t achieved “success”, it is easy to get frustrated. He is a fantastic blues musician, and has been the person that taught me that “success” doesn’t matter as long as we follow what we love and keep creating. 


Where can people see your work, locally?

My pictures are online either on Facebook or my website (here). A Celebration of Local Musicians is my first big show in Salt Lake, and I’m very excited about it.


What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing?

When I feel “blah” about my art I tend to go on very long drives. I’ll usually take my camera—but most of the time on those drives I just look. In Utah you can drive 60 miles in any direction and get something totally different… It’s a good way for me to see the possibilities.120405 TCand2


What do you think the local community can do to support local artists? 

I believe showing up to community events is the first step to understanding the value of art, such as the time and expense that someone has put into a piece: The photo or painting (or any other medium) you see today was created through time, money and frustration many years before it was made, as the artist tried to get the sum of their experience to show. And encouragement is nice—I know for myself, putting images out for display is putting out a part of me. 

Photography: By Tim Candelaria, A Celebration of Local Musicians, the Hive Gallery at Trolley Square, 600 South 650 East, Friday April 6th, 6 p.m to 11:30 p.m.

This article was originally published on April 5, 2012.