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The City Journals

Artist of the Month: Dawna Barton

Jul 29, 2016 10:00AM ● By Kelly Cannon

Winner of several awards and accolades, Dawna Barton is currently publishing with the New York Graphic Society. —Relics Gallery.

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Holladay, Utah - Artist Dawna Barton has lived in Utah for almost 70 years. After graduating from college with a degree in graphic design, she worked as a graphic artist early in her career. However, she was gradually drawn into fine art where she began to pain both in watercolor and oils. Barton’s work includes a variety of landscapes and still lifes.

“I cannot remember a time when I was not thrilled and inspired by art. I started studying art at the new Salt Lake Community College. I enjoyed learning commercial art, and I don’t believe there was even a degree available in fine art at that time,” Barton said.   

In 1949, Barton studied graphic arts at the University of Utah.

“While I’m sure I have always preferred creating fine art, I probably thought a commercial degree would be more practical and lucrative,” Barton said. “Fortunately, that has not been the case for me.”

Over the years, Barton participated in many fine arts workshops from a variety of teachers. She received encouragement from both her mother and her grandmother, who was also a painter.

“When we would visit my grandmother, she often had us paint Twin Peaks, which is now Mt. Olympus,” Barton said. “I have always made available a plethora of art supplies in which my children and grandchildren could freely indulge. Many of them are now engaged successfully in various art fields.”

Barton’s favorite subjects to pain include landscapes, seascapes, cottages and her grandchildren.

“I fell in love with watercolors earlier in my career, but have since settled into oils as my primary medium,” Barton said.

Barton has received numerous awards for her work. She attributes her success to long hours of daily painting.

“The joy of painting is what motivates me,” Barton said. “For me, the actual experience of working is more fulfilling than the rest.”

Awards and accolades for her work including being named the Artist of the Year by the Utah Pageant of the Arts, she received an honorary doctorate degree from Salt Lake Community College and the Granite School District offers an art scholarship in her name. She was also chosen as one of the Utah artists who was honored at the state capitol during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Barton’s work has been a big influence in the print market for the past 30 years. She is currently publishing with the New York Graphic Society and her prints and highly collectible originals can be found all over the world. Her art can be viewed and purchased at the Relics Gallery in Holladay.

When she is not painting, Barton enjoys her ever-growing family with 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Barton was chosen as the Holladay Arts Council Artist of the Month after the newly appointed chair Chris Knaphus included her name in the initial list of nominations. Knaphus attended Olympus High School with Barton’s daughter in the late 1970s and later moved into the same neighborhood as Barton.

The council was very pleased Barton would accept the invitation to be the Artist of the Month and were thrilled they were able to acknowledge her talent.

The Holladay Arts Council is looking for more nominees for the Artist of the Month from residents and the community. The nominees must be residents of Holladay and must practice fine art or performing art. Art subjects can include painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, dance, music, theater, opera and more. Nominees can be sent to Craig Fisher at [email protected]

To learn more about the Holladay Arts Council and events the council hosts, visit their website at