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The City Journals

Artists of the Month: Jade Mendoza and Kage Hughart

Jan 19, 2017 04:51PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Kage Hughart is the first youth to be selected as an Artist of the Month. (Lisa O’Bryan/Holladay Arts Council)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Two local artists were recently named Artist of the Month by the Holladay Arts Council. Jade Mendoza was selected for her paintings and Kage Hughart was selected for his music.
Jade Mendoza
Mendoza, who uses watercolors, acrylics and oils in her paintings, described her work as mostly based in realism but also expressionistic. She’s been drawing ever since she was a kid and earned a bachelor’s in painting and drawing. She’s currently pursuing a master’s in education.
What Mendoza loves about painting is the ability to capture a moment in time.
“It’s more about fixing a place in time, capturing a moment,” Mendoza said. “It’s different from photography in that it’s more personalized. It’s a personal perspective of time and place.”
In the past, Mendoza focused on painting people but has since shifted to painting landscapes, mountains and the scenery around Holladay.
“I think it’s a maturity thing. I think when you’re younger, you tend to be more self-reflective in your paintings. It’s more of a focus on people and emotions,” she said. “When you get older, you tend to look outside of yourself.”
When people look at her art, Mendoza said she hoped they felt a connection to the work.
“As an artist, the worst thing is if someone has no reaction, that it wouldn’t have any kind of personal connection,” she said. “A personal connection is what I hope for.”
Mendoza has won a handful of awards for her work including Best in Show at the 2002 San Luis Obispo Art Center’s Introductions Show. Her work was selected by the Salt Lake Arts Council to be in the 2005 Main Street Kiosk art program and was selected for the Utah ’99 traveling exhibit sponsored by the Rio Grande Art Gallery.
When she found out she had been selected to be Artist of the Month by the Holladay Arts Council, Mendoza said she was flattered.
“I had been on the arts council previously but have been out for a little while,” she said. “The fact that they thought of me was really nice.”
Kage Hughart
At only 16 years old, Kage knows how to play the drums, guitar, violin, viola, ukulele, piano and the bass. He produced his own album “Unkaged” by writing it on his iPhone and playing all the instruments himself.
“There is the piano, drums, guitar, base. There is a horn section that is synthesized piano that runs through because it would be hard to get an entire ensemble of horn players,” Kage said. “And there are some vocals. It’s like John Mayer kind of music.”
Kage got into music because of his dad, whom Kage described as a really good musician.
“He’s played music for a really long time. He’s the one who really got me into it. I started taking a big interest in it during the last year and a half,” Kage said. “Over the last couple of years, I started practicing a lot. I’ve been playing the violin for the past five years and been playing instruments for a long time but I’ve taken a big interest in the last couple of years.”
Kage hoped people liked his music and hoped it brought them joy since it’s mostly feel-good music.
Kage is the first youth chosen to be Artist of the Month. Lisa O’Bryan, vice-chair of the Holladay Arts Council, said the hope is to find more youths to be recognized.
Residents are encouraged to nominate a local artist for Artist of the Month by filling out a nomination form at or contacting O’Bryan at [email protected]