Two photographers to receive Utah's Visual Arts Fellowships

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Two Utah photographers will receive the 2013 Visual Arts Fellowship from the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.

• Christopher Gauthier, who teaches at Utah State University, is working on a series, "Evidence and Artifacts," which touches on "the impact of environmental insults on human health and development." A portion of that series, about autism, has been exhibited at Johns Hopkins University.

"My hope is that the portraits will convey a sense of urgency about understanding what is causing the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder to rise so rapidly, and will humanize the statistics in a way that will move people to action," Gauthier said in a statement.

• Mark Finch Hedengren, from Provo, has been working on projects "that explore how and why people recreate in nature," including series about cliff jumpers and tent dwellers. His next project will focus on Utah's ski resorts. "It's a real joy to live and work in Utah," Hedengren said in a statement.

The two were chosen from 66 applicants, with Richard Roth, an artist who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, as juror.

"The fact that both artists are photographers was not a factor in my selection; the urgency and insightfulness of their missions, however, was deemed highly relevant, necessary to today's world," Roth said in a statement.

Gauthier and Hedengren each will receive a $10,000 award, and a short documentary featuring each artist will be co-proced by Utah Arts & Museums and the visual arts magazine