Late 1960's to Early 1970's -- College and Labor

Theatrical Daze & Nights 1a -- Long Haired Art Student under a Hard Hat

The Tolkien-esque Two Towers of the Salt Lake Valley
I drove 25 miles between the University and Kennecott Copper Corporation for five days a week for most of five years:

Study at the University of Utah (East Side Mountains)

Job at Kennecott Copper Corp. (West Side Mountains)

High School, Heavy Industry, and College

This scholarship was a real honor, and very useful!
This is the first chapter of my Artistic Biography ...
... part of a larger project that includes historical sketches of so-called Alternative publications, shops, bands, and theatrical groups that have been inportant to my career. I've chosen my first year of college as an arbitrary starting point, but will mention a few relevant cultural details from earlier, since I went through adolescence in America during the amazing 1960's.

Most of my first classes were on "The Circle."
Winter on the steep hills at the University of Utah could be challenging, and vivid memories exist of very bad weather with prolonged snowstorms. I had no committment to any career after leaving High School, but continued my studies of painting and drawing, new and historical artists, high and low literature, and the comic book industry whether there were classes in those subjects or not.

Portrait from my high school yearbook -- 1968
(Above) 1972 with Family Dogs: Despite references to my industrial job, I've declined to describe what went on there in detail. It was a dangerous environment, with repeated exposure to extreme temperatures and conditions. I worked at one or two other places, in order to keep gas in my car, but they didn't mean much to my studies or growth, except for leaning how to show up on time ready to go. For most the years between 1968 and 1974, I went to the round-house of Kennecott Copper Corporation's railroad on late shifts, and drove to the Art Department immediately afterward -- the majority of undergraduates went between 8:50 AM and 3:30 PM, including me. Sleep was an issue, but I was young and could find the time most days. There were some exceptions, but this is selective memoir, NOT a detailed autobiography.

Musings about my early College years below:

When I was eighteen years old

I started University in September, and one of my very first classes was Introduction to Visual Arts, in a huge classroom with about a hundred and fifty people. We covered Corbusier, DuChamps, Klee, Picasso etc. I paid attention, but there were other things on my mind and schedule -- College Algebra, Biology, and Philosophy. Besides my requirements, I also studied the history of Comic Strips in the newspapers and magazines on my own time.

I recently met the man who taught that very Introduction to Visual Arts class and he remembered ME! He'd recently published a book of his selected drawings, and autographed it with the words:
To the guy who first showed me the magic of comics” and we shared memories of the late 1960's, plus more-recent works like Frank Miller’s Sin City,The 300, and Heath Ledger's Joker.
One of the initial examples of Comic Art I showed to him was this rather painterly image:

A portion of Frank Frazetta's cover for Creepy #15

Groupie 'Miss Christine' of Zappa's GTOs
Contemporary Culture

This was the era of the Beatles' White Album. Plus continuing musical innovations that would create a Golden Age of FM Radio with "Progressive Rock" and Led Zeppelin. TV featured Laugh In and the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows which I watched at the Student Union with an open Art History book on my lap, rather than falling asleep in the dark auditorium watching slides.

Actor Jonathan Frid of Dark Shadows

Despite all my extracurricular activities, I’m glad to say that I learned how to draw the human figure by the time I graduated from the University of Utah, although I was never as accomplished as the late Mr. Frazetta (above). As far as Fine Art went, though, I eventually preferred opportunities backstage in the field of Modern Dance -- which continues to be my major muse, although Live Music seduces me at various times!
Before I disappeared into the Dance Building, I took classes in the History of the Soviet Union, Oriental Civilizations, Informal Philosophy, English, Film, and Television Production, but abandoned all but the minimal Science courses for graduation, although I'd formerly thought about Engineering in High School. (Always admired Leonardo Da Vinci.)

Rather than forging a sequential narrative about my on-and-off relationship with the University of Utah, this chapter has sub-sections giving insights about my cultural milieu in those volatile times from different perspectives:

Rock Concerts -- An account of my first live shows featuring popular music acts in a Golden Age of those productions.
The Cosmic Aeroplane and Alternative Culture -- Various gathering places fueled "The Movement."
Psychelelic Posters and Underground Comix -- Mostly pictures, with artists' names and personal stories.
Art Department Daze -- SDS, the Draft, and our own Ken Kesey-inspired "Up River Skool." Links to Studios and the Mime Troupe.
Art, Illustration, Literature, S-F & Fantasy, Comics, and Fandom -- Pictures and blurbs concerning my influences.

The Tolkien-esque Two Towers
of Salt Lake Valley


The Cosmic Aeroplane
and Alternative Culture

Art Department Daze
and The NEW Art Deptartment

Art, Illustration, Literature,
S-F & Fantasy, Comics, and Fandom

Psychelelic Posters
and Underground Comix

Photos and images from personal memorabila, Chariey Hafen, and Steve Jones -- published material used for educational purposes in the context of these essays, and covered by Fair Use provisions of International Law. All Rights Reserved Michael R. Evans 2012  Email Me