Utah is home to more than 2.8 million residents, and the population is growing. Between 2011 and 2010, the state welcomed more than 53,000 new residents. Positive population growth is only one reason businesses have begun taking a greater interest in The Beehive State. The cost of living is way below the national average, taxes are low all around, and nothing compares to sprawling landscapes that can only be described as breathtaking.
Although Utah’s top industries are aerospace and defense, health technology, IT, natural products, renewable sources, sporting goods, and travel and tourism, the art and design industry has shown promising growth over the last decade. Employment and salary growth are notable, as well as the attention Salt Lake City has received recently for the hit show “Breaking Pointe.” The show gives the viewer a close-up look at the city’s art and culture scene by opening the doors to Ballet West, “the premier ballet company of the American West.”
Ballet is big in The Beehive State, but several other creative fields shine as well. First, the game design and development industry has attracted a number of major studios from across the U.S. Electronic Arts Inc., Avalanche/Disney Interactive, and Epic Games Inc.'s ChAir Entertainment Group are just a few. In fact, 17 major game studios now provide 600 jobs across the state. Next, the state’s top art venues attract thousands of spectators (and potential employees) each month. Just a few major art museums include Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Utah Moca), Springfield Museum of Art, The Leonardo, and Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University.
Utah is also home to one of the oldest galleries in the region—Phillips Gallery. Located in Salt Lake City, Phillips Gallery represents a diverse group of more than 80 artists throughout the Intermountain West. Finally, what would the art and design scene be without art centers, art associations, and art schools? The state is home to hundreds of art centers, dozens of art associations, and nearly a dozen Title IV schools that offer art and design programs of all kinds. Just a few include Brigham Young, The University of Utah, and Dixie State College of Utah. Continue reading to learn more about Utah’s best options for aspiring artists and what they have to offer.
Utah Art Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Utah is home to dozens of community colleges and 41 Title IV colleges and universities. While students may earn a certificate or 2-year degree in art at a community college such as Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), many aspiring artists here choose to enroll in a B.A., B.S., or B. F. A. program at a four-year college of university. Fortunately, Utah’s impressive collection of quality colleges has all bases covered.
Utah State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design; M. F. A. Art with Specialization in Graphic Design
Utah Valley University (UVU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art and Visual Communications with Emphasis in Graphic Design, Illustration
Brigham Young University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art, B.S. Computer Science with Art Emphasis, B.S. Computer Science with Graphics Specialization, B.F.A Graphic Design, B.F.A. Illustration
Salt Lake City
University of Utah – Degrees Offered: B.A. Art; B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design Emphasis; B.S. Computer Science with Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) Emphasis; M.S. Computing with Emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering: Master Games Studio (EAE: MGS)
More Utah Art related programs to consider:
Employment and Salary Trends for Utah Artists
According to most recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), Utah is home to 15,770 salaried artists and designers, up from 13,800 in 2002. They average $42,690 per year, up from $34,700 in 2002. The U.S. is home to more than 1.7 million salaried artists and designers and they average a mean salary of $53,850 per year ($43,640 median).
Utah’s artists and designers work at art studios, creative agencies, technology firms, game studios, museums, schools, art galleries, and more. Just a few employment options include The Leonardo (Salt Lake City), The Phillips Gallery (Salt Lake City), Creative Media Group (Orem), Golden Street Animation (Provo, Utah), Studio 4D1, (Bingham Canyon), Petersen Art Center (Salt Lake City), Visual Art Institute (Salt Lake City), Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City), and The Art Institutes of Utah (Salt Lake City).
Opportunities for animators can be found all over the state, but many of the best opportunities can be found in major cities such as Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Provo, Orem, West Jordan, and Sandy.