‘Curator’ Andy White assembles Works by God (or Nature if you prefer)Jun 17, 2021 02:50PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris
Framed snail shells, acorns and pinecones are some of what White “curates.” (Sona Schmidt-Harris/City Journals)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
Andy White does not consider himself an artist in the traditional sense. Instead, he sees himself more as a curator—a collector and presenter of what nature creates.
“Well, I've always been curious and appreciated things that I see when I hike, or when I run . . . and I thought, ‘This stuff that I appreciate, its’s Art by God,’” he said.
White, however, is cognizant that not everyone agrees that it’s “Art by God,” and so he is fine with “Art by Nature” as well. Artwork that has recently got him named Holladay’s Artist of the Month.
Framed snail shells, acorns and pinecones are some of what he “curates.” The effect is lovely and seems to legitimize nature’s creations as art worth framing.
“. . . you need to make sure we maintain those things and without the appreciation, it's not as likely to happen,” White said. “So, my hope is people look and say, ‘Wow! Those are snail shells, that's cool!’ And then maybe next time, though they still don't want snails on their flowers . . . we're aware and realizing there's probably a place for them in the system.”
A true purest and naturalist, White has a biology background and taught science in a private elementary school. His primary artistic motivation is educational, and he has works in the Children’s Museum and Red Butte Garden.
White remembers his mother going to ask him to sweep off the sidewalks. “So, you go out and sweep those bugs and things off the sidewalks,” he said. “And then later, as an adult, I looked down and said, ‘Well, you know, mom had me sweep that off the sidewalk, but if you look at that closely, that's really kind of neat.’”
In addition to his career as a “curator,” White is a voiceover actor. An Ernest Hemingway type, his voice is as powerful as his persona. (Photo courtesy of Keith Hill)
Most of what White has collected and curated is from Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. His goal is to kill nothing when he collects and curates, and for the most part, he has been successful.
White is such a purest, he does not charge for his work and would consider donating some of his pieces if a school or entity were interested in having them in a permanent collection.
Born in Ithaca, New York, White spent a brief time in Cedar City as a boy before the family moved to Central California. As a young adult, he was on the management track at a ski resort but decided it was not for him. He came to Utah around 1975 to check things out and has been here ever since.
In addition to his career as a “curator,” White is a voiceover actor. An Ernest Hemingway type, his voice is as powerful as his persona.
His pieces will be on display through June at City Hall.
If you would like to see more of White’s work, visit: folktalefare.com/art-by-god/.
If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month, visit: holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist.