(Lennie Mahler | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cartoonist Pat Bagley speaks to journalism and yearbook students from Granger High School at The Salt Lake Tribune) office Friday, May 2, 2014.

Editor column: Help cartoonist Pat Bagley choose mural subjects

By Lisa Carricaburu

The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published May 02 2014 01:07 pm
Last Updated May 06 2014 09:20 am

In a corner of The Salt Lake Tribune newsroom there’s a desk somewhere beneath a snowfall of sketches, scribbled caricatures, random photographs and books. Lots of books.

It’s the workplace of Pat Bagley, the pencil-smudged spot where Utah’s best-known editorial cartoonist draws the cartoons that last month earned him recognition as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Those of us who count Bagley as a coworker are fortunate to be able to watch him at work and ask questions as we marvel at his wit and creativity.

Now, all Utahns have that chance with his selection as May artist in residence at the Lab @ Leo at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City.

Better yet, Bagley is asking for help to decide who he’ll draw as he creates a wall-size mural at the museum by month’s end.

The mural will feature notable Utahns, both "saints and sinners," Bagley said.

He’s created a list of candidates from which he’d like you to choose 10 in an online poll, which is available to the left.

You also may write in candidates of your own when completing the poll.

A collection of about 60 Bagley cartoons drawn in the past 20 years will be on display in the lab on the ground floor of The Leonardo starting Monday.

You can check them out and meet Bagley during this month’s gallery stroll on May 16 from 6 to 9 p.m., during which time admission to The Leonardo art lab will be free.

As an artist in residence at The Leonardo, Bagley will turn a portion of the art lab into his studio, lab manager Liberty Blake said. He’ll work on the mural for at least 10 days this month.

Bagley anticipates starting the mural around May 12. On days he works in the lab, he’ll set aside time to answer questions and explain how he works.

Bagley joins a group of artists in residence that has included a Nike shoe designer and a violin maker, Leonardo creative director Jann Haworth said.

"Pat’s work is well within the visual art stomping ground," she said, plus his cartoons raise important social, political and cultural questions.

"It’s good to unpack that for our particular audience."

The poll seeking your input on who Bagley should draw will remain active through Saturday.

Should he draw J. Golden Kimball? Gayle Ruzicka? Robert Kirby? Orrin Porter Rockwell?

Regardless of who ends up in Bagley’s mural, Tribune staffers will chronicle its creation with photos and video.

We plan on unveiling event at the end of May, and will provide more details as they’re finalized.

Lisa Carricaburu is managing editor. Reach her at lisac@sltrib.com or on Twitter: @lcarricaburu.

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