Art Access is having its 9th Annual 300 Plates Fundraiser & Exhibition on May 19th. This is a great time to see and purchase local art and mingle with the artists. For those who have not gone before, the plates to be sold at the fundraiser are 11-by-10-inch metal printer plates. Each artist gets a plate (or several) to create with. All mediums and types of art will be represented.

Three artists of the 102 artists participating in 300 Plates this year include: Erin Berrett, Cassandra Barney and Daren Young.

This is Erin's fourth year participating. “My first year was candy, second was teapots, third year was crushed soda cans. This year is old matchbooks,” Erin says. She will have three plates full of matchbooks, each painted with acrylic gesso. Erin describes her art as “contemporary still life.” She paints very life like paintings of common objects such as shoes, food and matchbooks.

Here is just some of Erin's work:

Cassandra first participated in 300 Plates about 8 years ago, and every year since, she has been invited to return with her beautiful paintings. What keeps her coming back? “I would hear stories about the passionate exchanges of the patrons who had their hearts set on certain artworks and that was awesome. As my work grew in popularity, it was even more flattering. I remember an article in SLUG that was called, "A Barney for a Bargain." The plates show has benefited me in that I got to be in some great SLC collections.”

She is excited about the plates because she loves to work in a series and explore an idea. “One year I did a set of paintings called, 'Little Girls That Burn.' I'm going to do something like that this year but it's all about water. Fun! I had my sketches done before I even got my plates. This year I experimented with using oil pastels with my oil paint, usually I just use oil paint.”

A preview of Cassandra's art:

Daren has been participating in the fundraiser for four years. His favorite part about 300 plates is “having my plates included with those of some of Utah's finest artists as well helping in my own small way to raise funds for such a wonderful and worthy organization as Art Access Gallery and VSA Arts of Utah.”

His plates are very realistic looking. He calls his technique stylized realism. He takes photos from his travels and other reference photos. He paints them but puts what he calls his own “unique representational twist” on them.

This year he has prepared three different scenes of Irish pub house exteriors. “Each plate depicts a pub in three different cities in Ireland-The Temple Bar in Dublin, Dan Foley's Pub in Kerry, and The Small Bridge Pub in Dingle.” Last year he did scenes from his travels as including Venice, Italy and Galway, Ireland.

Daren will also use acrylic. He says, “I like the vibrant colors you can achieve with acrylic and also due to how fast the paint dries (which comes in extremely handy if you are behind schedule and need to finish by the deadline).” Each plate takes him 12 hours to paint.

I thought it seemed very difficult to paint on lithographic plates. All the artists said it is fairly easy. In some cases, they take several coats of paint. Daren says he likes painting on the plates. The only challenge he found was that “it does take some getting used to how thin and flexible they [the plates] are.”

Examples of Daren's artwork:

All three artists love ArtAccess and their work in the community.

Over 102 artists are participating in 300 Plates this year. With so many plates to choose from, Art Access will be having plate previews from 10 a.m-6 p.m. May 16-18.

May 19 will be the big day. The plates will be previewed 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 6-7 p.m. you will receive a colored wristband and may continue perusing, determining which plates to purchase and visiting the tents with food and live music. After 7 p.m., random colors will be called. If your band matches the color, you may enter the gallery and purchase one plate. From 8:30 p.m., the remaining plates will be on sale for half an hour.

The prices for the plates start at $75. Click here to get your tix for $25 per person if purchased in advance. Or $35 at the door.

ArtAccess is located at 230 S. 500 W., SLC.