Several Utah County women appear in a new mural designed by the co-creator of a popular Beatles album.
Zions Bank commissioned the public art piece that stands five stories tall and includes 250 women from around Utah.
The 5,000-square-foot mural was unveiled on Aug. 26, or Women’s Equality Day, and marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote and 150 years since Seraph Young became the first woman to cast a ballot.
Among the women featured in the mural, Olympian Logan Tom can be seen diving for a volleyball, pediatric surgeon Rebecka Meyers is painting looking through surgical loupes, and painter Edie Roberson is flying above the crowd in an airplane.
Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez and Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert also appear on the “Utah Women 2020” mural. Provo residents Heather Belnap, an associate professor of art history at Brigham Young University, and Janalee Emmer, the head of education at the BYU Museum of Art, are also pictured in the mural.
Zions Bank president and CEO Scott Anderson asked Jann Haworth to create the mural to celebrate the impact of Utah women.
“Zions Bank has long recognized the value women add to our communities,” Anderson said in a statement. “On the day Zions Bank opened in 1873, four of the 15 depositors listed on the original ledger were women. Despite the mural’s enormous size, it represents only a snapshot of the decades-long leadership and impact of Utah women.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1942, Haworth moved to Europe at 19 years old, staying abroad for over 30 years. While living in England, Haworth began selling figures — called soft sculptures — that critics at the time celebrated as a part of the pop art movement, which was growing in popularity.
“I was very active early on,” she said. “I was 20 when I had my first exhibition. London had a very vibrant art scene at that time, and it was very welcoming.”
Hawthorn was selected to participate in 4 Young Artists in 1963, which became her first major exhibition. Afterward, she participated in three shows at the Robert Fraser Gallery — to begin solo exhibitions — before going on to have her art featured in Amsterdam and Milan as well as Hayward Gallery’s pop art exhibition in 1968.
Robert Fraser, who owned the Robert Fraser Gallery, suggested The Beatles commission Hawthorn and her husband to design the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. In 1968, Hawthorn and her then-husband won a Grammy for their album cover design of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
After raising her six children in England — including her three children and three stepchildren — Haworth began visiting Utah to be close to her father, who had purchased a home in Sundance.
“I was just completely bewitched by Utah,” Haworth said.
Hawthorn moved to Utah permanently after the death of her father, founding the Art Shack Studios and Glass Recycling Works in Sundance shortly after the move.
Haworth and artist Alex Johnstone worked together to organize the completion of the public art project. The pair coordinated with more than 175 artists to create portraits of the over 200 women featured on the mural.
Hawthorn and Johnstone then photographed the portraits before sizing and arranging the images into a collage. That collage was then printed on nine 10-by-55-foot vinyl mesh banners and put together on the wall.
The project began with community-led workshops at locations that included YWCA Utah in Salt Lake City to Granary Arts in Ephraim. At these workshops, volunteers were guided in how to create stencil portraits from images.
The process was cut short as the coronavirus pandemic forced Utah into a lockdown and limits were placed on in-person gatherings. To circumvent the problems that arose from the quick pivot, the mural team created an online tutorial and called on Utahns stuck at home to participate.
“Utah is an immensely wonderful example of community togetherness, that has been established year for many, many, many years and even over centuries,” Hawthorn said.
The “Utah Women 2020” mural was not the first of its kind that Hawthorn had worked on in Utah. In 2004, the pop artist was commissioned to create a 50-by-30 foot civic wall mural in downtown Salt Lake City. The mural, entitled SLC PEPPER, represented an updated version of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover.
One of the most difficult aspects of designing the Utah Women 2020” mural was deciding which women to include, Hawthorn said.
The 250 women included in the mural were selected through a democratic process, which included reflection on diversity of characters and contributions.
“It doesn’t really have a fence around it,” Hawthorn said. “There are 1.5 million living women who are not on the mural, and everyone of them there would be a justifiable reason for her to be present as a representative of our state’s story.”
Two of the faces included in the art project are intentionally blank, allowing those who pass to place the faces of women important to them — or themselves — in the mural.
Hawthorn said the public could also download an image of the mural, put their faces in the empty slots, and share their creations on social media or print the picture for themselves.
The mural is located at 37 W. 100 South in Salt Lake City on Zions Bank’s Dinwoodey building.