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Governor Cox and First Lady Cox honor Utah artists at the Governor’s Mansion Artist Awards event

Salt Lake City, Utah (May 25, 2023) – On May 24, 2023, Governor Cox and First Lady Cox honored Utah artists at the Governor’s Mansion Artis Awards event.

Continuing our great Utah tradition of honoring and supporting artists, we are pleased to present the Utah Governor’s Mansion Artist Award to two artists who have brought us a beauty that can be both seen and felt.

Caitlin Connolly:

Caitlin Connolly is an artist and writer who works in many mediums, most often drawing, painting, sculpture and language. Caitlin’s works usually include a human figure, they can contain both lightness and gravity, sometimes they are autobiographical and other times they are conceptual, some are black and white, while others are strikingly colorful.

Caitlin holds a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah School of Fine Art. Her early artwork was driven by a curiosity for the feminine and she sought to understand herself and others within the construct of « woman ». Caitlin is an avid reader and a forever learner, diving headlong into whatever subject has piqued her interest. Lately, she has been exploring deeper themes of duality and paradox, which are represented in her most recent works.

Caitlin has been featured three times in the past decade by Artists of Utah’s 35×35 exhibit. Her works are in public and private collections throughout the country. Of her The painting of her on a large scale, In their image, it was the first painting purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints depicting a female deity. In February 2021, Caitlin gave a TEDx talk from her studio where she discussed the beauty found in the dark and how light and dark can coexist. She currently lives in Provo, Utah with her creative partner, Robbie, and their twins, where she can be caught singing beautifully to herself in her studio.

Marshal McDonald:

Marshall McDonald is a musician, the piano is his main instrument. Marshall majored in music at the University of Utah, where he met his good friend Steven Sharp Nelson. They immediately hit it off and began performing, arranging and composing multiple albums and symphonies together, including ‘The Spanish Trail Suite’, ‘Africa’, ‘American Journey’ and ‘More Holiness Give Me’. Marshall also collaborated with The Piano Guys, arranging their hit song « O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ». He has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for writing and producing the music for the largest living nativity scene in history for his arrangement of « Angels from the Realms of Glory ». Marshall performed music for Utah’s top musical theaters, famously accompanying a singer to an audition even if his sheet music jumped off the piano. He continued playing, reading off the floor without missing a beat. Both received a standing ovation.

After years of performing, recording and writing, Marshall has focused his time and energy on writing books of sacred piano scores. With his wife, Kristien, they run the family business selling hymns and primary song arrangements. They have six children together. Marshall currently teaches institute at the University of Utah and serves as the music coordinator for seminars and institutes for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has given Utah a wonderful gift through his musical work.


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