In her gorgeous photo-realistic still-lifes, American oil painter Wendy Chidester pays homage to lost relics of the past. Artifacts like vintage cameras and projectors, 40’s trunk luggage, bubblegum machines, childrens’ pedal cars and tricycles, and old telephones and typewriters are represented nostalgically in her work. She frames these objects as icons, memorializing the color and ingenuity of the past.
Chidester was born and raised in Salt Lake City. After graduating from the University of Utah with a BFA in the late 1990s, Chidester was painting in the studio of David Dornan. One fateful day, rain prevented her from working on an open-air landscape painting. She decided to visit a local antique store and found herself drawn to a particular vintage camera. She ended up borrowing that camera, and later other objects, to use for newly-inspired still-lifes. In her artistic process, she paints with oil, and then scratches and glazes to create a realistic aged effect. Chidester now travels the country searching for antique treasures to paint. She has amassed an impressive collection of these timepieces, and will even sell them to clients when they buy her paintings.
Chidester exhibits in both solo and group shows all over the country. She has won an array of prestigious awards, including First Place at the 85th Spring Salon at Springville Museum of Art, First Place at the 2007 Annual “Inspired by Carbon County” Helper Arts Festival Show, and Best of Show at Deseret News 17th Annual Art Show.