Céline Downen

January - February 2017
Céline Downen's Artist Statement
gather–piece–stitch: The Art of Place pieces together community voices with elements of our natural surroundings to create a sense of place.

Céline’s art reflects the way we, and other species, piece together our environment. Birds have a distinctive style of collecting and creating their nests. Some species build their nests in trees, some on the ground, others move into man-made locations. Humans, like birds, utilize what is available to us. Birds create nests in order to have a safe place to nurture their young. Céline seeks to create art that embraces that same kind of refuge.

Céline Downen Bio
Céline knew she loved the arts from the first dip of her fingers into paint. She enjoyed experimenting with all types of media but in high school she met her mentor, the teacher who opened up the world of photography, a passion ever since.

Céline lived in Salt Lake City until she was 11, when her family moved to Evanston, Illinois. She returned to Utah for her freshman year of college, where she neglected her studies in favor of photographing for the Daily Utah Chronicle. After a year, she returned to Chicago to attend Columbia College. There she earned a BA in photography in 1996.

Work in event marketing took Céline all over the country, and she has lived in Portland, Oregon, St. Louis, Missouri, and Bozeman, Montana. But she’s always considered Utah her home.

Céline has also worked for many years with the Sundance Film Festival, beginning as a volunteer driver in 2000. Since 2007 she has been the Festival’s juror coordinator.

Céline moved back to Salt Lake City in 2006 with her husband and now divides her time between taking care of their 2 sons and her art. She never leaves home without her Holga. 


Through photography, Celine Downen documents the cultural landscape that once was. After noticing that the places she loved were changing and disappearing, she took it upon herself to preserve these locations through her lens. Each picture highlights an earlier age that brings the nostalgia of a once lively and thriving location. Using images of vintage motel signs, old drive-in movie theatres, and other commercial and cultural artifacts, Downen creates captivating mini Holga Giclee prints mounted on solid bamboo. The resulting artifacts, as Downen calls them, are important to preserve so they can be enjoyed in our lives forever.

In an effort to enhance the Salt lake Community College Markosian Library at Redwood experience, Digital Archives is reaching out to local emerging artists working in a variety of transdisciplinary and traditional mediums to install work in the west alcove on the main floor of the library. Interested local emerging artists are invited to submit their work for a solo exhibition in the library (please review the policies & procedures and space requirements prior to submission.)

We are pleased to present our first local artists in this series to display work in the Salt Lake Community College Library at Redwood.

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Salt Lake Community College

Taylorsville Redwood Campus

4600 South Redwood Road

Salt Lake City, UT 84123

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