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West Jordan Journal

Utah photographer’s art on display at Viridian Event Center

Oct 12, 2023 03:06PM ● By Linda Steele

Photographer Mark Mickelsen holds one of his pieces, “Spires & Canyons,” in front of the Viridian Event Center (Courtesy Rebecca Mickelsen)

Mark Mickelsen is an artist of photography. Mickelsen has been photographing America, and specifically Utah, for the last 45 years. His favorite landscapes include Utah’s Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion National Park, Lake Powell and Red Canyon. 

“Photography for me is all about light, shadow and form. The Red Rock inspires hoodoos and cliffs that you find in these areas in Utah that really illustrate the importance of these elements.  These areas are unique to the world as far as red rock goes,” Mickelsen said.  

Mickelsen has taken surveys from his website and found that his clients’ favorites are the Red Rock photographs. With that in mind, Mickelsen decided to put some of his favorites on display at the “Utah Red Rock” exhibit in Salt Lake County at the Viridian Event Center, Oct. 10-26. 

In his exhibit, Mickelsen has attempted to capture the pure beauty of nature and illustrate the importance of Utah’s Red Rock elements to allow visitors to recapture personal experiences and memories they have had in Utah’s Red Rock. 

In 1976 when Mickelsen was in college, he was invited to an exhibit featuring the black and white images of Edward Weston, who Mark believes is one of the greatest photographers of the  past century. “When I looked at his iconic pepper photograph, it inspired me to pay attention to form, light and shadow, and from that point on I was a different photographer,” Mickelsen said. He learned a lot from Edward Weston about what to look for in nature, what to look for in people’s faces and what to look for when you are photographing animals and still life. “It’s all about light, shadow and form.” 

Mickelsen was born in Idaho but has been in Utah since 1978. He graduated from the University of Utah in communication. 

Mickelsen is excited about showing his work at the exhibit. “This is the point where I really would like to show my work and see how people feel about it, and get good feedback from folks.”

Mickelsen has 30 galleries on his website,  He has taken close to 100,000 photographs throughout his lifetime.  At his Red Rock Exhibit at the Viridian there will be 14 high definition chromaluxe metal prints, “The finest metal prints you can get in the world,” he said. Mickelsen expressed his gratitude for the Viridian Center and said they are great to work with. 

Mickelsen started his website to allow people to see his work about five years ago. One of the things he has found on his website is how people love the beauty of Utah landscapes. People love the red rock and the uniqueness of Utah landscapes. Mickelsen wants to show people what a beautiful state we have and what beautiful red rock Utah has to offer in the national parks. His website also features the different photographed seasons in Utah. 

Mickelsen will be going to Vermont to shoot fall landscapes. The next exhibit he would like to do is fall landscapes all over the United States because he loves the fall colors. 

“If there is one thing I would like people to get out of this exhibit is, the beauty of Utah, and how lucky we are as people and citizens of this state to be able to go and see these beautiful landscapes. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to take care of these landscapes as clean, pristine and pure as we found them. 

I feel lucky as a photographer to photograph in Utah because there is no shortage of landscapes and it has the most varied landscapes in the United States,” Mickelsen said.

Mickelsen’s Utah Red Rock Exhibit will be open Oct. 10 - 26 at the Viridian Event Center located at 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan. The exhibit is free to the public. For information go to   Go to to see Mickelsen’s photography galleries. λ