BYU alumna Sabrina Squires returns to Utah’s art community

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Local artist and BYU alumni Sabrina Squires proudly stands near one of her paintings on display at the Provo Covey Center. (Photo credit: Sabrina Squires)
Local artist and BYU alumna Sabrina Squires proudly stands near one of
her paintings on display at the Provo Covey Center. (Photo courtesy
Sabrina Squires)

Sabrina Squires takes the pages of old National Geographic magazines, scours them up with a Brillo pad, glues the pieces together and decorates them with acrylic paints to create ornate, textured collages of fantastical scenes. Her most recent collection, currently on display at Provo’s Covey Arts Center, features the real endings of traditional fairy tales.

“My art takes life and tries to embed it in a surrealistic world,” Squires said. “It’s a way to look at things in a different light.”

Squires, 32, creates mixed media collages like the ones on exhibit at the Covey Center. The BYU alumna’s work has been featured in local and national art contests and galleries. Squires returns to Utah now to participate in Utah’s diverse art community and to introduce a new interactive studio to downtown Provo.

Squires and a friend are working on a painting studio called Color In Motion that teaches people how to “unleash their inner artist,” Squires said. The studio offers customers a chance to paint and get creative.

The Covey Center gallery committee chose Squires for an exhibit because staff enjoyed her colorful, detailed work. They thought her large pieces would work well in the Eccles gallery.

“I enjoyed working with Sabrina to get this exhibit ready,” said Deann Moris, head of scheduling and events. “The night of her opening reception, there were more than 300 people who were there just to see her work. She was so gracious and excited to talk to everyone about her work. There were a lot of children there also who were enraptured by the fairy tale theme of the exhibit.”

As a child, Squires loved to draw, especially animals. When she was younger, she drew a unicorn at a sidewalk chalk festival at the Idaho Falls library, and her picture was in the local newspaper.

“Ever since I can remember, she would draw all over anything and everything she could get her hands on,” said Megan Squires, Sabrina Squires’ sister. “She would always ask me to color with her, and as I was trying to stay in the lines I would look over at her page and it would have different tones and shades. I was always impressed that she could draw anything.”

Sabrina Squires grew up in Idaho Falls. Her mother had four daughters in her first marriage, and her father had two daughters and a son in his first marriage. Then, her parents married and had Sabrina and her sister Megan.

“My sister has the kind of personality where people are drawn to her and she makes friends everywhere she goes,” Megan Squires said. “If people from the past either from school or church don’t remember me I remind them of my sister and then they automatically remember who I am. She was a good big sister. She would even let me tag along and hang out with her and her friends when they were in high school and I was just in middle school.”

After academic success at Hillcrest High School, Sabrina Squires chose BYU as her college of choice. During her college years she danced on BYU dance companies and planned to major in dance, but throughout her years at BYU, she grew to love the BYU arts program. In her final year, she chose art as her major.

“BYU has an approach to the art world that no other college has,” Sabrina Squires said. “They are unique and a lot more wholesome, I would say. BYU helped form a lot of my ideas and concepts and how I develop my work.”

After graduating from BYU, Sabrina Squires spent three summers in the Dominican Republic with the Dream Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on the education of young children in the Dominican Republic who are affected by poverty. Squires taught children how to draw and paint.

“Those children were always amazing in my art classes,” Sabrina Squires said. “They love it. They love to learn how to draw. They love being creative, and they are especially obsessed with glitter; they rub it all over their faces.”

Since returning from her teaching opportunity in the Dominican Republic, Sabrina Squires has competed in various art competitions, both locally and nationally.

Her Covey Center exhibit will be one of many. She plans on contests and shows in Park City and Salt Lake City, as well as hanging around the Color In Motion studio. Sabrina Squires now works in her studio in Utah, which she explains is actually her bedroom. She likes to be able to get out of bed and have all her supplies ready at her fingertips.

“Art is fun,” Sabrina Squires said. “I think everyone can paint. I take a different approach in my art that I think people will appreciate, and it stands out.”

The Color In Motion studio opens Nov. 15 on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and is located on 201 West Center St. Tickets are $10 for singles, $18 for couples and $34 for a family of four, and prices includes hot chocolate.

Visit Sabrina Squires’ website here.

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