Cody Rex Chamberlain
Cody Rex Chamberlain was born and raised in Utah and spent his childhood roaming the high west desert of Utah. He began working for the U.S. Forest Service when he was 18 years old, and worked his way through a BFA in Art and Visual Communications (emphasis in painting) at Utah Valley University and post-graduate studies in Anthropology and Archeology at the University of Utah. His work with the Forest Service has afforded him a unique opportunity to attain professional training as a naturalist, and create service and educational programs that teach the public about environmental responsibility.
Chamberlain has participated in the most distinguished juried exhibitions in Utah beginning in 2011, most notably, the Statewide Annual Exhibition of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums (People’s Choice Award, 2019, and Juror’s Award, 2022), the Spring Salon and Spiritual & Religious Exhibitions at the Springville Museum of Art (Honorable Mention, 2016), and the Statewide Annual Competitions at the Eccles Community Art Center, (First Place, 2013, Honorable Mention, 2015). He continues to participate in state exhibitions as he pursues opportunities for solo and group exhibitions that benefit the community and spotlight environmental issues.
Chamberlain’s two-person exhibitions Intersections of Nature (Park City Library, 2019) and Desert Bloom (Loge Gallery, Pioneer Theater Company, 2019), and his group show, In Sight out of Mind (Springville Museum of Art, 2021) were examinations of the human lens the natural world is subject to and how we simultaneously appreciate and neglect it. His large-scale oil painting, Procession, was selected by the State of Utah for its Thrive 125 exhibition and for purchase of image rights (2021). He is exhibiting in two solo shows this year, at the Midland Arts Council (Midland, TX) and WOW Atelier in December (Salt Lake City, UT).
Commissions have played an integral role in allowing Chamberlain to support himself as a professional artist. He is fortunate to have a supportive relationship with his patrons, who allow him to “borrow back” work for exhibitions. It is among his proudest accomplishments that people have selected his work for their children to grow up with. He was recently commissioned by the state of Utah to do a commission for their permanent art collection (2023).
Chamberlain appreciates the opportunities he has had to give guest lectures and artist workshops and was honored to judge the Spring Touchstones Visual Art Competition (Utah Valley University, 2020). He regularly arranges educational field trips to natural and wilderness areas. He believes the most impactful way to effect positive change in how people interact with natural areas is to create appreciation for them, and that there is no better way to do that than first-hand experience.
My art is a visual representation of an experience, a meld of past and present experiences. Though the desert is striking to the eye, I seek to transcend what can be seen and convey my emotional and intellectual response to it. In the stark and savage beauty of the desert I see the cycle of life and death exposed. I see a skull at the base of a thriving juniper, and the first bloom of a yucca under the specter of a withered pinion pine. The unapologetic exposure of the life cycle, laid bare, is part of what makes the adventure of exploring the desert so profound. I find solace in the acceptance of the natural processes we are all subject to. In my work, I aim to appeal to what unifies rather than divides us. The elemental cycle of life and death is a central theme in my art, and nothing connects us more than our mortality.
Wichert, Geoff. “SWA 2022 Works Are Embedded in Our Common Cause.” Artists of Utah 15 Bytes, Utah’s Art Magazine, 21, Nov. 2022. SWA 2022 Works Are Embedded in Our Common Cause
“Dead Trees.” The New Utah Podcast. 5 Jan. 2022, min. 34:10-1:35:38, www.soundcloud.com/user-208104475/293-dead-trees
Schnitzpahn, Doug. “The View: Art by Cody Chamberlain.” Outdoor Retailer Magazine. Jan. 2021, pp. 68-73. www.staging.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/january_2021/stage.php?startid=5#/p/68
Springville Museum of Art. “In Sight, Out of Mind: Springville Museum Exhibition Walkthrough.” Smofa.org, 2021, www.smofa.org/insight-outofmind.php
Chamberlain, Cody R., “Art Awards: Judged by Cody Chamberlain” 2020 Spring Touchstones: UVU’s Journal of Literature and Art. 2020, pp. 66, www.cdm17182.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p17182coll15/id/1707/rec/24
“Bough of the Juniper.” Artemis Journal, vol. 27, 2020, pp. 51.
Department of Cultural & Community Engagement. “The People Have Spoken.” artsandmuseums.utah.gov, 2020, www.artsandmuseums.utah.gov/the-people-have-spoken/
Iwasaki, Scott. “Visual artists Cody Chamberlain and Leonard Starbeck share their ‘Intersections in Nature.” Park City and Summit County News, Park Record, 17 Jul. 2019, www.parkrecord.com/entertainment/visual-artists-cody-chamberlain-and-leonard-starbeck-share-their-intersections-in-nature/
McBeth, Hannah. “From Desert to Ocean Crossings: Cody Chamberlain’s and Len Starbeck’s Intersections in Nature at the Park City Library.” Artists of Utah 15 Bytes, Utah’s Art Magazine, 27 Jul. 2019, www.artistsofutah.org/15Bytes/index.php/from-desert-to-ocean-crossings-cody-chamberlains-and-len-starbecks-intersections-in-nature-at-the-park-city-library/
Poore, Ann. “Art Elevated, Cody Chamberlain finds Inspiration in Deserts and High Places.” Artists of Utah 15 Bytes, Utah’s Art Magazine, 8 Jan. 2018, www.artistsofutah.org/15Bytes/index.php/art-elevated-cody-chamberlain-finds-inspiration-in-deserts-and-high-places/
Lee, Alex. “On the Edge of Zion, Utah Artists Remain Untamed.” Vice. 30 Jan. 2017, www.vice.com/en/article/pgq7xb/alexander-lee-edge-of-zion-utah-50statesofart
Roka, Les. “The Rededication of Spirit: Top Ten Moments of the Utah Enlightenment in 2017.” The Utah Review, 20 Dec. 2017. www.theutahreview.com/rededication-spirit-top-10-moments-utah-enlightenment-2017/
Roka, Les. 2017, December 1. Artist Cody Chamberlain’s obsessive muse: Spiritual Solace in the Utah Desert. The Utah Review, 1 Dec. 2017 www.theutahreview.com/artist-cody-chamberlains-obsessive-muse-spiritual-solace-utah-desert/
Twig Media Lab. 35×35 Artists of Utah: Cody Chamberlain. Twig Media Lab Vimeo, www.//vimeo.com/199236510
15 Bytes. “Cody Chamberlain : Desert Wake.” 15 Bytes Vimeo, www.//vimeo.com/250336902
Taylor, Elaine. “Local Artist takes first at Ogden competition.” Utah Public Radio, 9 Aug. 2013, www.upr.org/arts-and-culture/2013-08-09/local-artist-takes-first-at-ogden-competition