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Bonnie L. B. Posselli

Bonnie Posselli was born in Lake City, Utah in 1942. A plein-air painter and western regionalist, her work focuses on her emotional response to Main Street America, agrarian scenes, and forests. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Posselli joined the Plein-Air Society, led by brothers Ken and Dan Baxter. She studied under Alvin Gittins at the University of Utah . She earned a degree in illustration from a technical college in 1982, but did not pursue commercial art as a profession, preferring to paint landscapes in the plein-air style, focusing on the effects of light.

San Rafael Swell and Old Town Park City are some examples of her work. In 2002, Poselli was selected by Springville Museum of Art as one of its top painters, and in 2001 and 2003 she was selected to participate in the Plein-Air Painters of America Exhibition on Santa Catalina Island.

Biography adapted from material supplied by the artist.

To view a Bonnie Posselli painting, be it of winter cottonwoods along the river bottoms, warm flush of evening sun over the buttes of southern Utah, or being carried on her journeys to foreign lands, is to be in the moment that Bonnie experienced within the rhythm of nature. Bonnie grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah the eldest of six children. Her parents enjoyed the out of doors and so for vacations took their children camping throughout Utah and neighboring states. During these outdoor experiences she absorbed the beauty and wonder of nature, which would later be reflected in her paintings. Her mother was a painter who encouraged Bonnie as a young adult to join with her in a plein air painting group, and from there the dye was cast.

Bonnie married and had three children, one girl and two boys. Her education during this time was intermittent at the University of Utah. There she studied figure with Alvin Gittins, an experience that was indelible and would continue to serve her. Later, after a divorce, she went on to earn a degree in illustration, but soon realized that the early development of her plein air painting skills were her abiding love and strongest asset. Bonnie never did accept a job in the commercial art field, but her training coupled with previous outdoor painting experience proved to enrich her depth of understanding and skill as well as provide a reliable source of income.

Most significant and lasting influences for Bonnie were from early landscape painters, John F. Carlson, Richard Schmidt, Edgar Payne, and LeConte Stewart. John F. Carlson (1890-1945) was the noted expert on outdoor painting from the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York. His book, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, became the “Bible“ for many students of landscape painting. Carlson's philosophy was to paint nature at your own backdoor and to not feel compelled to travel for the “picturesque.“ His reverence for the pure, natural landscape setting and abiding love of trees would continue to inspire Bonnie throughout her career.

Bonnie has traveled and painted throughout South America. Over a span of about eleven years there have been seven trips including Brazil, Argentina, three trips to Peru, Guatemala, Chili and Easter Island, and in November 2004, planning another trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Alaska opened another plein air paintings and camping experience during a week long river trip in the Tick Chick wilderness area. She has twice been a guest artist of the Plein Air Painters of America on the Island of Catalina where she has become enchanted and drawn to the painting of marine life. Further paintings of harbor life have been painted on Bainbridge Island and Monterey Bay.

Bonnie's quiet and meticulous rendering of trees, as well as her rich luscious hues depicting the many moods of Utah's red rock country, have won her critical praise coupled with an impressive group of collectors. As of this time, she has purchased property in the vicinity of Torrey, located in the spectacular red rock country at the mouth of Capitol Reef National Park, in south central Utah, where she is planning her second home/studio.

Awards and Honors

  • 2004 - Best Oil Award, Southern Virginia State University Invitational
  • 2002 - “One of the Hundred Best Artists of Utah,“ presented by the Springville Art Museum 2002 Winter Olympics Curatorial Committee
  • 2002 - Best of Show, Maynard Dixon Invitational
  • 2001 - Best Oil, Maynard Dixon Invitational
  • 2000 - People's Choice, Maynard Dixon Invitational
  • 2000 - Arts for the Parks Grand Canyon Purchase Award
  • 2000 - Dixie College Invitational Purchase Award
  • 1999 - The Deseret News Purchase Award
  • 1997 - Utah Governor's Mansion Artist Achievement Award
  • She has been an invited guest of PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America) in 2001 and 2003, for their Catalina Island paint out and exhibition.

One Person Shows

  • 1993 - Art Masters Gallery; Park City, Utah
  • 1993 - Z.C.M.I Mercantile; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1995 - Repartee Gallery; Park City, Utah
  • 1995 - Murdock Travel; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1996 - Williams Fine Art Gallery; Torrey, Utah
  • 1997 - Pan American Tours; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1998 - Myra Powell Gallery; Invitational one Person Show, Ogden, Utah
  • 2003 - Wilford and Vogt Gallery; Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 - Zions Banking Corporation

Invitational Shows

  • 1989 - Dixie College Invitational
  • 1989 - Springville Museum Invitational
  • 1993 - Saguaro Gallery Invitational, National Mini Master
  • 1993 - Tivoli Gallery Invitational
  • 1999 through 2005 - Maynard Dixon Invitational
  • 2000 through 2005 - Dixie College Invitational
  • 2002 - Springville Museum 2002 Winter Olympics Best 100 Artists of Utah
  • 2001 and 2003 - Plein Air Painters of America, Guest Artist; Catalina Island, California
  • 2004 and 2005 - Eric Firestone Gallery Invitational; Tucson, Arizona
  • 2005 - Howard Mandville Invitational Landscape and Miniature Shows; Seattle, Washington

To contact this artist: possellifineart@msn.com

Artist's website: www.bonnieposselli.com

Biography courtesy of the artist.

Newspaper Articles

"Coming Up: Visual Arts." The Salt Lake Tribune, January 27, 2002.

"Juried Art Contest in Mount Carmel." The Deseret News, August 17, 2003.

"Showing at Local Galleries." The Deseret News, November 23, 2003.

"Summer Parties Benefit Arts, Red Butte Garden." The Salt Lake Tribune, July 4, 2004.

"Utah Marquee: Visual Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, April 26, 2002.


Catalina Art Association. Enchanted Isle: A History of Plein Air Painting in Catalina Island. Catalina, CA: Catalina Art Association, 2003.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The Art of Travel, Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, 1997.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton and Janie L Rogers. 150 Year Survey Utah Art & Artists. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2002.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publishing Co, 1991.


Art of the West Magazine. "Sego Gallery Features Alaskan Art." Art of the West Magazine, March/April 2002.

Art of the West Magazine. "What's News." Art of the West Magazine, March/April 2002.

Plein Art Magazine. "Painting Alaska." Plein Air Magazine, 2nd issue.

Salt Lake Magazine. "Painting from the Land." Salt Lake Magazine, 1990.

Southwest Art Magazine. "Artist to Watch." Southwest Art Magazine, February 2001.

 Last Modified 4/1/20