Sunny Taylor is talented painter and sculptor who received degrees from BYU and The Ohio State University. She taught as an assistant professor from 2008-14 in the Studio Arts program of BYU and now lives and paints with her family in Utah. Taylor was featured previously on The Krakens for The Objecthood of Painting.
Talk about your career developing. You have gotten into galleries, taught at BYU, and had a number of solo exhibitions. When I contemplate my career development over the past decade, I feel so grateful for a few select people who championed my work, saw potential in me, and pushed me to strive for things that I thought were out of my reach. One of my professors at BYU, Joe Ostraff, basically shoved me towards grad school. I never planned on it. I didn’t think I had it in me to pursue a graduate degree, and I wanted to shy away from the challenge. Little did I know at the time, that a graduate degree would go on to shape my career completely. Upon receiving my MFA degree from the Ohio State University, I had the credentials, but felt completely inadequate to teach at the university level. When a full time position opened up at BYU, I reluctantly applied, and miraculously found favor with the faculty in the program, and was invited to join the ranks. I taught for six years in the Studio Area at BYU, and it was marvelous! I can’t say enough good things about my experience teaching there. My colleagues were wonderful! They taught me so much, achieved so much, believed in and supported me, and inspired me to stretch myself in many ways.
My position as a full time assistant professor placed some pretty high expectations upon me with regards to exhibiting my work. It was expected that my work would be shown steadily on a regional, national and international basis. The high expectations kept me applying to juried shows, and exhibiting my work in solo and group shows often. Those expectations were so essential for me to continue producing work and exhibiting even while leading a very busy life.
Less than a year ago, I made a very difficult decision to resign from my position at BYU so I could be at home more with my children. I am currently a full-time mom, and a part-time artist. With my simplified job description, I’m surprisingly making more work than I have been in years, and it’s pretty amazing. I recently began exhibiting with the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City. They are really great to work with and for.