Thorton Utz was a talented artist from a young age. By the time he was in middle school, he was creating cartoons and sharing them with his classmates. He honed his skills as an illustrator at the Academy of Art in Chicago. He later taught at the Art Institute.
It was the 1940s when Utz’ talent became known to editors at The Saturday Evening Post. During the 1940s and ‘50s, Utz’ illustrations graced 45 covers of the popular magazine. His most frequent subject was American families going about their lives in the suburbs. This is something Utz knew a fair amount about, as he and his wife raised three children in the New York City suburb of Westport, Connecticut.
In the 1960s, the Utz family moved to Sarasota due to his wife’s health issues. Utz designed and built their home on Siesta Key. He became active in the arts community and served as a Trustee of what is now the Ringling College of Art. It was during this period that Utz started designing maps for his cartography business. His map of Sarasota gives you a good sense of his whimsical style. The full map includes everything from conquistadors to a Ringling elephant to a golfer looking for an errant ball.
Utz’ later career found him working as a portrait artist. His subjects included President Jimmy Carter and his family and the Princess of Monaco.
Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.