Artists add 30 women to Salt Lake City mural, after criticism of who was originally included

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The new Utah Women 2020 mural, featuring more than 200 Utah women from the past and present, was unveiled Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, on the Dinwoodey building in Salt Lake City.

Artists added more faces to a mural in downtown Salt Lake City after criticism about how many Republican women were originally included in the piece.

The "Utah Women 2020″ mural, featuring more than 250 women from Utah’s past and present, was unveiled in August on the east side of the Dinwoody Building at 37 W. 100 South.

Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank, asked Jann Haworth, a Salt Lake City artist known for co-designing the iconic album cover for The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” to create the piece to commemorate the major suffrage milestones this year.

The mural features Seraph Young, the first woman to vote in Utah; Martha Hughes Cannon, Utah’s first female state senator; Olene Walker, Utah’s only female governor; and Rep. Sandra Hollins, Utah’s first female Black state legislator, among other politicians, leaders, advocates, doctors, athletes, artists and trailblazers.

Shortly after the unveiling, State Sen. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, questioned why there weren’t more Republican women featured. Mia Love, the first Black Republican woman in Congress, also raised objections, tweeting, “This mural has some pretty glaring omissions of Utah Republican women."

Haworth said they did not look at political affiliation when creating the mural, but rather worked to include a wide range of work fields, diversity and ethnicity, countries of origin, economic diversity and religious diversity. The women included were selected through a “democratic process,” and the creators accepted suggestions in order to cover a wide spectrum. Two faces were also purposefully left blank so people could imagine their own selections in the piece.

There were at least a dozen politicians on the mural, and of those, 11 are or were Democrats — though in Cannon’s time, the Democratic Party was considered more conservative than the Republicans.

On Friday, Zions Bank announced that 30 women were added after the piece “sparked important public conversations about impactful Utah women on and off the mural," according to a news release.

Haworth and Zions Bank “enlisted an independent, outside committee to recommend additional faces to expand the 6,000-square-foot mural." Then, Haworth and her son and co-designer, Alex Johnstone, incorporated the additional portraits by reprinting two 55-foot panels on the mural’s north and south ends and adding two additional panels, the release states.

The additions include Mia Love, as well as:

  • Jean Bingham, Sharon Eubank and Reyna Aburto, of the Relief Society general presidency in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Jen Castle and Blake Spalding, founders of Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm and environmental advocates.

  • Mary E. Woolley Chamberlain, Utah’s first female mayor, serving in Kanab from 1911 to 1913.

  • Rebecca Chavez-Houck, former Utah state representative and House minority whip.

  • Sophia DiCaro, first woman of Asian descent elected to the Utah House.

  • Carine Clark, former president and CEO of Banyan and Silicon Slopes executive board member.

  • Aileen Clyde, former counselor in the the Relief Society general presidency in the LDS church and community advocate.

  • Jean DeJolie, Navajo matriarch who died of COVID-19 earlier this year.

  • Sheri Dew, Deseret Management Corporation executive vice president.

  • Sydnee Dickson, Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

  • Christine Durham, first woman appointed to Utah Supreme Court.

  • Beverly Ann Evans, former assistant majority whip in Utah Senate.

  • Cecelia Foxley, Utah System of Higher Education’s first and only female commissioner.

  • Natalie Gochnour, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute director.

  • Jan Graham, Utah’s first and only female attorney general.

  • Deidre Henderson, state senator and lieutenant governor candidate.

  • Marybai Huking, Paralympic athlete and bronze medalist in goalball in Rio 2016.

  • Becky Lockhart, Utah’s first female House speaker.

  • Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute tribal advocate.

  • Susan Madsen, founding director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project,

  • Enid Mickelsen, first Republican woman elected from Utah to the U.S. House.

  • Ann Millner, state senator and former president of Weber State University.

  • Darby NeVille, women’s rights advocate.

  • Aimee Winder Newton, first female Salt Lake County Council chair.

  • Romania B. Pratt Penrose, first female medical doctor in Utah.

  • Celena Shafer, soprano and opera singer.

“The mural is about our community’s character, strength of purpose and strength in adversity. It is about the willingness to give and to act with respect, imagination and social trust,” Haworth said in a statement. “There are 1.5 million living women who are not on this mural, and these women make up 50% of the natural human resources of this state. There are countless more who went before them. Celebrate the women in your life and in your ancestry — you would not be here without them.”

Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO, said, “We are proud of the mural’s representation of Utah women from all walks of life. We hope this expansion will not only enhance the powerful representation, but also help more women and girls see themselves reflected in the faces on the mural.”

Becky Jacobs is a Report for America corps member and writes about the status of women in Utah for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.