Inspired By Nature

Introducing Local Artist Stacey Adcock

Meeting artist Stacey Adcock, it is easy to be captivated by her fairy-like qualities: a slight frame, a whispery voice, a faintly crooked smile and piercing eyes. Think of Stevie Nicks in a Razor with a paintbrush or mosaic tiles in her hand and you get the picture.

Stacey was in that Razor with her youngest child when her art found local inspiration. In the shadow of the majestic mountains that surround our beautiful valley, she felt the wonder of her new locale.

With stops in Steamboat Springs, Durango and Breckenridge, Colo., and Salt Lake City, this self-proclaimed “mountain girl” has adjusted well to the Wasatch back. “I’ve found my home,” she replies when asked how she’s adjusted to Midway living.

Making Art in Midway

Stacey’s front porch doubles as her work space, shielded from the road by a large piece of orange fabric and a big, leafy tree. As planned, the porch serves as Stacey’s workshop until it turns chilly and the space is repurposed as the family’s woodpile. It’s on this porch where Stacey paints picture frames with beautiful nature themes — frames that have been for sale in Dolly’s Bookstore in Park City for the past two years.
It is a scrap glass snowboard and pair of skis, however, that draw the eye to a most unusual form of original artwork. It was a brainstorming session with another mountain girl that led to the birth of the idea for
glass mosaic ski equipment designs, where each piece of glass is hand cut.

“I’ve always been attracted to glass,” she explains.

A snowboard hangs in the hall of her home, imagined in a deep sea of blues that carry the viewer far from the slopes to the sea and sky. A pair of custom mosaic skis hangs in Midway Mercantile, one of the area’s newest restaurants.

While her snow-related artwork is not anything she promotes, customers are curious and delighted with Stacey’s talent. Word of mouth has resulted in commissioned work.
“Stacey’s mosaic skis are a beautiful and interesting nod to our alpine ski culture,” Midway Mercantile Co-owner Sandra Perala-Platt is quick to say. “I love the whimsy of them.”

Keeping It Low-Key

Stacey has maintained a low-key presence in the immediate area, joining the Midway Arts Association, anchoring her to the local arts community.

Since moving to the area, Stacey has been asked to display her work at both the Kimball Art Center (KAC) in Park City as a visiting artist and at the Sundance Mountain Resort. In addition, she has worked at the KAC as a guest instructor, teaching custom glass mosaics to a wide variety of ages. Participating in the Park City Art Stroll is also on her upcoming agenda.

“Good things happen to good people,” is a strong belief of Stacey’s. If that is so, then good skis and snowboards happen to Stacey as well. She regularly scours Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and other recycling areas for well-loved skis and boards.

As Stacey repurposes old winter equipment, turning discarded objects into beautiful works of art, it’s easy to see how perfectly she — and her work — fit into the community. Sandra sums it up nicely saying, “I am delighted to have a Stacey Adcock mosaic at Midway Mercantile. It feels exactly right.”

The Next Chapter

What’s next for Stacey? Her children’s school, Soldier Hollow, takes center stage. In 2017, Stacey organized an art night fundraiser for the school, complete with a silent auction.

She is “super excited” about the possibility of another fundraiser this year and wants the children to participate by creating nature-themed mosaic glass take-home pieces. A former elementary teacher for more than 15 years, Stacey’s passion for art and education has made the fundraiser a personal project. As much as she loves creating art, she is proud to say her family is her number one priority. Living in Midway with her husband, Kirk, and their two children, Riley who is 12 and younger brother Jordi, 6, she has found that the outdoor activities offered by the area provide her with an “at home” feeling.

“It was meant to be,” Stacey Adcock admits. “I’m happy where I’m at. Midway has opened its arms to me.” As you head to the mountains this winter to recreate, keep your eyes open. If you’re lucky, you just might encounter an artistic sprite wandering the woods in search of inspiration.

By Noni Henderson

Driving along Casperville Road, you may notice the eye-catching memorabilia on display and wonder what exactly you are seeing. On this back road is a unique treasure trove of antiques, each with a story full of memories, history, and knowledge of our incredible valley, you likely won’t find anywhere else.

It was a gusty, freezing spring morning when I stopped at John Besendorfer’s Casperville Road Museum, as he calls it. I had dressed warmly, knowing that once we started the tour, there would be so much to see and talk about that I wouldn’t want to be distracted by the chill. In the few hours I was there, I heard a lot of fascinating details; I would have needed days to hear all the stories and history John is so generous to share.

John was born and raised on this family farm established in 1889 by his pioneer grandparents, who built the barn when the area was nothing but sagebrush. The farm was one of the many dairies located within Wasatch County, until 2018 when, after 130 plus years, they closed the doors. Now there are only two active dairies left in the valley. John remembers no running water, no inside bathroom, or electricity growing up as a young boy, but there was plenty of hard work to keep everyone busy. John and his wife Jane raised seven children on the farm and had been harmoniously married for 52 years until Jane’s passing two years ago.

John and Jane ran the farm together with Jane taking over while he taught school during the day. Over his 30-year teaching career in Midway and Heber, John taught 1,000 students and knew every person in the valley, which would have been 3,000 people at the time. With John’s knowledge of the valley’s residents and the couple’s love of history, it was only natural that their farm soon filled with antique artifacts. It was inevitable that John and Jane would heed the call to preserve history, and that is precisely what they have done. Although Jane no longer accompanies John while he leads the tour, one can’t help but feel her presence, as if she might suddenly appear to tell you the stories that only she knew of certain items.

The museum’s collection began with wooden wagon wheels from a family inheritance. Fifty years later, there are enough artifacts to fill eight to ten buildings. One of their more significant projects was a pioneer home that was carefully transported from Charleston using railroad jacks and a semi-trailer. Their collections are impressive and have been added to by way of yard sales, estate sales, and anything for sale that caught their attention, along with various generous donations.

As we walked and talked, John happily told the stories behind each item. There were stories of guns and swords found locally, swans, sleds and bottles, and a replica of a fire engine that he helped build. Stories about a “hair loomed” heirloom made from real hair, horse bones, and a collection of over 100 wrenches. If only the stamp collection and compilation of Heber high school graduating class pictures (probably the only one in the valley) could talk — what stories would they tell? You’ll find both in the “School House” building.

The list of artifacts goes on and on, with many holding special meaning. John’s favorite is his great grandfather’s Mormon Battalion uniform, sword, and cane that he inherited. Having come through both the Mexican War and the Black Hawk war, the artifacts are close to John’s heart and too valuable to be displayed publicly, but he still loves talking about their stories.

John’s family lives close by; his son lives next to him, and two other children live in the valley. His older brother lives on the other side of him with his own smaller collection of buildings and memorabilia.

Since the dairy is no longer there to draw in weekly visitors, John keeps busy every day and has had time to expand the museum by adding a few more themed rooms. Though they are a constant work in progress, he hopes to have the rooms ready for visitors this summer.

One of the most incredible things about John, besides his amazing memory, is his peaceful and sharing spirit. The museum came to be because he and Jane “felt the spirit of preservation, felt a spiritual prompting and power of guidance to do so.”

If you are fortunate to know someone from John’s generation, you know it’s always so interesting to talk about the experiences of their lifetime. John says it’s a privilege for him to have all this history for others to enjoy. To have them look at something and remember simpler times of their childhood and the sheer happiness it brings them. “This museum is to share, and if it can be an education, answer a question, enlighten about the past, then it has served its purpose — it’s multi-purpose.”

People like John and his family are our connections to the past. Their wealth of information keeps our community’s stories alive in our hearts. We need these connections, especially as the world changes with each passing day, and new residents move in and wonder about our rich history. Wasatch County is lucky to have the Casperville museum — go for a drive and take a tour. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone as passionate or as knowledgeable about our entire valley’s history, families, and roots as John Besendorfer on Casperville Road.

Local’s Tip: Please call ahead for reservations 435-654-1459. Although not asked for, the museum would not decline donations.