Random Acts of Art bring creative solutions to social and community needs. Each project is spearheaded by a member of a statewide network of artists and arts administrators known as Change Leaders.
The Brigham City Fine Arts Center and Box Elder County Tourism came together to create a project that would beautify downtown Brigham City. The “Main Street Flyway” features artists’ renditions of local birds found at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. The birds are hung on lamp posts along Main Street. Many segments of the community came together for the project’s unveiling, including artists, Heritage and Cultural Arts board members, the press, the Mayor and the City Council.
The Gr8West Institute, in an effort to celebrate Salt Lake City’s River District, constructed a community themed mural directly adjacent to the Sorenson Unity ArtPark. Artists gathered ideas from children in the community and after some brainstorming and planning, created an abstract aerial view of the Glendale neighborhood. The purpose of the mural project was to inject vitality into a fledgling park space using art.
The Utah Storytelling Guild, in partnership with Bridgerland Literacy, hosted A Festival of Words for the Cache Valley community. The four hour festival featured workshops and performances in which words played a major role such as storytelling and ASL (American Sign Language) activities. The festival concluded with a special storytelling concert in the evening. One of the Festival’s goals was to inform participants about the troubling trend of illiteracy in their community. Another goal was to help people understand the power of oral and spoken words in an age of texting and e-mail.
Utah Arts Alliance, in partnership with People Productions, brought artists and community members together to create a quality piece of public art outside the SLC Arts Hub. The project kicked off with a community/ volunteer event in which over 40 individuals contributed to a portion of the mural on the south end of the building. Sections of the community mural will continue to evolve as new artists are invited to add to the mural on an ongoing basis.
The Oquirrh Mountain Symphony hosted several hands-on family activities throughout South Jordan to bring families together and introduce children to orchestral instruments. During these free events, parents and children worked together to build paper replicas of musical instruments, then were shown how to handle the instruments through group demonstrations.
Gunnison City and the Casino Star Theatre Foundation worked together to repair the damage done to the Sanpitch Dragon during the severe floods in 2011. This beloved 218-foot-long mosaic inhabits the Sanpitch River Walk under Highway 89 and “roars” in traffic.
To help raise awareness about local artists and their work, Garden City launched a summer farmer’s market. Each week the market highlights the work of different artists in the area. Market-goers can listen to live music and watch artists create new pieces all while shopping for bread, produce, and crafts.
In an effort to help future generations comprehend and appreciate the history of the United States, the South Jordan Public and Cultural Art Board (PACDB) presented sticker kits to 5th graders in South Jordan. The kits are chronological snapshots of American history and when pieced together create a magnificent waving flag. This project coincided with the schools’ history curriculum and enhanced students’ understanding of American history.
The Helper Train Mosaic was created to bring Helper residents together through a project that commemorates an important aspect of Helper’s industrial history. Children were shown how to create the mosaic tiles during the summer Art-In-The-Park program. The mosaic was unveiled at the 2012 Helper Arts and Music Festival and commemorated with a small dedication ceremony and a plaque of all who made the project possible.
Heart & Soul launched its first Porchfest, a celebration of music and the arts where residents and Heart & Soul artists performed on front porches to an audience that moved from house to house. Porchfest represents the essence of Heart & Soul’s mission by bringing music and performing arts to people who are isolated from the community. Eleven porches, seventeen bands and almost a thousand people came out to in support of Heart & Soul and the healing power of music and community.
The Cache Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA) launched a season of Greening the Arts with a ScrapArtsMusic performance. Children turned trash into upcycled musical instruments, rehearsed during a junk jam with a local musician, and performed at the Gallery Walk. In April, CVCA held the first Earth Day celebration in downtown Logan. Over 450 people attended the four hour event which featured performances, demonstrations, and the unveiling of CVCA’s first public sculpture.
Weber Arts Council and the City of South Ogden invited artists to propose transformative artwork to beautify two landmark million gallon water tanks. The call for entries yielded 28 proposals which were opened to public input and reviewed by a selection committee. The winner was announced at the city’s 75th anniversary celebration.
Storytellers and writers united in a common cause to support The Road Home, an organization that helps families cope with homelessness. A fundraiser community meal in Salt Lake City brought the aromas of the recipes and the voices of the authors together in a memorable evening of food and performance. A cookbook containing the stories will be released, with proceeds continuing to benefit the homeless.
Thursday nights at 6 p.m. women in the Women’s Shelter learn the therapeutic arts of knitting and crochet with donated yarn and needles. The Knitting Circle participants collaborated with community fiber artists to participate in the graffiti knitting project during the Utah Arts Festival. This project is ongoing and yarn and needle donations are welcome.
Diverse groups, including children, adults, homeless individuals and business owners, united by a passion for fiber arts, staged “knit-ins” and created a temporary knitted public art installation in Washington Square Park during the Utah Arts Festival. The project went viral and gained national media attention. The group even knitted a sweater for a Mini Cooper.
In West Valley City young people explored solutions to bullying through discussion and improvisation with Djembe African drums. Plans are underway to create an expression of respect through a participatory public art installation.
Artists helped those attending the Summerfest Arts Faire create a large statue from cast-off items. Covered with paper mache and painted in bright colors, the sculpture was a popular attraction during the three day arts festival and continues to be on public display. A second, more durable sculpture was created from discarded metal pans, bells and tubes. People were encouraged to make music by hitting this sculpture with drum sticks. Other works were created from plastic shopping bags.
College students mentored six high school students at risk for non-graduation. Over the course of a year they engaged the students’ interest in visual arts, music and film, interfaced with students in their school arts courses, and brought students to experience arts events at the Utah State University campus. All of the participants not only graduated from high school but enrolled in college.
Sanpete Youth Theatre Initiative
At-risk youth in Gunnison will engage in their communities and gain marketable skills by participating in conscious speaking workshops and training to work as historical interpreters.
The Art of Healing
An exhibit will be displayed at the Kane County Hospital to provide a respite for patients and their families, and to introduce new audiences to art in a public space.