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“Utah 2013: Mixed Media & Works on Paper” at Rio Gallery – 8 Oct 2013

Utah Arts & Museums will host its annual statewide exhibition “Utah 2013: Mixed Media & Works on Paper” at the Rio Gallery (Rio Grande Depot, 300 South Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City) October 18 – November 22, 2013 with a public reception on Friday, October 18 from 6-9 p.m.

“This year, Utah Arts & Museums received more than 400 works from 210 artists,” noted Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. “Of those, our two guest jurors chose 84 pieces by 57 artists. We’re always impressed by the quality and diversity of the submissions, and we’d like to thank all the artists who submitted their work.”

This year’s jurors were Lisa Tamiris Becker, Director of the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Simon Zalkind, an independent curator based in Denver, Colorado. The jurors chose six artists to receive cash awards along with two honorable mentions. The winners will be announced at the reception on October 18. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and exhibition catalogs are available at no charge.

“Artists who live and work in Utah accept their relative isolation from the major urban centers where the contemporary art world buzzes and thrives. This can be, as the works in this exhibition demonstrate, a good thing,” said Zalkind. “The artists whose work I had the pleasure to encounter don’t appear to acknowledge any urgency to conform to a particular market’s expectations, but rather have evolved within themselves, incorporating the assumptions of international modernism but also developing wonderfully original and eccentric voices.”

Becker added, “It is true that some artwork in this exhibition, as in the broader world today, is focused on aesthetic pleasure and poetic experience, while other works are motivated by revealing social and political realities that might otherwise remain mute — and it is this hybrid understanding of art in its complexity that guided our selection as jurors.”