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Category Archives: Arts & Museums

Original Writing Competition Winners Announced – 16 Oct 2014

Utah Arts & Museums announces the winners of the 56th annual Utah Original Writing Competition. Selected from more than 250 entries received this year, 19 writers in seven categories will be receiving awards. They are:


  •  First place: ECKSDOT by J Washburn (Provo)
  •  Second place: Fragments of an Inner Architecture by Gene Washington (Logan)
  •  Honorable Mention: RedRedRedRed by Eric Howerton (Ogden)

Creative Nonfiction

  •  First place: An American (Homeless) in Paris by Christian Ames (Salt Lake)
  •  Second place: Befriending Laura Mae by Leisa Mukai (Salt Lake)
  •  Honorable Mention: Dancing Bird’s Apprentice by Patty Willis (Salt Lake)

Book of Poems

  •  First place: Eve’s Child by Markay Brown (St. George)
  •  Second place: Cold Blessings by Maximillian Werner (Salt Lake)

Juvenile Book

  •  First place: Keeping it Down by Lisa Roylance (Cedar Hills)
  •  Second place: Sula Eats the Sea by James Ure (Salt Lake)
  •  Honorable Mention: The Sun is on Fire! by Shane Williams (Washington)


  •  First place: “Inside Wolf, Grandmother Becomes a Dancer” by Shanan Ballam (Logan)
  •  Second place: “Bottle Cherries” by Candy Fowler (St. George)
  •  Honorable Mention: “Pretending to be interviewed, the monster gets choked up, tells the cameraman to shut the damn thing off.” by Natalie Young (Cedar City)

Short Story

  •  First place: “Adsila, Wyoming” by Iris Moulton (Salt Lake)
  •  Second place: “Two Shoes” by John Pace (Salt Lake)
  •  Honorable Mention: “For My Father II” by Jordan Floyd (West Jordan)

Narrative Nonfiction/Personal Essay

  •  First place: “Hourglass Man” by Aaron Allen (Orem)
  •  Second place: “Living the Dream” by Joshua Harms (Centerville)

“We sincerely congratulate these winners,” said Lynnette Hiskey, Director of Utah Arts & Museums. “We look forward to great accomplishments from such talented writers. Past winners have gone on to receive the Flannery O’Connor Award and the International Reading Association Award. These past awardees include Orson Scott Card, Ron Carlson, and all four Utah Poets Laureate: David Lee, Ken Brewer, Katharine Coles and Lance Larsen.”

Manuscripts were reviewed in a blind process by judges who reside outside of Utah. First- and second-prize winners are awarded prize money ranging from $150 to $1,000.

A day celebrating Utah writers and the Original Writing Competition will take place on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley City. There will be an awards ceremony, readings by 2013 competition winners, and a poetry-writing workshop with Utah Poet Laureate Lance Larsen.

Rio Gallery Seeks Artists Working in Painting & Sculpture for Competition – 10 Oct 2014

Visual arts competitions have been a project of Utah Arts & Museums since 1899, providing juried exhibitions open to artists across the state of Utah. Registration is currently open for “Utah ’14: Painting & Sculpture”. All artists age 18 and older are welcome to submit one or two pieces that fit within the categories of painting and sculpture. Beginning this year, the sculpture category includes installation art. Applicants must register online by October 21. Artwork should be dropped off at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on October 22 & 23. Those juried into the exhibition will have their work displayed at the Rio Gallery November 21, 2014 to January 9, 2015 with a public reception on Friday, November 21 from 6-9pm during the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. “This competition and exhibition is an excellent representation of the exciting work Utah artists continue to produce,” says Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey, “It is highly anticipated each year and we look forward to discovering the diverse themes and concepts that Utah artists choose to explore.”

This year’s jurors are Maria Porges of Oakland, California and Carla Bengtson of Eugene, Oregon. Porges is an artist and writer whose work has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions since the late 1980’s. She received a SECA award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and has twice been in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. For more than two decades, her critical writing has appeared in many publications, including Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Glass, The New York Times Book Review, and a host of other now-defunct art magazines.

Carla Bengtson is an associate professor in the department of art as well as an associate member of the environmental studies program at the University of Oregon. Previous to coming to the U of O in 1995, she taught at Yale University, Connecticut College, Wesleyan University, and was head curator of the John Slade Ely Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, Connecticut. She holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art and an MFA from Yale School of Art, and was a two-time participant in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program.

Cash awards will be given to artists exhibiting exceptional work. New this year, a $1,000 “Best in Show” will be given, as well as increases to the six Juror’s Awards, now $600 each. Guidelines and registration can be found at or by calling 801.245.7272.

Public Art Call for USU Eastern Campus in Price – 9 Oct 2014

The Utah Public Art Program of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, in association with the Division of Facilities and Construction Management and Utah State University Eastern, has published a call for letters of interest and qualifications from artists or artist teams interested in creating public art for the new Central Instruction Building on the Utah State University Eastern Campus in Price, Utah.

The design of the new Central Instruction Building, by Method Studio Architecture, makes symbolic reference to the natural setting, to the cultural and economic history of the region, and to the continuing commitment of the college to serve the people in the region. The Art Selection Committee is looking for site-specific artwork that will harmonize with and reinforce these key symbolic messages.

The full description and details of how to apply are at The deadline for receipt of material from interested artists is 5 p.m. MST, November 14, 2014. Artists may submit qualifications online at

The Public Art Program was created by the Utah State Legislature in 1985 with the passage of the Percent-for-Art Act. This statute allows for 1% of construction costs for new or remodeled state facilities to be added to the project for the commissioning or acquisition of art that is site-specific to the facility and community. To date, more than 200 works have been placed in state facilities statewide. For more information, visit or contact Jim Glenn at or 801.245.7271, or Felicia Baca at or 801.245.7272.

“DesignArts Utah ‘14” Closing Reception Is October 17 – 9 Oct 2014

The Utah Arts & Museums exhibition “DesignArts Utah ’14” at the Rio Gallery continues through October 17, 2014. In celebration of this exhibit and in partnership with the citywide celebration of design at Salt Lake Design Week, there will be a closing reception for the public, designers, friends and family from 6 to 9 p.m. on October 17 at the Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande in Salt Lake City.

The show features designs by Utah designers selected by Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. In her statement about the exhibit, Lupton said she was impressed by the range and quality of work. She commented on the respect for the natural world shown by many of the designers and made the connection between issues of sustainability and being in such a beautiful place as Utah.

Salt Lake Design Week was initiated to raise public awareness of the impact that all design — graphic, product, fashion, architecture, advertising, etc. — has in Utah. Design Week brings together a diverse community of design professionals, as well as local businesses, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, students and more. Another goal is to help local designers interact, collaborate, educate and inspire each other in order to build a stronger creative community.

Design Week is hosted by the Salt Lake City chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, in partnership with the Utah Center for Architecture, Utah Film Center, and other design groups, museums, businesses and schools.

Participation Call for Poetry Out Loud – 6 Oct 2014

Utah Arts & Museums invites all Utah secondary educators to encourage students to participate in Poetry Out Loud (POL). The state competition is presented by Utah Arts & Museums. Poetry Out Loud is a national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation that encourages students in grades 9-12 to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. The Utah champion will compete in Washington, D.C. at the national finals, April 28-29, 2015. Awards totaling $50,000 go to first-, second-, third-place and honorable-mention winners, as well as supporting the purchase of poetry books for represented schools. The Utah State Final Competition is at 7 p.m. March 11, 2015, at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

In 2012, senior MarKaye Hassan of Logan High School competed against 53 state and territory champions. Hassan received the third-place prize and a $5,000 award, and was invited to return to Washington, D.C., to recite at the National Book Festival. In 2008, Skyline High School senior Madison Niermeyer also placed third at the national competition and received a $5,000 scholarship award. Niermeyer was contacted by noted Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti to congratulate her on her recitation of his poem “I Am Waiting.”

For information on participating, call 801.533.5760 or e-mail

“Art in Your Home” to Benefit Transitional Housing Community – 11 Sep 2014

Utah Arts & Museums is pleased to announce “Art in Your Home,” an exciting program in partnership with Palmer Court in Salt Lake City. Palmer Court, managed by The Road Home, is a permanent supportive housing complex for individuals and families that have experienced chronic homelessness.

“In each home should hang a good picture, no matter how small,” stated Alice Merrill Horne, one of the first female state lawmakers and founder of Utah Arts & Museums — the oldest state-funded arts agency in the nation, founded in 1899. Over the years, Utah Arts & Museums has amassed a collection of paintings, drawings, photographs and prints that were submitted by Utah artists but were never signed or claimed by their creators. Selling the art seemed inappropriate, said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. Hiskey made it clear that these works are not part of the Utah Fine Art Collection, which is a highly valuable collection of noted Utah artists, but rather art created by local artists for monthly exhibitions.

Utah Arts & Museums staff came up with the idea of donating the art to residents in transitional housing. “Sometimes the smallest things can make a huge difference,” Hiskey said. “We thought this project was an important way to honor the amazing legacy of our founder while serving the community in a meaningful way.”

“While art may seem a trivial issue in the greater context of homelessness, having a piece of art that can inspire, uplift and create light in an individual’s life can be a boon to those individuals who are struggling so hard to turn their lives around,” said Pamela Atkinson, a longtime homeless advocate and advisor to Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.

“The Road Home appreciates the generosity and creativity of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ ‘Art in Your Home’ project. What an ingenious way to brighten the lives and help enhance the homes of our clients while honoring their success in transitioning into housing,” noted Matt Minkevitch, Executive Director of The Road Home.

“We were interested in making the transition to housing a celebration and want to offer the residents some of the comforts of home they may not otherwise have,” said Visual Arts Manager Felicia Baca. “The power of art in people’s lives is enriching and multifaceted, and we want to foster that.”

Residents of Palmer Court have signed up to choose works of art for their homes. The distribution of the artwork will take place on September 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Palmer Court.

“Between Worlds” Opens at the Alice Gallery – 11 Sep 2014

Utah Arts & Museums announces the opening of “Between Worlds,” an exhibition of photographs by Bernard C. Meyers, at the Alice Gallery in the Glendinning Mansion. The show runs from September 19 to November 14, 2014. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Glendinning Mansion is located at 617 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City. An opening reception will be held on September 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. for Gallery Stroll. “Between Worlds” is the first of future solo exhibitions to be featured at the Alice Gallery.

Bernard C. Meyers is a Utah-based contemporary artist and fine art photographer recognized internationally as a master printer, artist, photographer and teacher. Meyers’ passion for gardens and greenhouses is visualized in his distinctive images that combine man-made structures and screens with organic flora while exploring other realms of consciousness.

Meyers states, “The narrative here is about an elusive place, the vantage point between the world of our constructed socialized realities and everything else beyond. It is about a waking dream, a personal spiritual experience. This is about other realms of consciousness. Science, religion and philosophy all flirt with the idea that we function on more than one plane of existence simultaneously, and that acceptance alone opens the possibility of other worlds. My hope is that these photographs transcend the everyday, the documentary, to become something ripe with intrigue and mystery.”

Meyers’ prints are held in public, private and corporate collections nationwide, including the Portland Museum of Art and the State of New York. Meyers earned an MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology in traditional etching and stone lithography and a BFA in photography as a fine art. He has taught art and photography at the University of New England, the University of Southern Maine and the Maine Media Workshops.

The Rio and Alice galleries were created as a service to Utah artists. They provide free venues for emerging and established artists to collaborate on exhibits and engage the community through art-making and dialogue. For more information, visit

New Visual Arts Scholarship Competition for Grades 9-12 – 4 Sep 2014

Utah Arts & Museums — in conjunction with the generous support of Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, the Utah State Senate, and the Utah Educational Savings Plan — is pleased to announce a visual arts scholarship competition for Utah students.

All Utah students in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate. The competition is sponsored by President Niederhauser and the Utah Senate in an effort to challenge Utah students to express their creativity. The Utah Senate will reward outstanding students with scholarships to support their college and career goals. The Utah State Capitol building is the subject from which students will draw inspiration.

The competition is administered by Utah Arts & Museums and welcomes two-dimensional, original visual art images of the exterior of the Utah State Capitol building and/or architectural features of the building. The following media are eligible: oil, pen and ink, watercolor, printmaking, graphic design, and digital drawing. Scholarship funds will be deposited into a new or existing Utah Educational Savings Plan account in the name of the student. The scholarship award categories are: 1st place — $5,000; 2nd place — $3,000; 3rd place — $1,000; 4-10th places — $500; and 11-25th places — $300.  Entries are due November 14, 2014 and will be judged December 1-12, 2014. Each school district will determine which students advance to the state competition.

“In many ways, Utah is a light to the nation,” said President Niederhauser. “Our Capitol building, which is nearly 100 years old, reflects that light. It stands as a remarkable monument to the dreams of our founders, as well as the success of our working democratic republic. I want to highlight this great symbol and feature Utah’s bright and talented students by encouraging them to portray the Capitol through art.”

“We’re delighted to be part of this endeavor to nurture the creativity of Utah students,” said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. “The Utah State Capitol is a beautiful building and a fitting subject for this competition.”

Winners will be announced in January and scholarships awarded during the 2015 legislative session. The top 25 entries will be on exhibition in the Utah State Capitol Building. The first- place entry will become the property of the Senate and be exhibited in the Senate suite. All other work will be returned to students at the end of the 2015 legislative session.

The guidelines can be found here. For more information, please contact Jean Tokuda Irwin at 801.245.7288 or

“DesignArts ‘14” opens August 29 at the Rio Gallery – 18 August 2014

Utah Arts & Museums announces the opening of the exhibition “DesignArts ‘14” at noon on August 29 at the Rio Gallery, located in the historic Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City. The show will continue through October 17, 2014. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A closing reception and celebration coinciding with Salt Lake Design Week and Salt Lake Gallery Stroll will be on October 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. for the designers and public.

Juror Ellen Lupton has selected 31 designs, ranging from a store interior to packaging for an indie band. Lupton’s overall comment about these Utah designers was one of respect for their awareness and work that confronts and communicates issues of sustainability in their designs.

The juror’s award winner in the professional category is Erin Carraher and Jörg Rügemer’s project “Architecture for Girl Scouts.” This project is a partnership between the Girl Scouts of Utah and the School of Architecture at the University of Utah to raise awareness of careers in the built environment for women. The partnership is the design and construction of three cabins for the Girl Scout Trefoil Ranch Camp near Provo. As part of the design project, the authors hosted a year-long series of outreach events to expose Girl Scouts directly to women practitioners, to provide female student mentors in design-related programs, and to offer opportunities to visit architecture firms and construction sites.

The juror’s award winner in the student category is the University of Utah’s Graphic Design Department with Carol Sogard for an exhibition project titled “Exploring Sustainability.” This exhibition project was based on Sustainable Design Practice and featured projects created by students. These projects explore how principles of ecological sustainability and affiliated design strategies are applied to creative thinking and to the design process.

Lupton is senior curator of contemporary design at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. Recent museum projects include “Graphic Design — Now in Production,” an exhibition on national tour through 2014, co-organized by Cooper-Hewitt and the Walker Art Center. Lupton also serves as director of the graphic design MFA program at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), where she has authored numerous books on design processes, including Thinking with Type, Graphic Design Thinking, and Graphic Design: The New Basics.

DesignArts Utah sponsors this annual exhibition featuring designs, prototypes, and produced samples by designers in Utah’s various design fields. Further information is available online at If you have questions about the DesignArts Utah program or the exhibition, please contact Jim Glenn at or 801.245.7271.

Utah Arts & Museums Applauds NEA “Our Town” Grant to Salt Lake City – 31 July 2014

Utah Arts & Museums congratulates the Sorenson Unity Center and Salt Lake City Arts Council, recently announced as recipients of $75,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” program. This funding category represents the NEA’s investment in creative placemaking, which funds projects that leverage the arts and engage design to make communities more livable with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and vibrant local economies that together capitalize on their existing assets.

The Sorenson Unity Center and Salt Lake City Arts Council’s project will support community engagement and diverse arts programming in the west-side neighborhoods of Salt Lake City. Project activities include the commissioning of public artworks, implementing guidelines and a standard review process for public art, engaging youth to serve as civic arts ambassadors, and hosting panel discussions to involve the community in implementation of arts priorities identified in the West Salt Lake Master Plan. Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Arts Council Foundation, and American Institute of Architects Utah Chapter will partner on engagement and public art selection.

“The NEA is leading a national conversation around how to do community development where the arts play a central role in bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to positively impact residents and visitors alike,” said the NEA’s newly appointed Chairman Jane Chu.

“We are so pleased to see Utah’s creative community efforts awarded at the national level in such a highly competitive program,” said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. “We hope this recognition will draw attention to other creative community-building projects in Utah and inspire communities to partner with arts organizations and museums in solving problems and strategically shaping the physical and social characters of their neighborhoods.”

Link to announcement on NEA website:

Link to NEA “Our Town” project description: