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2015 Utah Original Writing Competition Winners Announced – 5 Oct 2015

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Arts & Museums announces the winners of the 57th annual Utah Original Writing Competition. Selected from a total of 198 entries, 23 writers in seven categories will be receiving awards. They are:

Category A: Novel, judged by Ernest Hebert
First Place: The Salted Earth, by Eric Robertson (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: The Lord, My Shepherd, by Daniel Robertson (Provo)
Honorable Mention: Danger on Board, by Anne Stark (Paradise); Filet of Soul, by Courtney Davis (Provo)

Category B: Biography/Autobiography/History, judged by Poe Ballantine
First Place: Dreams of My Comrades, by Scott Zuckerman (Park City)
Second Place: Dear Little Fish, by Melissa Bond (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: The Reluctant Boss, by Hector Griffin (Cottonwood Heights); Nine Lives of a Natural Redhead, by Marcee Blackerby (Salt Lake City)

Category C: Book-length Collection of Stories, judged by Katherine Bahr
First Place: New Myth: Stories, by Aaron Allen (Orem)
Second Place: City of Saints: Stories of the Mormon Corridor, by David Pace (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: The Man Who Destroyed the Universe, by Gregory Deluca (St. George)

Category D: Young Adult Book, judged by Connie Goldsmith
First Place: The Dark Backward, by McKelle George (Lehi)
Second Place: All My Fairy Godmothers, by Katy Larson (Springville)
Honorable Mention: Rat Prince of Kusa, by Elena Jube (Provo); Better Than Dead, by Jessica Guernsey (Lindon)

Category E: Poetry, judged by Ellen Bass
First Place: “Waiting,” by Anne Vinsel (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: “Darlings from the Beginning,” by Ben Gunsberg (Logan)

Category F: Short Story, judged by Jon Billman
First Place: “The Whiskeyjack,” by Jenn Gibbs (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: “Eating Sushi in Mesquite,” by Lynn Kilpatrick (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: “Long Lost,” by David Cawley (Centerville)

Category G: Narrative Nonfiction/Personal Essay, judged by Rus Bradburd
First Place: “The Other Amelia,” by James Ure (Salt Lake City)
Second Place: “Mystery, Knowledge, and the Worsening Light of the Ethereal Mind,” by Maximilian Werner (Salt Lake City)
Honorable Mention: “Guilt: Two Love Stories,” by Natasha Saje (Salt Lake City)

This year’s novel judge, Ernest Hebert, reflected comments from all the judges when he said, “Wow!

I was a judge some years ago for a national competition, the PEN/Hemingway award for the best first novel, and I have to say that the entries I’ve been sent are better as a group than the ones I read for
the PEN/Hemingway. I was incredibly impressed by the quality and variety of fiction I read.”

“We offer heartfelt congratulations to these winners,” said Alyssa Hickman Grove, Utah Arts & Museums Literary Arts Manager. “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-place 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, Nov. 7, 2015, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley City. There will be an awards ceremony, readings by 2014 competition winners, and a writing workshop with Utah Poet Laureate Lance Larsen.

Statewide Competition Seeks Craft Artists, Photographers, and Artists Working in Video/Digital Media – 17 Sept 2015

SALT LAKE CITY— The Utah Division of Arts & Museums will accept submissions for the Statewide Annual exhibition and competition, Utah ’15: Craft, Photography & Video/Digital Works. All artists age 18 and older may submit up to two works within these media categories.

Online registration is open Sept. 21 – Oct. 20, 2015. Artwork should be dropped off at the Rio Gallery from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 21 & 22. Those juried into the exhibition will have their work displayed at the Rio Gallery located in the Rio Grande Depot (300 S. 455 W. Salt Lake City) Nov. 20, 2015 to Jan. 8, 2016 with a public reception on Friday, Nov. 20 from 6-9 p.m. during Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

This year’s jurors are Kate Bonansinga of Cincinnati, OH: Director, School of Art, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at University of Cincinnati and Joshua Chuang of Tucson, AZ: Chief Curator for the Center for Creative Photography.
Kate Bonansinga was the founding director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at The University of Texas at El Paso where she curated dozens of exhibitions, established an undergraduate minor in museum studies, and taught courses in curatorial practice. She is interested in museums as dynamic sites for learning, the impact of art in gallery and non-gallery settings, and in the current methods that artists employ to make a difference in society and culture. Additionally, she curated and authored the exhibition catalogue for Staged Stories: 2009 Renwick Craft Invitational at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Joshua Chuang is chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. Previously he served as the Richard Benson Associate Curator of Photography and Digital Media at the Yale University Art Gallery. He has written and lectured widely on modern and contemporary photography for institutions and publications including Art in AmericaJeu de Paume, Paris; FOAM, Amsterdam; and C/O Berlin. He has also edited and produced more than a dozen artist monographs including volumes on the work of Robert Adams, Lee Friedlander, Edward Ranney, Judith Joy Ross, Mark Ruwedel, and Santu Mofokeng.

Visual arts competitions have been a project of Utah Arts & Museums since 1899, providing juried exhibitions open to artists across the state of Utah. Awards will be given to artists exhibiting exceptional work including a $1,000 “Best in Show” and six Juror’s Awards at $600 each. Guidelines and registration can be found at or by calling 801.245.7272.

Utah Arts & Museums Announces Arts Project Grant – 16 Sept 2015

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Arts & Museums is pleased to announce the second round of Arts Project grants is now open. The application deadline is November 13, 2015. Utah Arts & Museums granted over $48,000 to 32 organizations across the state in its first round of fiscal year 2016 Arts Project grants, and will grant approximately $30,000 in its second round. Please note that the grant will be highly competitive as there are limited funds for this grant cycle.

Arts Project grants enable organizations and groups, whose primary mission may or may not be arts-based, to develop and provide unique arts opportunities to the community. Examples of fundable arts project applications include festivals, exhibitions, concerts, creative place-making endeavors tied to community revitalization, or other innovative public presentations that advance the arts in a community or geographic region. Request range is $500-$2,000, with a 1:1 cash match.

For questions or assistance with the application process, please contact the Community Arts Coordinator, at 801.236.7541. Grant guidelines are available at:

DesignArts ’15 Opens at the Rio Gallery, Celebrating Design Across the State – 31 Aug 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — DesignArts ’15 celebrates the best of design in Utah. This annual exhibition featuring designs, prototypes, and produced samples by designers in Utah’s various design fields.  This year, Juror Randy J. Hunt selected seventeen Utah designer’s projects ranging from snack containers to architecture for an Emigration Canyon home.

“Design, in its many forms, is alive and well in Utah” said Hunt. “This is no more evident than in the submissions and selections for DesignArts Utah 2015. The ingenuity and creativity that come from a designer’s mind always impress, and this year’s selections are no exception.”

Randy J. Hunt, is Creative Director at Etsy, where he leads a team of designers creating the end-to-end experience, both online and off. Etsy is a global commerce platform empowering independent creative business in nearly every country in the world. Etsy was honored with the National Design Award in 2014. Hunt feels strongly that designers must be able to build what they design, a perspective that fits naturally with Etsy’s culture of making and the love of craftsmanship.

Hunt chose Epicenter’s “This is Green River” magazine, exhibit and film as the juror’s award winner in the professional category. “This is Green River” examines the past, present and future of Green River, creating a portrait of a small western desert town in the twenty-first century. Hunt chose two award winners in the student category.  BYU Student and industrial designer Carter Zufelt’s  HDPE Milk Stool and Side Table was awarded recognition for his furniture created with the goal of recycling thousands of compressed and recycled plastic bags while creating useful and beautiful objects. University of Utah student and architect Massih Nilforoushan received recognition for his work on the concept for a Maritime Museum on the Chicago River. Nilforoushan’s design incorporates wooden facades with solar responsive openings all the while recalling traditional methods of wooden boat and ship making.

DesignArts ’15 opens at noon, Sept. 4 at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City and will continue through Oct. 16, 2015.  A reception and celebration coinciding with Salt Lake Design Week and Salt Lake Gallery Stroll will be hosted in the gallery on Oct.16 from 6-9 p.m. for the designers, friends, family, and public. The Rio Gallery is located at 300 S. Rio Grande Street and it is open Mon. through Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will be closed Monday, Sept. 7. Further information is available online at

If you have questions about the DesignArts Utah program or the exhibition please contact Jim Glenn at and 801.245.7271

Rebecca Klundt Reforms What Was Broken in Solo Exhibition at Alice Gallery – 24 Aug 2015

SALT LAKE CITY —Utah Arts & Museums announces Reformation: A Rearranging of Elements, a solo exhibition by artist Rebecca Klundt on view at the Alice Gallery from Sept. 18 through Nov. 13, 2015. A public reception will be held on Sept. 18, from 6 – 9 p.m. in collaboration with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. The Alice Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Klundt confronts the challenge of taking up what has been left behind and reforming it through a practice that includes mining, breaking down, and then building up. Everything we see and use in the world today is a product of the earth. Through mining and other technological advances, man’s ingenuity has allowed for the production of all our modern technology. Klundt is fascinated with this cycle and the evidence of the mining process left in “piles”-materials from Earth, transformed into usable form and then discarded to make room for the new. Through the process of “mining the piles”, her purpose is to create order from the chaos and appreciate the character of this material that has been created and then recreated. The result is a focus on line and subtle color shifts.

Influenced by the tradition of her industrious, Swedish immigrant grandparents who made rugs and furniture from these “piles”, Klundt says, “I am madly in love with significant lines in nature which come about when two things are butted up against each other. I love the geometric cracks and seams in the slick rock of Southern Utah and the pattern of line found in the granite walls that emerge from the mountains of the Wasatch Front. I love the process of working with tools and constructing, compacting and making something solid from the pieces, which can then be neatly framed and hung on a wall, leaving behind a new clean space in place of the pile.”

Now Accepting Exhibition Proposals for the Rio and Alice Galleries – 6 Aug 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Arts & Museums’ Rio and Alice galleries are now accepting proposals for visual art exhibitions during January-July of 2016. Proposals are due September 1, 2015. The Rio & Alice Galleries, in Salt Lake City, 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. Both galleries participate in the monthly Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and host public receptions on Gallery Stroll evenings.

The galleries welcome proposals from artists, arts organizations, and independent curators. These include both solo exhibitions and small group shows of two to eight artists or larger curated/juried exhibits. All mediums are accepted and all work must be original. We are also excited to announce that we recently received a large grant to purchase equipment aiding in the display of new media works including, video and audio.

Exhibitions have been a program of the state since 1899. Utah Arts & Museums’ will have exhibited the work of over 125 Utah artists in 2014 as a part of this program. Local artist, Karen Horne states the Rio gallery is “an essential resource for the local arts community in several ways. It offers a flexible, expansive space for Utah Arts & Museums to present the Annual State shows of Utah art. In addition, the size and professional quality of the space makes it attractive to local arts experts who are able to curate shows drawing from the depth of talent of our state. The non-commercial nature of the gallery, gives curators greater leeway in presenting themes. It complements the much smaller “Alice Gallery” on South Temple, because, with its much larger square footage, it can provide a breadth of vision, and accommodate large-scale artworks.”

To submit a proposal for exhibition visit and download guidelines in the Galleries section.

Creative Aging

As the percentage of aging adults climbs in the United States, state arts agencies (SAAs) face an unprecedented need to serve this growing demographic. A primary source of funding and expertise with the ability to operate on state and local levels, SAAs have the capacity to forge lasting change. They are poised to drive the creation of sustainable infrastructure for arts in aging and health in partnership with the aging services industry, healthcare, and academia.

 ENGAGE Initiative – National Center for Creative Aging

The ENGAGE initiative in Arts, Health, and Aging, was designed by the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) in partnership with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) to prepare SAAs to play a leading role in advancing creative aging in our country and to support them in addressing critical issues they face in building a robust environment for lifelong learning in their states and regions.

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums is partnering with the National Center for Creative Aging and EngAGE Utah to carry out these initiatives. Our goal is to participate in ongoing professional development and to pursue a state-specific plan of action.


Free Online Artist Training in Arts and Aging
– National Center for Creative Again NCCA_DSC1001

The NCCA Online Artist Training in Arts and Aging, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Michelson Foundation, and MetLife Foundation, is a free online course for teaching artists interested in learning how to lead lifelong learning programs in the arts that engage older people as creators. This self-guided training offers an introduction to philosophy, key concepts, methods, and current research from the field of arts in aging. It introduces readers to the life story-based methods developed by Susan Perlstein and Elders Share the Arts, as well as several other approaches and techniques, offering an array of exercises and case studies that exemplify the work that is happening in the field today.

NEA Awards for Creativity and Aging Projects

The document below features information on some of the recent NEA awards for creativity and aging projects. These awards span across the entire country and showcase a wide range of disciplines. To view guidelines for the NEA grants, visit

Recent NEA Awards for Creativity and Aging


We would like to thank our partners in this initiative. Together, we will be able to create awareness and foster dialogue among states so we can better serve the aging populations though creativity.



Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art Commemorates Living Traditions Festival in Exhibition

SALT LAKE CITY — The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is pleased to present a new exhibit honoring 30 years of Salt Lake City’s Living Traditions Festival. The exhibit includes photographs of the festival’s artists and history featuring dance, music, and craft. Several of the artists featured in the exhibition also have examples of their work in the Utah Folk Art Collection on display at the Chase Home or have performed at Mondays in the Park, an annual summer concert series held in front of the museum.

Living Traditions has been a local favorite featuring the art, craft, food, music, and dance of the diverse cultures that shape our community. Held annually on the grounds of the Salt Lake City & County Building, the Living Traditions Festival is a three-day multicultural event celebrating the traditions of Salt Lake City’s contemporary ethnic communities. Living Traditions brings together over 50 distinct cultures that have made Salt Lake City their home.

“Folk arts in Utah have a long history of excellence in performance and craft,” said Folk Arts Specialist Adrienne Decker. “Our division also has a long history of partnering with the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Living Traditions Festival and we are delighted to showcase the diverse cultures of the state through this commemorative exhibit.”

Museum admission is free. This exhibit was made possible by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, and will be on display at the Chase Home through mid-September. The Chase Home is open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Utah Public Art Program Seeks Public Art for Fitness Center at Salt Lake Community College

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Public Art Program of the Division of Arts & Museums, in association with the Division of Facilities and Construction Management and Salt Lake Community College, has published a call for letters of interest and qualifications from resident Utah artists interested in creating art for the Bruin Fitness Center at the South City Campus of Salt Lake Community College. The Art Selection Committee is hopeful the artist for this commission will consider and reflect the users of the SLCC campus, the facility and the surrounding South Salt Lake City community. 

The deadline for receipt of material from interested artists is 5 p.m. MST, Aug. 14, 2015. The full description and guidelines for application can be found at 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 percent 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, over 220 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.

Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art & Tracy Aviary Team Up for Pioneer Day at Liberty Park

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art, in partnership with the Tracy Aviary, will present a fun-filled day of arts in Liberty Park to help you celebrate Pioneer Day on July 24. Tracy Aviary will grant a special Pioneer Day admission rate of $1.00.

Utah Arts & Museums is providing performances at Tracy Aviary beginning at 11:15 a.m. with Indian Classical Dance troupe Kargi Kala Kendra. Acoustic musical performances will continue throughout the day. For a full schedule please visit

The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts, also housed in Liberty Park, will host on-site artist demonstrations and provide make-and-take arts and crafts. The demonstrations of pioneer rag rug weaving beginning at 11 a.m. with activities for kids in the afternoon. The Utah Folk Arts Collection will also be on display in the museum.

“Pioneer Day is a great tradition we have in Utah” said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey, “but the state’s heritage also includes many other cultures that settled this state. At the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art we feature many cultures and their folk traditions and we are happy to showcase their artwork as we all celebrate those who came to Utah and made it their home.

The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is the only museum in the country dedicated to displaying a state-owned collection of contemporary folk art. To learn more about the Chase Home, please visit or