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Category Archives: About Arts & Museums

Entries Accepted For Senate Visual Arts Competition

Utah high school students are encouraged to enter the annual Utah Senate Visual Arts Competition for a chance to win up to a $5,000 scholarship and have the artwork shown in the Utah State Capitol.

The competition is open all Utah students in grades 9-12,including those attending a private, parochial, charter, or home school. The competition is sponsored by Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and administered by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.

This year’s theme is “The People of Utah,” and all artworks must include at least one human figure. Most visual arts medium are accepted except for photography or 3D.

The winning artist will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Other scholarship awards include $3,000, $1,000, seven at $500, and 15 at $300. Awards will be given during Arts Day on the Hill, Monday, February 5, 2018.

Entries are due by Dec. 15, 2017. For complete guidelines and to submit an entry, visit our submission page.

Statewide Annual Art Show Opens at Rio Gallery

Juror's Award painting by Lexi Johnson titled Back When

Juror’s Award: Lexi Johnson, “Back When”

Winning entries in the Statewide Annual Art Show will be displayed beginning Nov. 17 at the Rio Gallery.

Utah ’17: Painting, Sculpture, and Installation, hosted by the Division of Arts & Museums, includes the best pieces as selected by two out-of-state jurors. This year’s competition had a record number of entries, with 308 arrists submitting more than 500 pieces of art. Entries came from throughout the state, with artists calling 62 different cities home.

“While the volume of works submitted this year surpassed previous years, the caliber of pieces demonstrated marked excellence,” Visual Arts Program Manager Felicia Baca said. “It’s truly an honor to see the work being produced across the State and experience the ideas artists are engaging with and the objects that result.”

The exhibit will open with a free public reception on Nov. 17 from 6-9 p.m. during Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, where the Best in Show, Jurors Awards, and Honorable Mentions will be acknowledged. The exhibit will run through Jan. 12, 2018, at the Rio Gallery, 300 S. Rio Grande St. The gallery is regularly open 8-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It will also be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Winter Farmer’s Market at the Rio Grande Depot.

Juror Zhi Lin applauded the diversity of work in the submissions, whether it was the varied sizes or the medium employed.

“Each submission had a story to tell,” Lin said. “Some pieces examined current social media and employed a time-based format, while others continued the tradition of easel painting and objects made by hand. Many pieces emphasized the artists’ well-trained academic practice, while others showed their self-taught and highly individualized styles.”

The amount of submissions, and their quality, underscored the importance of art to society as a whole, said Dr. Jan Schall, another juror.

“Art matters. It matters to the maker. It matters to the viewer. It matters to communities, to cities, to regions, to entire countries and cultures,” Schall said. “Art reminds us that we are human, that we are capable of seeing, thinking, and feeling. It binds us together in shared experience and communication, while acknowledging that no two people will experience the world or the work of art in the same way.”

Visual arts competitions have been a project of Utah Arts & Museums since 1899, providing juried exhibitions open to artists across the state of Utah.

Fathers Consider the Impact of Parenting on Their Art in New Exhibit

SALT LAKE CITY — The failures, opportunities, and spontaneity of fatherhood is explored through the works of twelve artists in an exhibit opening at the Alice Gallery on Nov. 17.

The twelve artists were asked a simple question: How has being a father affected your art? The artists, who represent a variety of mediums and life stages, each approached the simple question in a different way in the exhibition Artist/Dad. The exhibition will be on view at the Alice Gallery from Nov. 17, 2017, through Jan. 12, 2018. A public reception will be held on Dec. 1 from 6-9 p.m. in collaboration with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll.

Artist Daniel Barney, a father of three, reflected on the intense concern he felt for the safety of his newborn daughter while she slept in a crib next to his bed 23 years ago.

“Fatherhood is a complex concept that does not directly correlate with painting, but these works are artistic impulses of that moment,” Barney said.

Fatherhood taught Spencer Budd that he is by no means perfect and failure is a part of the learning process. He draws from what he has learned as he creates his work. “The possibility of failure is always present, but it is often my failings that result in a work that is fresh, spontaneous, and interesting.”

Both Namon Bills and Tyler Swain collaborated with their young children on each work. Bills, who allowed his 3-year old to paint on some of his existing work before finishing it himself, said, “Being a father brings its share of interruptions to current plans and trajectories. While these changes are difficult for a planner such as myself to swallow, they also lead to unexpected adventures, new opportunities, and greater outcomes than I would have experienced on my own.”

Swain’s approach was to let his son start and finish each work. “I wanted to not only express the idea of how being a father has influenced my artistic pursuits, but to actually allow my son to share in the creative process with me, resulting in a collaborative piece. I let him draw whatever he wanted to on each panel, name the piece, and tell me what was going on in his narrative.”

Justin Wheatley’s interpretation of the question came down to the influence making and consuming art has on his family. “My children are the driving force behind my work. As I thought about this show, I realized that, though I feel some burden to produce work in order to provide, I feel more need to make art in order to share the joy and struggle that comes along with it.”

Other artists participating in Artist/Dad are Fidalis Beuhler, Jeffrey Hale, Jorge Rojas, Colby Sanford, Steven Stradley, Duston Todd, and Clinton Whiting.

Applications Open for DesignArts Utah ‘17 Exhibit

Design Arts Utah logoSALT LAKE CITY — Utah designers from all fields are encouraged to apply for the annual DesignArts Utah exhibition.

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Design Arts Program will host the 2017 exhibition Sept. 8 through Oct. 20 at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City. Applications can be uploaded here. Designers in any field are encouraged to submit their work. Realized, conceptual, or prototype designs are eligible. The deadline for applications is July 10, 2017.

DesignArts Utah celebrates the state’s great designers and provides a valuable platform for viewers to engage with the design community. Partners in this free public exhibition include Salt Lake Design Week and Craft Lake City.

Brooke Hodge, the director of the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, formerly with the Cooper Hewitt, The Hammer and Los Angeles MOCA, will curate the exhibition. The designer selected as the Juror’s Award Winner will receive a $3,000 award. Two designers selected in the student category will each receive a $500 award.

In conjunction with Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and Salt Lake Design Week, a closing reception will take place Oct. 20th from 6-9 pm at the Rio Gallery. Admission for the public reception is free.

To learn more about Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Design Arts program or to view past exhibition catalogs and images, visit visualarts.utah.gov. If you have any questions contact Mackenzie Morton (email or call 801.245.7270) or Jim Glenn (email or call 801.245.7271).

Media Contact:
Josh Loftin
Utah Department of Heritage & Arts
801-245-7205
jloftin@utah.gov