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Category Archives: Arts & Museums Featured

Poetry Out Loud

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Utah Arts & Museums Arts Education Program to support Poetry Out Loud, which encourages Utah’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance.


  • For details regarding Utah’s POL activities, email or call 801-236-7557.
  • For full details on the national poetry recitation competition, visit
Recitation and performance are major trends in poetry. There has been a recent resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. Poetry Out Loud builds on that momentum by inviting the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into the English and theatre class.

2016 Poetry Out Loud

Tessa Thornley of Bear River High School took home top honors from the state finals for the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, presented by Utah Arts & Museums on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at co-host Westminster College’s Vieve Gore Concert Hall in the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts. Thornley received $200 and travel expenses to represent Utah in the national championship May 2-4 in Washington, D.C. Her school received a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Runner-up Serena Hawatmeh of Juan Diego Catholic High School received $100, with $200 for her school library. Poetry Out Loud awards a $20,000 college scholarship to the national champion.

Approximately 4,616 students from 35 high schools across Utah participated in Poetry Out Loud activities and competed in school and regional competitions. Regional competitions were held in Brigham City, Gunnison, Provo, St. George, Salt Lake City, and South Jordan. At the Vieve Gore Concert Hall, students recited works they selected from an anthology of nearly 600 classic and contemporary poems.

Past Winners

  • 2015 – Sadie Merkley, Box Elder High School, Brigham City
  • 2014 – Ashlei Havili, American Fork High School, American Fork
  • 2013 – Devin Jones, West Jordan High School, West Jordan
  • 2012 – MarKaye Hassan, Logan High School (placed 3rd in National Competition)

Original Writing Competition

Since 1958, the Utah Original Writing Competition has awarded Utah writers for works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in a variety of forms. The competition’s mission is to aid Utah writers on their path to publication and broader recognition. Submissions must be original works and, with some exceptions, cannot be published or accepted for publication at the time of entry. Manuscripts are reviewed in a blind process by judges selected from outside of Utah. There is no entry fee, and it is open to all Utah residents age 18 and over.

The results of the 2016 Utah Original Writing Competition are in! Here are some comments from this year’s judges:

“It wasn’t easy – all very strong work.”

“I am simply blown away with how strong these submissions are – they’ve been a pleasure to read.”

“I can’t even tell you how difficult it was to make a final decision.”

Many thanks to all who entered! Please join us for an awards celebration on Saturday, November 5, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Salt Lake Downtown Library in the 4th Floor Conference Room. In the meantime, here’s a video from last year’s celebration.

Click HERE to see the list of winners.

Click HERE to see the list of judges and their bios.

For reference, here are the 2016 guidelines.

Click HERE to see lists of past winners from 2000 to the present.


Contact Alyssa Hickman Grove at or 801.236.7548.

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Rio Gallery

Located in the grand lobby of the old Rio Grande Depot, the Rio Gallery was established as a service to Utah artists, providing a free venue for emerging as well as established artists to collaborate on exhibits and engage the community through art-making and dialogue.

Coming to the Rio Gallery:

DesignArts 2016

September 9 – October 21, 2016

An artist reception will be held on the closing night of the exhibition: Friday, October 21, 2016 from 6 to 9 p.m. for Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and will coincide with Salt Lake Design Week.

The Designer selected as the Juror’s Award Winner will receive a $3,000 award and our partner, Salt Lake Design Week will be sponsoring two $500 student category Juror’s Awards. Copies of the exhibition catalogue will be provided to all designers included in the exhibition.

We are excited to partner, once again, with Craft Lake City to celebrate Utah designers. their designs and contributions to our quality of life and economic development in Utah! For more information on the DesignArts Program, please click here.

The Rio Gallery was created as a service to Utah artists. It provides a free venue for emerging and established artists to collaborate on exhibits and engage the community through art making and dialogue. For more information on exhibitions and other program opportunities please visit


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Design Arts
September 9 – October 1

Statewide Annual
November 18 – January 13

Location & Hours

Rio Grande Depot, 300 South Rio Grande Street (455 West), Salt Lake City; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Click HERE for information about the Art-o-mat.

past exhibits button



Contact the Rio Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Rio Gallery is a member of the

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Logo

Statewide Annual Competition

The Statewide Annual theme rotates between Mixed Media & Works on Paper; Craft, Photography, Video & Digital works; and Painting & Sculpture. Works are chosen for display by two out-of-state artists or arts professionals who travel to the Rio Gallery to jury the exhibition in person. A $1,000 best in show award is given, as well as six $600 jurors’ awards. Jurors also select two honorable mentions.

The Statewide Annual Competition is shown at the Rio Gallery.

Statewide Annual ’16:
Mixed Media & Works on Paper
November 18, 2016 – January 13, 2017 Rio Gallery

Online registration will be open September 19 – October 18.
In person delivery for works will take place October 19 & 20 at 310 S. 500 W. from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Read guidelines for complete details.



2016 Jurors

CARMEL BUCKLEY, Professor, Department of Art, The Ohio State University-Columbus, OH
Born in Derby, England, Carmel Buckley, Associate Professor, Department of Art, The Ohio State University, received a bachelor of arts in sculpture from Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic (United Kingdom) in 1978 and continued her studies at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of Madrid University from 1979-80 and the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City from 1983-84, on a Mexican Government Scholarship. She earned a master of fine arts in sculpture from the School of Visual Arts, New York as a Fulbright Fellow in 1988. She has been the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Art Sculpture Award and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Award. In 1994 she had a solo exhibition at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH. Recent solo exhibitions include The Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH (2009), Clay Street Press, Cincinnati, OH (2011), and The Center for Recent Drawing, London, England (2012). Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Gallery North, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England (2005); at Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, OH (2006); at E:vent Gallery, London, England (2009), Sculpture Key West, Key West, FL (2011). Forthcoming exhibitions include a two-person show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England in 2016/2017.


JIM ROBISCHON-Owner and Director, Robischon Gallery-Denver, CO
Jim Robischon is the owner and director of Robischon Gallery in Denver, CO. He has been an art dealer and gallery owner in Denver, Colorado, for over forty years. Hundreds of exhibits have been mounted over these four decades, including solo shows for historically important artists such as Christo, Judy Pfaff, Ann Hamilton, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Bernar Venet and Manuel Neri. Robischon’s gallery program includes international, national, and regional artists as well, along with a continuing mission to present both emerging and mid-career artists in order to highlight and emphasize the broader artistic discourse. In the early 1990’s Robischon founded Denver’s Lower Downtown Arts District, The Denver Gallery Guide, The Denver Art Dealers Association and the city’s First Friday’s gallery art events. In 1996, Robischon was selected as one of only three American dealers to represent works from the Estate of Robert Motherwell. He has raised significant funds for acquisitions for the Modern & Contemporary Art Department of the Denver Art Museum over the years, including for artwork on long term loan for the White House in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden. Robischon was among the first in the U.S. to produce in-depth shows on the important Chinese Contemporary art movement of the early 2000’s. While attentive to global art dialogues, the gallery also continues its commitment to Colorado and regional artists. Jim Robischon, along with his partner and spouse, curator Jennifer Doran, consistently receive “best of” awards for the gallery’s exhibitions – each show composed more from a museum-like stance than that of a commercially driven venue. It also takes its role as a professional gallery seriously, as much effort is put forth in attainting income for the gallery’s represented and affiliated artists. Toward that end, work by Robischon Gallery artists are also exposed to national and international curators and collectors through the gallery’s ongoing participation in art fairs, as it has since the early 1990’s.

Past Exhibition Catalogs:

SWA Cover

SWA 2014


2012 Statewide Annual Competition Catalog

2011 Statewide Annual Catalog

2010 Statewide Annual Catalog


Contact Felicia Baca at or 801.245.7272

Arts Ed & Learning

Arts education and learning are vital to the development of creative, well-rounded, independent thinkers. An ideal arts education curriculum for children and youth consists of the literary arts, dance, folk arts, theater, music, storytelling, media and visual arts in ongoing, sequential instruction from kindergarten through grade 12. Outside the classroom, arts learning takes place in after-school and community settings. Through arts education and learning, we aid in the nurturing of intelligent, capable, compassionate individuals who will be tomorrow’s artists, arts patrons, innovators, and creatives.


Three grant categories are offered to educators, schools and school districts in the area of arts education. To download guidelines and online application instructions, please click on the name of each grant.

  • Artist-in-Residence, in which schools and school districts are awarded an amount to bring in an artist for a two-week, three-week, or four-week residency.
  • Arts Education Projects, in which an amount is awarded to a school or school district to bring in artists and/or artistic companies for a project that may address a comprehensive theme, integrate with additional core subjects, extend throughout the year, include community partners or support innovative professional development for educators.
  • TIP Grant Guidelines FY17 , in which an artist works one-on-one with a teacher to instruct the teacher in a specific art form. The emphasis is on the teacher’s growth in knowledge and skills in an art form of his/her choice. This experience does not require the teacher to apply this in the classroom; it supports personal growth in the arts.
  • Utah PTA Arts Education Grants, for first-time applicants. UDAM will work with the Utah PTA to award grants up to $500 for art programs in Utah schools sponsored by individual PTA units. These funds will match those the local PTA provides for enhancing art programs for students. More information to follow.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program
Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program LogoThe Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Art Works for Kids!, the Utah State Office of Education, and the Utah Parent Teacher Association, the Utah Arts Education Partnership (UAEP) is an operating alliance for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP). This continuing  initiative, funded by the Utah Legislature, integrates quality arts education into the curriculum of Utah elementary schoolchildren by: funding the salaries of arts specialists to work side-by-side with classroom teachers and district arts coordinators to provide curriculum support and administrative coordination; promoting partnerships with universities to offer pre-service and professional development training; and providing one-time money to purchase equipment and art materials. The BTSALP is administered through the Utah State Office of Education.

Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud LogoThe National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation have partnered with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Literature Program to support Poetry Out Loud, and encourages Utah’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. State arts agencies receiving arts education funding from NEA are required to participate.

Utah State Senate Visual Arts Scholarship Competition 
This project is sponsored by Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and the Utah State Senate in an effort to challenge Utah students in grades 9-12 to view the world artistically and express their creativity. In addition, the Utah Senate will reward outstanding students with scholarships to support their college and career goals. The competition is being administered by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums. Read the 2016-2017 GUIDELINES before entering the competition.

Professional Development Workshops for Educators
Visit the Arts Education Program’s Eventbrite page to view and register for upcoming professional development workshops for teachers.


Arts education offers many connections to resources for professional development offered through universities, school districts, arts companies and organizations of arts professionals. We also highlight links to toolkits, lesson plans, curriculum development and funding to help you strengthen your school arts programs.

To find professional development opportunities happening across the state for educators, access the Arts Education Program’s statewide professional development calendar and the Art Works for Kids statewide professional development workshops calendar.

Click HERE to access “Arts Education for America’s Students: A Shared Endeavor,” a joint statement that asserts the importance of high-quality arts education. The statement urges public policy leaders to provide a systemic and rigorous arts education for all students by leveraging the expertise and experience of multiple partners, including certified arts educators, certified non-arts educators and community arts providers.

Teaching Artist Profiles

The artists on the Teaching Artist Roster represent creative writing,  dance,  folk, ethnic and traditional arts,  media arts, music, theatre, storytelling, and visual arts. All artists on this roster have been officially approved by peer panels for artistic and educational excellence, and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Click HERE to find out more information about applying for the Teaching Artist Roster.

Visit the Teaching Artist Roster on am_icon_npu_button_75px

Technical Assistance Outreach

Our staff is happy to provide technical assistance to schools and organizations interested in applying for grant funding, developing arts education plans for their sites, identifying potential artists, locating resources, and obtaining guidance on how to inform stakeholders about the importance of arts education. Please call 801.236.7557 to schedule an appointment.

Traveling Exhibitions Program

Traveling exhibitions are a collaborative partnership with Utah museums, colleges, university and community galleries, arts and cultural centers, libraries and schools. These exhibitions are taken on tour around the state with accompanying educational materials. The exhibitions provide public access to quality visual arts, nurture understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, and promote creativity and encourage cultural activities in local communities. Exhibitions are available to schools, colleges, museums, libraries, and community and cultural centers in Utah.

Download an information sheet on the Arts Education program.