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Category Archives: Things to Do Arts & Museums

A World Transformed: the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah

This is exhibit will not start traveling until Feb 11th, 2019

May 10, 2019 will mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah. Utahans played a major role in the completion of the railroad through investment, surveying, and labor. Depending on your viewpoint, the railroad changed Utah for both good and ill, but everyone would agree that the railroad brought significant cultural, economic, and environmental changes. Utah became more connected both economically and culturally with the rest of the nation. Eastern goods could be shipped quickly and cheaply to Utah and Utah products had a market with the rest of the nation. The railroad also brought changes at a personal level. A difficult journey of three months from Omaha, Nebraska to Salt Lake City, now took three days. Loved ones separated by the great distances of the continent could be reunited and Mormon converts and missionaries had a much easier and quicker journey to and from Utah.

Utah State University and the Utah State Division of History have partnered to create an exhibit, A World Transformed: the Transcontinental Railroad and Utah, which shares the personal stories of the people who built it and those whose lives were forever changed in both big ways and small. A World Transformed is a smaller version of an exhibit that will be displayed from February to June 2019 in the Utah State Capitol. It draws upon the many rich historical resources held by different institutions across Utah including photographs, maps, art, and lithographs.  It consists of six stand-alone banners.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Schedule coming soon

Utah’s World War I Posters

Keep Him Free by Charles Livingston Bull, artist, Philadelphia: Ketterlinus, 1917

By Charles Livingston Bull, Philadelphia: Ketterlinus, 1917

In April 1917, soon after the United States’ entry into the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI). George Creel headed the CPI which existed to unify public opinion in favor of the war and help sell bonds financing its cost.

The CPI issued movie reels, newspaper and magazine articles, pamphlets, exhibits, and short speeches, but found its most effective national media approach to be posters. The country’s top advertising illustrators created some 700 posters, which used simple, emotional imagery and messages to sell the war effort. The CPI distributed the posters throughout the states – the equivalent today of a series of memes gone viral – and the intended cultural impact succeeded.

Meanwhile, Utah and its citizens answered the nation’s call to support the war effort in multiple ways. Thousands of young men enlisted in the military, Utahns purchased millions of dollars of Liberty Bonds, and the production of vital metals and agricultural goods was increased to meet the growing demands of a nation at war.

The Works Progress Administration gathered this collection of original World War I posters in Utah in the 1930s. Through them, we can experience how an “advertising” campaign was used to stir feelings of patriotism, and engage Utahns in the larger national effort.


2017-2018 Traveling Schedule

Delta Public Library, Delta,Aug 21 – Sep 22

Rio Gallery

The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition-making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art-making and dialogue. The Rio Gallery is located in the grand lobby of the historic Rio Grande Depot.

Past Exhibitions

Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm | Open Saturdays from 10 – 2, Nov 11 – Apr 21 for Winter Market
Closed Sunday
300 S Rio Grande Street SLC, UT 84101
Free and open to the public

Exhibition Proposal Guidelines

Call for Exhibition:Transcontinental Railroad 150th Anniversary

May 18 – July 6, 2018

Gallery Stroll Opening Reception May 18, 2018, 6-9pm 

Our Sacred Landscape features the work of three Utah artists taking inspiration from the beauty of the landscape. Each artist expresses their viewpoint through a different medium. Karen Kurka Jensen uses water, ink, and color on delicate rice paper, Cara Schwindt works in textiles, and Jodi Steen uses acrylic paints on canvas and raised panels as a medium.

The artists have combined their work to reveal a passion for nature. “I often find inspiration in the colors of the landscape. The colors of a scree field or the combination of colors on the barren hills between autumn and winter- I weave these influences into my work,” explains Schwindt.

Jodi Steen’s work represents the landscapes that she experiences in her many outdoor adventures. Her abstract approach to landscape painting is in two parts: the sky is fluid and loose with long strokes, while the land, or water sections becomes very tight with numerous layers of lines and texture. Her paintings evolve through multiple layers and textures based on a combination of land, sky, and water. She applies abstraction by breaking down the obvious views until there is nothing left but shape and color.

Sumi-e is the Japanese word is for black ink painting. The discipline developed concurrently with calligraphy; using ink and a brush on rice paper or silk. When speaking of her work, Karen Kurka Jensen said, “I find in nature, peace and healing. When I discovered the medium of sumi-e, where the importance is connecting spiritually to your subject, I found the language of my soul.”


Upcoming Exhibitions

Mitchell Lee and Nolan Flynn  July 13 – August 31

Design Arts ’18  September 7 – October 19


Contact the Rio Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Rio Gallery is a member of the

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Logo

Arrangements: A Survey of Utah Collage

Liberty Blake "The Meadow After the Climb" Collage 20" x 16"

Liberty Blake “The Meadow After the Climb” Collage 20″ x 16″

At its first formal beginnings, collage began as a startling intermingling of “high” culture – still life oil paintings – and “low” culture – mass produced paper prints and patterns. The practice of collage – sticking or pasting materials to a flat surface – has been around for centuries and was a favorite medium of folk and outsider artists. However, the flexibility of collage was perfect for Cubists and Dadaists to explore themes of chaos, imagination, absurdity, and reality during the period of time following World War I. Later, collage and photomontage became the perfect vessels for Pop and Modern artists to depict themes of consumerism, technology, militarism, and excess.

The beauty of collage is that it is so flexible. It is accessible and democratic in the sense that the creation of collage is available to anyone, from schoolchild to seasoned artist. However, collage as an art form is still largely governed by the same principles as other formal art making – form, structure, color, composition, and movement all weigh heavily in the creation of artistic collage.

This exhibition combines collage works from the State of Utah’s Fine Art Collection, as well as artwork from some of Utah’s finest collage and mixed media artists. Collage, assemblage, photomontage, and mixed media artists in Utah have a long and rich history of practice in Utah. We wanted to bring together the work of modern-day professionals and earlier practitioners of various forms of collage together in an exhibition we could share with people across the state. We hope that this assortment of works will inspire viewers to consider creating collage of their own, to explore their worlds and to think about the everyday materials around them that could be incorporated into their art-making.

The exhibit includes artworks by: Trent Thursby Alvey, Erin Barrett, Gary Barton, Ed Bateman, Namon Bills, Liberty Blake, Noel Carmack, Jane Christensen, Wayne Chubin, Deborah Durban, Maury Haseltine, Jim Jacobs, Jason Lanegan, Bill Lee, Dennis Martinez, Dottie Miles, Jenny Ostraff, Bruce Robertson, Chauncey Secrist, Sam Wilson


  • Press release for your school or institution to distribute. For a press image click on the picture above and it will open in a new tab at a higher resolution.
  • Educational Materials

2017-2018 Traveling Schedule

Dixie Art Department, St George, Aug 15 – Oct 3
Roosevelt Public Library, Roosevelt, Oct 5 – Nov 3
Tooele Jr High, Tooele, Nov 14 – Dec 12
Fillmore Elementary, Fillmore, Jan 24 – Feb 21, 2018
Granger Elementary, Taylorsville, Feb 21 – Mar 31
Summit County Library, Park City, Mar 21 – April 23

Go Out and Play: An Exhibit About Childhood Memories of Play

The Neighbors by Sophie Soprano, oil on panel, 16"x20"

The Neighbors by Sophie Soprano, oil on panel, 16″x20″

Our memories of playing as children are powerful. Children’s everyday experiences, adventures, and projects are often rehearsals for adult life. Play gives children a taste of freedom, encounters with uncertainty, opportunities for risk-taking and responsibility, and unscheduled time for imagination. This exhibition focuses on artist memories to summon the viewers’ childhood markers of place and time. Says curator Kathy Cieslewicz, “The exhibit focuses on reigniting the viewers’ childhoods through interaction and reminiscing.”

Collectively, the art in this exhibition reflects how play seems to be trivialized in our changing world. Traditional play has become jeopardized as parents see their children’s activities relegated to screens. It is hoped viewers will be inspired to bring play back into children’s lives in ways that evoke wonder, creativity, and natural curiosity.

This exhibition is a partnership between the Sears Art Museum Gallery and Dixie State University, and the show features artwork in a variety of media by artists from Utah and Arizona. For more information on the Sears Art Museum Gallery, visit or like their Facebook page at


  • Press release for your school or institution to distribute. For a press image click on the picture above and it will open in a new tab at a higher resolution.
  • Educational Materials

2017-2018 Traveling Schedule

Canyon Community Center, Springdale, Jul 28 – Aug 31
Manila Elementary, Manila, Sep 1 – Sep 29
Delta South Elementary, Delta, Oct 2 – Nov 2
Orem Public Library, Orem, Nov 6 – Dec 27
Wasatch Elementary, Salt Lake City, Jan 5 – Jan 31, 2018
Enoch Elementary, Cedar City, Jan 31 – Mar 2
Delta Public Library, Delta, Mar 2 – Mar 28
Gerald R. Sherratt Library, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Mar 29 – May 2
Trailside Elementary, Park City May 4 – June 1
Discovery Gateway Childrens Museum, Salt Lake City, Jun 5 – Jul 10

Vietnam Veterans: Art Beyond Combat

Carl Purcell, painting Daniel Maynard, drawing John Steele, photography

Carl Purcell, painting – Daniel Maynard, drawing – John Steele, photography

This exhibition features three artists who served in Vietnam. Each has a different perspective about war. Dan Maynard was an artist his entire life, but never did much with it until after he was encouraged by his wife. John Steele came to photography later in life, and it was photography that took him back to Vietnam, to revise his personal perspectives and what he thought he knew about the people and their country. Carl Purcell was an interrogator for the Air Force. What he learned about the attitudes of North Vietnamese soldiers was a fatalistic view of life that he didn’t want to share. When he returned, he didn’t allow the war to impinge on his desire to move forward in life and never look back.

These are images of war, images of peace, and images of healing. Their creators are men who served our country during a time of uncertainty, protest, anger, and devastation. Each artist has a different perspective on how to return to life and resolve feelings of unrest. Art serves each of them in a different way, and each has a different story to tell.

Beginning September 17 2017, PBS will air Ken Burns’ latest series, The Vietnam War. The series features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both sides. This exhibition, curated by KUED Channel 7, was made possible by a grant from WETA, the PBS producing station. To learn more about this documentary, visit


2017-2018 Traveling Schedule

Karen H. Huntsman Library, Snow College, Ephraim, Aug 15 – Sep 18
Delta Public Library, Delta, Sep 22 – Oct 25
Gerald R. Sherratt Library, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Nov 1 – Dec 19
Provo High School, Provo, Jan 8 – Feb 5, 2018
Dugway Schools, Dugway, Feb 6 – Feb 28
Library’s Viridian Event Center, West Jordan, Feb 28 – Apr 4
Early Light Academy, Daybreak, Apr 4 – May 8


Gini Pringle, Havana Style, Photograph, 24" x 28"

Gini Pringle, Havana Style, Photograph, 24″ x 28″

“Perhaps the mission of an artist is to interpret beauty to people – the beauty within themselves” – Langston Hughes

Cuba is home to a mixture of multiethnic influences and a long and complicated geopolitical history. This unique and complex blending has drawn visitors from all over the world to try to capture the true spirit of Cuba. Writers, poets, painters, photographers, musicians, actors, and artists of all sorts have traveled to and been born of a Cuba that has inspired and encouraged generations of artistic investigation and expression.

Cubanidad is the exploration and celebration of Cuban identity, and the people of Cuba have long been considered its greatest resource. These eight Utah artists visited Cuba and documented the people and culture – capturing cubanidad. This exhibition is made of works from their efforts to report and record what cubanidad might look like to one looking in from the outside. The exhibit includes artworks by, Pete Ashdown, Niki Chan, Russel Albert Daniels, Bernardo Flores-Sahagun, Lewis Francis, J. Edgar Gomez, Gini Pringle, Jun Song, and Stephen Trimble.


  • Press release for your school or institution to distribute. For a press image click on the picture above and it will open in a new tab at a higher resolution.
  • Educational Materials

2017-2018 Traveling Schedule

Grantsville Junior High, Grantsville, Sep 20 – Oct 17
Summit County Public Library, Park City, Oct 19 – Nov 29
Grand County Public Library, Moab, Jan 2 – Feb 13
Weber State University, Stewart Library, Ogden, Feb 14 – Apr 23
North Sanpete High School, Mount Pleasant, Apr 25 – May 23

Alice Gallery

The Alice Gallery is located at the historic Glendinning Mansion in Salt Lake City, Utah, which also houses the main offices of Utah Arts & Museums. The gallery is named after Alice Merrill Horne, a legislator who supported the arts and founded the Utah Arts Council in 1899.

The gallery hosts exhibitions by Utah artists and works from the State Fine Art Collection. The Rio & Alice Galleries were established as a free service to Utah artists and surrounding communities. These venues allow emerging artists, professional artists, and curators to collaborate in the process of exhibition-making as well as engage the community through thoughtful and innovative art-making and dialogue.

Past Exhibitions

Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm | Closed Saturday & Sunday
617 East South Temple SLC, UT 84102
Free and open to the public
Gallery Phone: 801-236-7555

Exhibition Proposal Guidelines

May 11th-July 6th, 2018

Gallery Stroll Artist’s Reception: June 15, 2018 | 6 – 9 pm

The language of fabric has been the foundation and springboard of Laura Sharp Wilson’s work for the past two decades. Her earliest paintings were of threads formed into chaotic knots, later work utilized flat botanical imagery giving plants human powers.

Wilson says, “I love fabric for so many reasons. It is woven together like a society, that it can represent the female realm, that it can be sewn, pulled apart, ripped, it can rot, it can have a pattern, and a pattern can be dissected. Fabric can transform a person with clothing and costume, or an interior, with rugs, curtains and upholstery. “

In her current work, Wilson is looking back at the people who expanded this country’s population. People like her great grandparents who unraveled their lives, came to America settled and re-wove their existence. Her Irish, Scottish and Swedish great grandparents fought hard to elevate themselves in this country but in the process ignored those already here. Wilson struggles with the fact that these people, a carpenter, a small town doctor, a house painter, a textile importer, plopped down in a country with a, “racist, oppressive social system, and carried on, changing little, for the poor, non-white and indigenous of this land.”

Can bound empty spaces represent a deep insecurity? Can transparency and opacity suggest ignoring others? Can a structured or chaotic weaving portray a society? Wilson thinks so. In her images, the fabric of people’s lives is dissected and broken down into threads, strands, rope, shapes, patterns and chains, which are allowed to bind, constrict, envelope, unravel, create webs, outline, cover up, and reconcile. A new narrative appears illustrating internal feelings of turmoil and confusion which beg to be sorted out and clarified.  She says, “In making this work I feel part of the discourse this country is currently having about where we come from, who we are and what we want to be.”

Laura Sharp Wilson was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1965 and grew up in New York and New Jersey. She received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Wilson also studied surface textile design at North Carolina State University and served as an apprentice at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. The artist has exhibited sculpture, installation, painting and drawing nationally and internationally since 1996. Wilson’s design “Thread, Strand, Rope and Yarn” a 5,000 square foot terrazzo floor is part of the public art of the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. A collection of her drawings were on exhibit at McKenzie Fine Art in New York. Currently Wilson is working on “Small” an exhibition that considers her great-grandparents Euro-American generation. Laura Sharp Wilson lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and son. More at


Upcoming Exhibitions

Selected works from the Utah State Fine Art Collection  July 13 – September 7

Jan Andrews and Trent Alvey September 14 – November 2


Contact the Gallery Manager
Felicia Baca at 801.245.7272

The Alice Gallery is a member of the

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Logo

A Different Perspective on Landscape Painting at Rio Gallery

adam_leviUtah Arts & Museums presents En Plein Air: Levi Jackson & Adam Bateman, an exhibition on display at the Rio Gallery from Jan 20th – March 10th, 2017. An artist’s reception will be held on January 20th from 6-9 p.m. for Gallery Stroll.

Adam Bateman and Levi Jackson, in collaboration, have made 60 paintings en plein air as a performative act, returning them to their forgotten foundation in the western landscape. Having both grown up and lived in rural areas of the West, both Jackson and Bateman kicked against the tradition of landscape painting as the defining characteristic of western art’s historical significance and culture. For this exhibition they have traveled headfirst into seeing the landscape through painting’s eyes.

The Rio Gallery is located inside the Rio Grande Depot at 300 S. Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Additionally, the Rio Gallery is open during the Winter Market at the Rio Grande Depot. The Winter Market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 28, Feb. 11, and Feb. 25. Vendors sell local artisan goods, foods, and crafts, and the market also includes food trucks.