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Category Archives: Traveling Exhibits

Through Toil and Labor: the Forgotten History of Utah’s Chinese Railroad Workers

Central Pacific R.R. -- Construction

Central Pacific RR – Construction #00530, Utah State Historical Society

With the ceremonial completion of the United States’ first Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, the nation entered a new age of commerce and travel. The momentous meeting of the rails at Promontory Summit, Utah meant goods and services could now move across the country in quantities and at speeds previously unknown. Key to this massive effort to connect the nation were the contributions of thousands of immigrant workers from around the globe.

Chinese immigrants composed over 75 percent of the Transcontinental Railroad workforce between 1865 and 1869, numbering over 11,000 by its completion. These Chinese laborers, mostly young men ages 15-25, left their families and homes in China to seek new economic opportunities. The contributions of these Chinese railroad workers to Utah and the United States are slowly becoming better known,

Through photographs, historical documents, and excavated fragments of imported Chinese ceramics, this exhibit seeks to explore the unique history of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Chinese workers in Utah, discuss their daily lives, and share what’s been learned from the artifacts they left behind.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Ledges Event Center, Coalville Aug 22 – Sep 25
Kane County Healing Arts, Kanab Sep 26 – Oct 29
Rich Middle School, Laketown, Nov 1 – 29
Delta City Public Library, Jan 9 – Feb 7, 2019
USU Merrill-Cazier Library, Logan, Feb 8 – Mar 25
Early Light Academy, Daybreak, Mar 25 – Apr 25
Open Classroom, Salt Lake City, Apr 25 – May 23

2018 World of the Wild

Mr. Big Stuff by Ginger Parris, Acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24" Copyright 2018

Mr. Big Stuff by Ginger Parris, Acrylic on canvas, 18″ x 24″

The World of the Wild, sponsored by Utah’s Hogle Zoo, is the annual art show featuring artworks of animals and the wild. The goal of this exhibition is to bring together the works of serious artists who are interested in displaying their view of wild animals, plants and places with which we share our world.

The art of depicting animals is an ancient one. Prehistoric people depicted animals on cave walls in an attempt to gain power over their hunt. These paintings can still be seen in Lascaux, France; Altamira, Spain; Africa and Australia. Fremont and Anasazi Indians of Utah also drew animal images as a form of spiritual empowerment. The ancient Egyptians drew and modeled animals with great care based upon the observation of nature. Today, art classes are often seen at the Zoo painting and drawing from life.

Wildlife artists such as James Audubon have been instrumental in raising public awareness of endangered species. We hope by focusing more attention on the wilder side of nature that the public will gain a greater awareness of and appreciation for wildlife.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Manti Elementary, Aug 20 – Sep 17
Delta South Elementary, Sep 17 – Oct 15
Wasatch County Library, Heber City, Oct 16 – Nov 27
Grand County Library, Moab, Dec 4 – Jan 3, 2019
Hansville Elementary, Jan 3 – 31
Springside Elementary, Saratoga Springs, Feb 6 – Mar 6
Kane County Healing Arts, Kanab, Apr 4 – May 2
Trailside Elementary, Park City, May 3 – 31
Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, Salt Lake City, June 3 – July 7

2018 All-State High School Art Show

Yellow by Zack Chapman Zack Chapman, Pastel on paper, 16”x10.5”

Yellow by Zack Chapman Zack Chapman, Pastel on paper, 16”x10.5”

System 01 by Hannah Ostraff, Ink on paper, 18”x18”

System 01 by Hannah Ostraff, Ink on paper, 18”x18”











The Utah All-State High School Art Show was established 45 years ago to honor the best high school artists in the state for their talent, creativity, and dedication. The purpose of this exhibition is to foster original visual art among Utah teenagers by providing a professional forum for student artists. This exhibition is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the Springville Museum of Art, high school teachers, students, and various private partners. A panel of professional artists and arts administrators carefully studied each of the 989 entries from around the state to select the works of art featured in this exhibition. Comprising of 345 works from 98 high schools across Utah, this exhibition represents the promise of this young generation of artists.

The works selected for the traveling exhibition illustrate the exceptional talent, diversity, originality, and creativity of Utah’s young visual artists. The exhibition is also a tribute to the art teachers in Utah’s high schools who inspire, direct and refine the work of these artists.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Kamas Valley Branch Library, Aug 22 – Sep 20
Cedar City Public Library, Sep 27 – Oct 30
North Sanpete High School, Mount Pleasant, Jan 23 – Feb 21, 2019
Summit County Library, Feb 25 – Mar 29
Delta City Public Library, Mar 29 – May 6
Grand County Public Library, May 7 – June 11
Utah Arts Festival/Salt Lake Public Library Jun 20 – Aug 2

Prize Photography from the 2018 Utah State Fair


Photography is fun! More people are enjoying the hobby and business of photography than ever before. Today it is possible to take and view instantly your work without having to wait for film to be processed.

There are numerous categories in which an individual can enter his or her work in the Utah State Fair. No matter what your photographic interest is or what equipment you are using, you can produce an entry for the Utah State Fair that will be enjoyed by those visiting the Photography Division. Curtis Parker, supervisor of the Utah State Fair Photography Division, explains, “The photos entered into the fair inspire and challenge others to take up the hobby of photography. Even if you are not involved in taking pictures, viewing them is an enjoyable pastime. Since digital pictures can be processed in Photoshop, it is amazing to see the quality and versatility of the finished product.”

Parker would like to encourage creativity by having photographers look differently at the things around them. He challenges photographers to find interesting things in their environment. Think and shoot out of the lens!

The photographic division of the Utah State Fair is sponsored by Nikon Cameras. Their generosity is currently providing the Photography Department of the State Fair with many improvements.

Read how the State Fair Exhibition has made an impact on the students at Hobble Creek Elementary…CLICK HERE.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Duchesne Public Libaray, Sep 24 – Oct 26
Ledges Event Center, Coalville, Oct 26 – Nov 27
Wasatch County Library, Heber City, Nov 27 – Jan 8, 2019
Hobble Creek Elementary, Mapleton, Feb 28 – Mar 26

Willow Stories: Contemporary Navajo Baskets

“Placing the Stars” basket by Peggy Rock Black

For generations Navajo women have woven baskets for carrying and storing food or other household items and for use in various sacred ceremonies. Over time the gradual replacement of functional baskets with modern containers and the strict taboos dictating how and when to weave ceremonial baskets led to a decline in Navajo basket weaving.In the 1970’s a revival of basket making began to take place, centered around the Utah Navajos living in the Monument Valley area. Inspired by the art of the prehistoric Mibres and Anasazi, the work of neighboring tribes and their own sand painting and rug weaving, these weavers developed a new style filled with animal images, human figures and illusionary geometric designs. Perhaps most exciting is the recent evolution of story baskets that depict traditional beliefs, stories or legends, capturing some of the most important traditions and values of Navajo culture in their skillful compositions. This exhibit, curated by the Utah Arts Council’s Folk Art Program, features the work of ten of Utah’s contemporary Navajo basket weavers and includes their photographs and biographies.


2016-2017 Traveling Schedule

Duchesne Public Library, Duchesne, September 28 – November 10

Threads of the Silk Road


Horsemen, In traditional Mongolian Warrior costume, at a Genghis Khan Reenactment, Mongolia. Photograph by Edgar Gomez

The romance and influence of the legendary Silk Road has been a subject of centuries of fascination, from the medieval account of Marco Polo’s travel to cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s contemporary Silk Road Project. This vast 7000-mile network of trade routes from China to the Mediterranean existed for almost 2000 years, opening the Far East to European lands. It was a conduit for cultural, economic and technological exchange, representing the earliest form of globalization.

This collection of evocative photographs depicts surviving remnants of the historic Silk Road and ancestors of the civilization along its route. Themes of travel, trade and tribes are evidence today of the Silk Road’s ancient past. Colorful, ceremonial hats, traditional head coverings and travelling gear accompany the exhibit.

Photographer Edgar Gomez traveled to countries along the Silk Road while conducting research projects in his work as the international director of a Utah biotechnology company. His photographs have been featured in Newsweek and Current Biology and in exhibits in the United States and Central Asia.

Exhibit Sponsor

Zions Bank is the oldest financial institution in Utah with a long tradition of supporting the arts throughout the state.

Press Coverage

Here’s a story from a news outlet in China about this exhibition. A link to the story in Chinese follows; below that is the news outlet’s English translation.

Utah Holds Photographic Silk Road Exhibit

March 8, 2014; Source: Qinghai Daily; Editor: Li Qirui

Reporters learned from the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, March 5, by the Utah Arts Council and the Utah – Qinghai Alliance sponsored a Silk Road Photographic Art exhibit in Heber City, Utah.

The exhibit is a celebration of the 35th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations and China-US Qinghai Province, part of the 2014 Sino-US Utah State Provincial Sustainable Development Award. The show is designed to introduce to the American public about to the historical significance of the Silk Road, cultural heritage, customs, achievements in economic and social development, and promote the cultural understanding and cultural exchanges.

The show will be presented in Heber City and the Orem Public Library.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Orem Public Library, May 6 – June 11, 2019

Navajo Children: Weaving the Future


Hand made rugs and blankets have always been an important part of Native American culture and economy. Weaving techniques and patterns have traditionally been passed down from mothers and grandmothers to daughters.

Modern lifestyles have threatened this art form. Tourism, and economic development from Adopt an Elder Program have given this art form renewed interest. Adopt an Elder Program sponsors rug sales directly from the weavers who get one hundred percent of the profits. Young and talented Navajo children living in the Navajo Nation did all the rugs and blankets in this exhibit. The collection is on loan from Adopt an Elder Program.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Wasatch Elementary, Salt Lake City, Aug 27 – Sep 24
Overlake Elementary, Tooele, Feb 11 – Mar 13, 2019
Cedar City Public Library, May 1 – June 5

Block Prints by Everett Ruess

Radiation by Everett Ruess

Radiation by Everett Ruess

Everett Ruess, a young artist and writer who wandered the wilds of the southwest, mysteriously disappeared in the Escalante canyons in 1934 at the age of twenty. He has since become both a legend and symbol of the wilderness he revered. The love and respect Everett felt for the places he roamed were expressed in his poems and essays, as well as in the images he carved for his precious block prints. He would trade or sell these prints to the occasional tourist and passerby to help pay his way for himself and his burros. Thus the few extra dollars brought him to another vista, and eventually to another piece of art. His wanderlust and his art became inseparable. The prints in this collection span the last five years of Ruess’ short life, from the age of fifteen to twenty. They portray a variety of natural scenes and chronicle his travels along the California coast, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and among the deserts and canyons of Utah and Arizona. Five decades later these images still speak to us with vigor and force. They show the evolution of a maturing talent, fully capable of capturing nature in bold and simple terms.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Manila Elementary, Manila, Aug 28 – Sep 25
Settlement Canyon Elementary, Tooele, Nov 7 – Dec 5
Stansbury Elementary, Stansbury Park, Jan 10 – Feb 11, 2019

Shaping the Arts

Remnants of Life by James Rees, Oil on canvas 35" x 25"

Remnants of Life by James Rees, Oil on canvas 35″ x 25″

Shaping the Arts is a group exhibit of Utah artists who play a significant role in arts education at the High School level. All young artists start somewhere and often this begins with focused attention and encouragement from teachers. The relationship of mentors and practicing artists has deep historical roots dating back to the middle ages. However, the contemporary relationship between teaching artists and students in arts education has greatly expanded beyond the model of trades, formalism or aesthetics. The role of the art teacher now has expanded to become a facilitator for critical discourse and meaningful explorations of contemporary social and cultural ideas and issues within the world, through the arts.

The artists selected for this exhibit range in practice from painting and drawing to photography. Through their professional experience they provide a framework for enthusiasm, critical thinking, and engagement to Utah’s young artists; shaping the future of our society.

The exhibit includes artworks by Stephen Bartholomew, John Carlisle, Chad Crane, Christine Fedor, Jethro Gillespie, Alexa Hall, Randy Marsh, Bernard Meyers, James Rees, Bruce Robertson and Justin Wheatley.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Delta Public Library, Aug 23 – Sep 27
Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, Centerville, Sep 28 – Oct 31

Eres Poderosx / You are Powerful; Nopalera Artist Collective

Nopalera Artist Collective

Details, top; Lucha by Veronica Perez, middle; Somos Libres by Mariella Mendoza, bottom; Llena De Bondad by Jorge Arellano. All images copyright by Nopalera Artist Collective.

Nopalera Artist Collective is a cooperative of artists from various different cultures and backgrounds, who thrive and grow in the harsh desert we call home – Utah.   We come together to amplify the voices and experiences of the communities we belong to.

“Eres Poderosx / You Are Powerful” is a collection of works by eight different artists from eight different homelands: Izzy Fernandez, David Peralta, Ella Mendoza, Jorge Arellano, Veronica Perez, Andrew Alba, Lola Reyes and Melissa Alvarez. This exhibit aims to amplify the voices of those in our communities that are often the strongest among us, yet can go unheard and unrepresented – our youth. We want to remind the young voices in our community that they are strong and powerful and that they deserve to be heard.

This exhibit features the lived experiences of youth, migrants and people from all parts of Latin America. It is a love letter and testament to the power of past, present and future generations.


2018-2019 Traveling Schedule

Syracuse High School, Aug 21 – Sep 28
Copper Canyon Elementary, Tooele, Feb 11 – Mar 12, 2019
Marmalade Branch Library, Salt Lake City, Apr 1 – 29
Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Park City, May 3 – 31