Utah Museum of Fine Arts April 2014 Events and Exhibitions

. March 17, 2014

Highlights of the Collection Tour
First Wednesday of every month | 6:30 pm
Saturdays and Sundays | 1:30 pm
FREE with general Museum admission
Experience the UMFA galleries through a thirty-minute tour with a docent. No pre-registration necessary.

Café Night: Salon + Open Mic
Wednesday, April 2 | 7 pm | FREE
In the spirit of working artistically with words, and to celebrate BENT TO A STRAIGHT AND NARROW AT A POINT OF PASSAGE, a Lawrence Weiner language sculpture currently on view in the UMFA’s Great Hall, we invite University of Utah students to perform their own creative work or work they admire in an open-mic format. The event is co-sponsored by the UMFA’s Students’ Museum Advisory Council (SMAC) and enormous rooms, the undergraduate literary magazine. Interested students should visit umfa.utah.edu/calendar or contact the UMFA’s campus outreach coordinator, Iris Moulton, at iris.moulton@umfa.utah.edu.

Chamber Music Series
Wednesday, April 9 | 7 pm | Three Premiers | FREE
Three graduate composition students at the University of Utah—Aaron Kirschner, Nate Williams and Natalie van Horn—will premiere their works for string quartets. The pieces will be performed by three of the U’s ensembles: Styx (Graduate Quartet), Dead Men (Mt. Olympus Quartet) and the OC Tanner String Quartet. Student poetry readings will also be featured between pieces.

SMAC Art Swap Party
Wednesday, April 16 | 4–7 pm | FREE
The Students’ Museum Advisory Council (SMAC) will mark Art is 100 with an art swap party on the UMFA patio. Celebrate 100 years of collecting art on campus by swapping or making some art while enjoying refreshments and live music.

Lunchtime Series: Exploring Sustainability with saltfront
Thursday April 17 | 12:30–1 pm | FREE
Join us in the galleries for a conversation centering on our exhibition Exploring Sustainability with students from the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program and members of saltfront, an arts and literary journal for a radically new type of ecological storytelling. Visit saltfront.org or umfa.utah.edu for more information.

Artful Afternoon: Earth Day
Saturday, April 19 | 1–4 pm | FREE
The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, activated twenty million Americans and helped launch the modern environmental movement. Come to the UMFA and celebrate both Earth Day and sustainable living at our biggest family art-making event of the year. Make recycled art, learn about the Earth and how to protect it, and see performances and art that champion a more sustainable planet. Funded in part by the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Program (ZAP) with additional support from the C. Comstock Clayton Foundation.

Chamber Music Series
Wednesday, April 23 | 7 pm | FREE
Experience the harmonious convergence of music and art as students from the University of Utah School of Music perform an original opera in the galleries of the UMFA. In this special addition to our Chamber Music Series, University of Utah School of Music soprano Olivia Custodio will perform the short opera La voix humaine, by Francis Poulenc, with piano accompaniment. The story follows a woman as she speaks on the telephone with her (invisible and inaudible) departing lover, who is leaving her to marry another woman. The telephone proved to be the perfect prop for librettist Jean Cocteau to explore his ideas, feelings, and “algebra” concerning human needs and realities in communication. Directed by Lucas Goodrich.

Spring Film Series: Creativity in Focus—The Great North Korean Picture Show
Co-presented with the Utah Film Center
Wednesday, April 30 | 7 pm | FREE
Directed by Lynn Lee and James Leong, 94 min., Singapore, 2013, not rated.
Welcome to Hollywood, Kim Jong-Il style. North Korea’s film industry is a vital tool in the regime’s vast propaganda machinery. Now, for the first time ever, foreign filmmakers have been allowed inside the country’s only film school—an elite institution where young talents are trained to create works that will not only entertain but also help shape the psyche of an entire nation. Visit umfa.utah.edu or utahfilmcenter.org for more information.


Tacita Dean: JG
On view through May 4, 2014
JG, the new film project by internationally recognized artist Tacita Dean, takes its point of departure from the physical and thematic interplay between a work of science fiction and a work of Land art: the short story “The Voices of Time” (1960) by writer J. G. Ballard and Spiral Jetty (1970) by artist Robert Smithson.

In a series of conversations with Ballard prior to his death in 2009, Dean was encouraged to treat Spiral Jetty as a mystery that might be solved through a filmic investigation into the nature of history and material. Employing her patented technique of “aperture gate masking,” in which she uses stencil-like masks to alternately cover up and re-expose her film, Dean transfers images from one place to another, generating visual and conceptual juxtapositions within the space of the individual 35mm frame.

Shot in Utah’s desert, Great Salt Lake, and even the Hogle Zoo, the film intersperses a variety of salt-encrusted landscapes, machines, and animals with a host of abstract shapes and voids. The viewer experiences time and place in ways that parallel the effects of Ballard’s fiction and Smithson’s artwork.

JG reaches across decades and disciplines, tracing the connection between three distinct artists and their interrelated work.

Center for Land Use Interpretation: Great Salt Lake Landscan
On view through May 4, 2014
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts commissioned the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Wendover/Los Angeles-based research organization concerned with how the nation’s lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived, to produce a “landscan” of Great Salt Lake. Filmed from helicopters, CLUI landscans are dynamic, crystal clear, gyro-stabilized high-definition videos that function as portraits of places. They represent major elements of continental land use, depicting man-affected landscapes so large the only way to visually capture them is with one long, continuous, aerial shot. Accompanied by subtle ambient sound, Great Salt Lake Landscan flies over brilliantly colored salt concentration ponds and a landscape often described as otherworldly.

The Savage Poem Around Me: Alfred Lambourne’s Great Salt Lake
On view through June 15, 2014
Alfred Lambourne walked the Mormon Trail in 1866, at age sixteen, to Salt Lake City, sketching during much of the route. By the 1880s he had become a well-known local artist who painted and traveled with Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt on their many visits to Salt Lake City. Of the varied landscapes he painted, nothing held his imagination so thoroughly as the Great Salt Lake. Captivated by it, he painted many views of Black Rock, the infinite and varied moods of the weather, and the shipwrecks and the drama of the lake. In 1887 he realized his dream of perfect solitude by homesteading Gunnison Island.

In his book Our Inland Sea: The Story of a Homestead he described the first day of his self-exile: “Ghostly, wrapped in its shroud of snow, my island stands white above the blackness of unfreezing waters. What have I done? Although I had lived these days by anticipation, no sooner had the sails of the departing yacht vanished below the watery horizon . . . than I realized at once, and with a strange sinking of the heart . . . the savage poem around me.” This exhibition will explore the art—roughly twenty-five paintings—the many sketches, and the poetry and writing of this unique and beloved pioneer artist and his obsession with the landscape of our “inland sea”—Great Salt Lake.

Lawrence Weiner:
On view through mid-2014
A fascinating work of language sculpture by groundbreaking contemporary artist Lawrence Weiner is now on view in the UMFA G. W. Anderson Family Great Hall. Purchased by the Museum in 2011 with funds from the Phyllis Cannon Wattis Endowment for 20th Century Art, BENT TO A STRAIGHT AND NARROW AT A POINT OF PASSAGE (1976) is an important addition to the UMFA’s permanent collection of contemporary art and represents a canonical moment in art history.


Exploring Sustainability
On view through July 28, 2014
Exploring Sustainability is an exhibition of new projects that explore how principles of ecological sustainability and affiliated design strategies are applied to creative thinking and to the design process. During Sustainable Design Practice, the University of Utah studio art course in which this work was created, students gained an overview of the environmental impacts of design and production practices as well as the processes and methods associated with more sustainable approaches. The projects created over the course of the spring 2013 semester are inspired examples of how students integrated sustainable design into their own creative process. The exhibition is intended to stimulate further dialogue among the university and local communities about issues related to sustainability.

salt 9: Jillian Mayer
On view through August 17, 2014
“What’s the point of living offline anymore?” Jillian Mayer asks in her catchy sing-a-long MegaMega Upload. The artist debuted this hip-hop song on her YouTube channel in January 2013 before it premiered as part of her short film #PostModem at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, the video has received 21,000 views and has inspired more than 160 viewer comments. In 2011 Mayer uploaded her song and video I Am Your Grandma, and it’s since received 2,445,525 views, 20,895 likes, 1,601 dislikes, and 7,970 viewer comments-not to mention the countless spoofs it’s inspired, including choreographed dances and remakes by five-year-olds, an Internet troll, college students, a fake plastic kitty, Darth Vader, Wes Borland, and a Cabbage Patch Kid.

But, what does it mean to upload your soul to the Internet or to leave a timeless video message for your unborn grandchild? Cloaked with humor, fast editing, and pop soundtracks, Mayer’s videos are designed for mass appeal but ask big questions about human connection and manufactured realities. Her work lives in, and is activated by, viewer participation. She investigates the (im)possibility of authenticity and the multiplicity of authorship by co-opting the visual language and tools of Google, online chat boards, and viral videos. Indebted to the cultural constructions of the 1980s sitcom but looking ahead to the infinite implications of the Internet, Mayer uses photography, video, drawing, installation, and performance to tease out the pathways and pitfalls of postmodern identity formation while considering our increasing integration with the web and questioning the distinction between reality and the virtual world.

Jillian Mayer (American, b. 1984, lives Miami) received her BFA from Florida International University in 2007. In 2010 her video Scenic Jogging was one of twenty-five selections for the Guggenheim’s YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video and was exhibited at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany. Recent solo projects include Love Trips at World Class Boxing, Miami (2011) and Precipice/PostModem at Locust Projects, Miami (2013). In 2012 and 2013 Mayer’s short films were selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2013 Mayer was in residency in Berne, Switzerland, as a Zentrum Paul Klee Fellow and in New York City as an NEA Southern Constellation Fellow.


**Exhibition dates are subject to change.


Utah Museum of Fine Arts
University of Utah
Marcia & John Price Museum Building
410 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
(801) 581-7332

Museum Hours
Tuesday–Friday: 10:00 am–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 am–8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:00 am–5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays and holidays
Visit our website: umfa.utah.edu

Category: Museum News

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