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Utah Museum of Fine Arts February 2014 Events and Exhibitions


Highlights of the Collection Tour
First Wednesday of every month | 6:30 pm | FREE

Saturdays and Sundays | 1:30 pm | FREE
FREE with general Museum admission
Experience the UMFA galleries through a thirty-minute tour with a docent. No pre-registration necessary.

Workshop for Teachers: Trade and Travel on the Silk Road
Wednesday, February 5 | 5:30–8:30 pm | FREE
What do jade, chess, horses, and Hinduism have in common? They were all exchanged on the Silk Road, of course! The UMFA presents a teacher workshop that will examine how the art and cultures found along the famed Silk Road were influenced by the flow of goods, ideas, and religion that traveled along it. The workshop is free, but registration is required: call 801.585.7163 for more information. This workshop is presented in collaboration with the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera.

Artist Talk: J. Morgan Puett
Thursday, February 6 | 4:30 pm | FREE
The University of Utah Department of Art and Art History presents an artist talk by Morgan Puett.
J. Morgan Puett is the Department of Art and Art History’s Marva and John Warnock Endowed Visiting Artist in Residence for the 2014 spring semester. Puett collaborates with artists and other participants to create public projects and installations in diverse settings. Her work is rooted in relational aesthetics and is part of a larger, global trend of engaged social art practice. Her practice is a practice of “being” that she hopes will help create a new 21st century paradigm.

Third Saturday for Families: Journal Sketchbooks
Saturday, February 15 | 1-4 pm | FREE
Alfred Lambourne spent a year on Gunnison Island sketching and painting Great Salt Lake. The stark beauty of the landscape can be seen in his sketches in the exhibition The Savage Poem Around Me. This Third Saturday takes a cue from Lambourne: participants will make their own journal sketchbook to record their surroundings.

Chamber Music Series
Wednesday, February 19 | 7pm | FREE
Experience the harmonious convergence of music and art at the UMFA as students from the University of Utah Graduate Vocal Quartet gather in the galleries to perform musical masterpieces.

Lunchtime Series: Exploring Sustainability
Thursday, February 20 | 12:30-1 pm | FREE
Join us for a lunchtime break every third Thursday this spring term with conversations and presentations that engage the ideas present in our current exhibition Exploring Sustainability. Each presentation will be led by U of U students, faculty, or UMFA staff; visit for details. For this lunchtime series Dan McCool, Director of the University of Utah’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, will lead a discussion entitled River Republic: citizen advocacy and the restoration of America’s rivers.

Spring Film Series: Creativity in Focus

Co-presented with the Utah Film Center

Wednesday, February 26 | 7 pm | FREE

The UMFA is excited to partner with the Utah Film Center to present a series of films that address the lives and creative processes of various artists, exposing the pressures, concerns, and influences that shape their work. This Wednesday Angel Azul will be screened. Angel Azul explores the artistic journey of Jason de Caires Taylor, an innovative artist who combines creativity with an important environmental solution; the creation of artificial coral reefs from statues he’s cast from live models. When algae overtake the reefs, however, experts provide the facts about the perilous situation coral reefs currently face and solutions necessary to save them. Peter Coyote generously provides insightful narration that leaves viewers pondering our connection to this valuable and beautiful ecosystem. Angel Azul director, Marcy Cravat will be in attendance for a post-film Q+A. Visit or for more information.

Angel Azul, directed by Marcy Cravat, 74 min, USA/UK/Mexico/Indonesia/Grenada, 2013, Not Rated


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 the 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, the 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.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation: The 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 the 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, The 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 fourteen-month 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”—the 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
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