Art Happenings: Round-Up for March 19-26

By Adele Flail

Welcome back to the second installment of our weekly picks!

Wednesday March 21


This week marks the second of three eponymous talks accompanying The Faculty Show, an ongoing exhibition of new work by University of Utah Department of Art faculty. The speakers at this week’s Faculty Show Gallery Talk be Lenka Konopasek and Jimmy Lucero. Lucero’s work may be most familiar to readers in the guise of public art projects on which he’s collaborated: at the new Whole Foods at Trolley Square and (for those fellow westsiders willing to take a gamble on avoiding the train) the “Bridges Over Barriers” 300 North mosaic work and mural. The art will be on view in the UMFA’s Great Hall and first-floor galleries; admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. 

Konopasek’s work is hard to categorize—moving between painting, sculpture, and installation pieces—but could be described as eerie and luminous (the last best exemplified by her residency at UMOCA which you may have seen last year). This should be an exciting chance to learn more about the ceramicists, painters, photographers, or installation artists influencing the next generation of Salt Lake artists.

UMFA, 410 Campus Center Drive, 6-7PM. Talk is free with admission.

Thursday March 22

If you consider yourself more of an aficionado than a practitioner when it comes to the SLC art scene, now is a great time to reconsider: artist Ann Kennedy is teaching Beginning Drawing as part of Lifelong Learning at the U. Kennedy promises to introduce students to different methods, philosophies and materials. Her promise of “alternative drawing materials” seems especially intriguing: Her pieces use cans/canned goods, plastic storage containers, and beeswax as sculptural elements; she bakes her paper and uses items pulled from the family kitchen—such as olive oil and grape juice—as paint. From an insider’s perspective, Kennedy explores motifs of LDS culture, but her unsentimental, striking and almost primally spiritual/talismanic visual aesthetic leaves her meanings open to those of us who stand outside that culture. Either way, her class promises to open your conceptions of how art can be made and materials used, as it broadens your artistic skills and helps you explore your personal symbols.

Annex General Office at the University of Utah, 1901 E South Campus Dr, 6:30-8:30PM. $140

Friday March 23

The national conference for the Artist, Interrupted: A Women’s Art Collective group is wrapping up this week. If you’re not familiar with this group, their raison d’être is simple: “An ‘artist, interrupted’ is a woman who has placed her art on hold from five minutes to 50 years, in order to support family needs, career changes, relocation, or just life in general…because sometimes, life just happens.” On Friday, check out Initial Impressions, a mixture of live and film dance works choreographed and performed by women from throughout the United States (Sugar Space 616 Wilmington Ave, $5). Late registration is available from March 18-22; costs for classes, workshops, and performances vary.

Saturday March 24

If you missed the performance on Friday, the Artist, Interrupted collective is also hosting an artist panel with several local women artists weighing in on the challenges and opportunities that come with balancing the demands of the creative life against those of the everyday.

Main Library, 210 East 400 South, 11AM-1PM.

SonicSqueezeSpy Hop Productions’ digital media installation “Sonic Squeeze” leaves UMOCA after this Saturday. The projections resemble a cross between Pong and Tetris— and part of the appeal is trying to figure out how the moving ball and moveable shapes correspond to the sounds you hear. There are three stations to choose from— each providing a different range of notes and noises— a set-up that encourages visitors to work with groups at the other stations to craft a song. The set- up highlights the interdependence of art, and the collaborative spirit that Spy Hop thrives upon.

UMOCA, 20 South West Temple, 11AM-6PM.

Sunday March 25


The Leonardo’s maker-space, the Lab@Leo> is currently hosting the intriguingly diverse artist Bonita Severy as part of its ongoing program of residencies. Before turning to classical drawing, she worked as an engineer, and later, as a patent attorney—pursuits which inform the retro-scitech genre in which Severy now works. Using software such as Maya and Photoshop, Severy will demonstrate how to create a character or environment to rival H.G. Wells’ wildest speculations; or, if you’d like to approach speculative history from a more classical, low-tech approach, head over for the two-hour Steampunk Figure Drawing class (2-4PM, $20.)

The Leonardo, 209 East 500 South, 11AM-5PM.

This article was originally published on March 19, 2012.