Ask Angela Weekend Picks: Your Guide to Art Week in SLC

In honor of the Utah Arts Festival, which begins today and continues through Sunday, this week’s events will focus on the great art and museum-related events happening all throughout the Salt Lake metro area. We’ve got film showings, international culture, science, and Utah history, plus the typical art topics you’d expect. So take a look, and see what most appeals to you!

What: Utah Arts Festival @ Library Square, 200 E 400 S, SLC. Thursday-Sunday, noon to 11 pm. $12 admission

Why you should go: Now going into its 38th year, the Utah Arts Festival fills the downtown cityscape with live art, literature, dancing, movies, food, music, and all kinds of fun.

No really, why?: It’s a cheap, fun way to spend your weekend, and most of your Salt Lake friends are already planning to go anyway. Grab a group, and tag along!

Utah Arts Festival  Image via
Utah Arts Festival
Image via
What: Opening reception for new exhibits @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S West Temple. Friday, 7 pm. $5 suggested donation

Why you should go: This is the opening reception for two new exhibits: “Bibuken,” a group collaboration; and “God Complex” by Christopher Kelly.

Bibuken is the Danish word for beehive. This exhibit looks at the social ties that connect the people of Denmark with the people of Utah. There are lots of important, strong ties between Denmark and Utah, like the many early Mormon pioneers who came from Scandanavia. Today, even though there isn’t as much literal migration between the two areas, the people of Scandanavia are now looking at questions of unity, change, and social responsibility that very much apply to our situation here in Utah.

Chris Kelly’s “God Complex” exhibit explores a lot of science fiction themes in its live, performance-art sculptures. The science fiction genre is a useful way for Kelly–and you!–to explore questions of self-identity, curious discovery, and “alien” or alienated identity.

God Complex excerpt Image via
God Complex excerpt
Image via

No really, why?: If you’re new to art, or if you think of art as something dense and hard to understand, contemporary art exhibits like this are a great way to dip your toes in. Contemporary art speaks right to the issues at the heart of modern life, using metaphors and symbols that the average person can understand.

Bibuken excerpt Image via
Bibuken excerpt
Image via
What: “Gone to Paris: Utah Artists Abroad” @ Springville Museum of Art; 126 E 400 S, Springville. Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. Free

Why you should go: You’ll learn about Utah’s “art missionaries“–those early Mormon artists who were sent to Paris in the late 19th century to learn the very best techniques in art. Once they mastered the techniques of elite Parisian style, these artists came back to Utah and made many great works, including the statues we see in some of our SLC public squares and the wall paintings we see inside some of our temples.

No really, why?: Springville’s a little far from Salt Lake–about an hour’s drive. But if you’re interested in the visual culture of Mormonism, or in the history of Mormon women’s voices especially, this exhibit is definitely worth the drive.

Rose Hartwell. "The Frugal Meal." (1903) Image via
Rose Hartwell. “The Frugal Meal.” (1903)
Image via
What: “Animal Inside Out” science exhibit @ The Leonardo, 209 E 500 S, SLC. Thurs-Sat, 10 am-7 pm. $3 festival weekend price!

Why you should go: This exhibit is part of the Body Worlds series, a popular international art exhibit. By seeing human anatomy and animal anatomy side-to-side, you’re supposed to see and understand that maybe the difference between people and animals isn’t as big as we sometimes think.

No really, why?: This event is really great for those of you who are science or nature-oriented. The Leonardo teamed up with zoos, aquariums, and animal shelters across the state of Utah to bring you this huge display of biological wonders.

The Leonardo Museum Image via
The Leonardo Museum
Image via

Follow our events blogger, @kekpenyong, on Twitter. And check back here for new updates weekly!

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