It's been a very different fall semester, but even though campus has been quieter, we've still had much going on! Our Carmen Morten Christensen Visiting Artist Lecture Series ran strong, as we virtually hosted ceramics artist Brad Evan Taylor, visual artist John F. Simon, performance artist Jeannette Ehlers, and designer Michelle Bowers. We also held our first online MFA Open Studio, featuring work from our current graduate students: Bryce Billings, Reilly Jensen, Hannah Nielsen, Christina Riccio, Eric Robertson, Candace von Hoffman, and Tess Wood. Read more news from fall semester below!
During this semester, students in ART 4720: Contemporary Photography Projects have been working on individual bodies of work that engage with interdisciplinary practices, including installation, audio, video, and bookmaking. These artists have worked tirelessly to translate the work from an in-person to an online exhibition and publication. The artists included in the exhibition address a multitude of ideas ranging in form and content.
The works by Nate Francis and Jean Glasser engage with the Utah landscape as an intersection of the personal and political. Francis' work addresses the oppression of the queer body, while Glasser's work brings attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). The personal is also explored by Brandi Gilbert, who externalizes an internal monologue around her relationship to her body. The cinematic and appropriated works by Annie Hillam use the eye to address paranoia and stress relevant in contemporary culture. Other artists, such as Ethan Edwards and Will Betts, address the space between "reality" and our digital selves through fragmented and coded images and video works. Fragmented photos are also used in Sam Devine and Kolie Kollar's pieces, who use found and repurposed objects, engaging with the image-object relationship.
All of the included artist's work can be viewed in the online exhibition.
The Urban Artworks class and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences began the collaborative process to create a new community-based 160 square foot mural at the Browning Building entrance. Student artists and CMES members initially met to enter into dialogue to understand and perceive how we all exist at the mural site. After participants reviewed secondary material, they began creating the mural imagery, going over objectives through evaluation to realize multiple focuses of themes. As a team, they selected ideas that stimulate community dialogue. Together they codified our ideas, translating our research into seven to-scale maquettes, which were then presented to the community to vote on the design to be installed. We look forward to the announcement of the winning mural soon! View all of the designs here.
Faculty: V. Kim Martinez; Student Mural Artists: Victoria Dennis, Casidy Giles, Nelson Morales, William Oviatt, Mikaela Parrish, Heydar Rasoulpour, Connor Weight
Painting & Drawing Professor Tom Hoffman retired at the end of the summer 2020 semester, and the Department was delighted to show a selection of his drawings in Gittins Gallery this fall. Congratulations on your retirement, Tom! You will be missed! View the exhibition photos.
Ceramics Professor Brian Snapp showed recent work at the Material Issues exhibition at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. "“My recent work, ‘House of My Brother / House of My Sister’, was first motivated by refugee diaspora and the loss of home, religious sanctuaries, and iconography, stripping people’s sense of identity, place, and dignity. The iconography that I use in my work now, seems to have absorbed more recent obscenities unleashed on humanity."
Photography Professor Jaclyn Wright was selected to be in SF Camerawork’s FORECAST 2020 with eleven other artists. “Each year SF Camerawork invites an esteemed jury to curate its annual survey exhibition. This year, jurors curator Elena Grosfs, artist Michael Jang, and TBW Books Director Lester Rosso selected the work of 12 photographers from over 300 entries”.
She also received the Digital Matters Lab Faculty Performance Grant for Spring 2021.
Photography Professor Ed Bateman's work will be in the Library of Alexandria... known internationally in modern times as: Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
"The BA Exhibitions and Collections Department launches an exhibition entitled “The Art of Staying at Home: Artists in the Time of Corona” on Tuesday, 8 December 2020, in the BACC East and West Exhibition Halls.
The exhibition is held in light of what the whole world has experienced since the beginning of 2020, and the dire predicament faced by the current generation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, together with the imposed global procedures of lockdown and social distancing. This situation allowed artists to rethink and reshape their works, while experimenting new ideas and techniques that stem from their own experience of isolation and social distancing.
The exhibition features 61 artists from 8 countries (43 Egyptian artists, and 18 foreign artists from Yemen, Canada, Sweden, Serbia, USA, Romania, Switzerland, and Austria), with a total of more than 180 works of art, and runs until 28 December 2020."
Painting & Drawing Professor Xi Zhang won Artreprenuer's Current Events Open Call Contest. "The White Collars contemporary world exists at the intersection of surreal visions, radioactive colors, and expressive brush: an approach that couples the idea with the execution, not just showing us a vision, but allowing us to feel it." Congratulations, Xi!
Congratulations to all of the Spring 2021 Collections Engagement Grants Awardees from the Department of Art & Art History: Joshua Graham (Art Teaching Adjunct Professor, MFA 2019 alum), Reilly Jensen (MFA candidate Art Teaching), and Associate Professor of Painting & Drawing Al Denyer! These awards are part of "Landscape, Land Art and the American West," a joint research and engagement initiative between the UMFA and the Marriott Library supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and matching funds from the University of Utah.
In their project “Unearthing the Future: Experiential Art Education in the Great Basin”, Graham will work with Patrick Durka (MFA, Art Department Chair at Stansbury High School), Reilly Jensen (MA History, MFA Community-Based Art Education candidate, Art in the Community T.A.), University of Utah ART 3550 and Stansbury High School students to develop a site-specific art curriculum for Stansbury High students, using UMFA and Marriott collections as primary source material for creating artwork and instruction on the cultural ecology of the Great Basin.
In Denyer’s seminar, MFA students from across disciplines of Painting & Drawing, Community Art, Photography, and Ceramics will conduct research using material from UMFA and Marriott Library to explore what “A Sense of Place” means in historical and individual contexts, culminating in a campus exhibition of the work produced during the semester.
We’re excited to see the results of these creative endeavors next year!
The 2020 SLC AIGA 100 Show is a juried competition showcasing top 100 graphic design projects (professional and student work) for the region. As usual, the Art & Art History Department community was well-represented. Illustration Professor Michael Hirshon won a Copper Ingot award for his Illustration Emphasis posters!
Graphic Design Professor Carol Sogard and her Sustainable Design class won a Merit award at the 2020 SLC AIGA 100 Show as well! Sustainable Design Practice course teaches graphic design students about the environmental impacts of design and production practices and the ecological problems that arise from manufacturing, consumption, and disposal. Students learn how designers can make a positive impact on the world by applying this knowledge to the work they create through involvement in community-based research projects. Faculty advisor Carol Sogard works with the students to identify, plan, design, and execute a community-based project that addresses sustainable thinking and action. Through collaborative research with community members, they learn to implement human-centered design strategy into their design practice. The theme of the 2019 community-based project centered on clothing manufacturing, disposal, and the dangers of “fast fashion”. Through brainstorming sessions, the student designers identified their project premise. In the interest of diverting clothing waste from the landfill, they conceived of an event that offered participants an alternative to buying new clothing. The Style Swap was an all-day event located at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library Auditorium.
The Style Swap engaged the campus community in addressing fashion waste through a free clothing exchange. Participants got the opportunity to exchange their unwanted clothing items with other donated pre-loved items while learning about a better way to shop via secondhand. All remaining clothing was donated to various local charity organizations after the event ended.
Creative Director: Carol Sogard; Design Team: Anastasiya Bobrova, Justin Chen, Brooke Ericksen, Henrique Friaca, Jessica Frye, Pisti Gamvroulas, Madison Garriott, Christian Hartshorn, Sarah Hogg, Jessica Huynh, Carly Larson, Noelle Olsen, Kyra Ott, Hugh Tran, Omar Tsai
Amy Ungricht (BFA Painting & Drawing 2017) just began the first year of her MFA program at Pratt Institute.
Madison Donnelly (BFA Sculpture Intermedia, with Arts Technology minor 2018) was accepted into the MFA program at Yale University.