Department of Art & Art History College of Fine Arts | The University of Utah Tue, 17 Nov 2020 23:19:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Department of Art & Art History 32 32 Call for Entries: An Artist and a Mother Tue, 17 Nov 2020 23:12:22 +0000 MFA alums Tara Carpenter (MFA-Ceramics 2012) and Heidi Moller Somsen (MFA-Ceramics 2011) are co-editing a book project and invite submissions! An Artist and a Mother will be a book of visual artworks and essays about contemporary artists and mothers who speak to the challenges and joys of balancing creative life with the demands of mothering. It will be published in print and digital formats by Demeter Press.

Upload PDF submissions by February 17, 2021.

Submission Guidelines
Questions may be directed to:

Peer reviewers for the project:
Tara Carpenter Estrada (Editor), Professor, sculptor and mixed media artist
Website | Instagram

Heidi Moller Somsen (Co-Editor), Sculptor, installation and performance artist and teacher
Website | Instagram

Kaylan Buteyn (Curator), Artist and founder of the Artist/Mother Podcast
Website | Instagram

More Information and Application

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UA&M Covid-19 Emergency Funding Mon, 09 Nov 2020 16:58:18 +0000 The Utah Individual Artist Emergency Funding Round 2 is a resource dedicated to supporting working artists residing in Utah who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Focused on lost income, these one-time relief funds of $500 will be provided to Utah artists for as long as the fund can sustain requests.

Application Opens: Friday, November 6, 2020 Application Closes: Monday, November 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. MST More information and application here.


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Urban Artworks CMES Mural Mon, 02 Nov 2020 17:52:22 +0000

The University of Utah's Department of Art & Art History and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences began the collaborative process spring 2019 to create a new community-based mural at the Browning Building entrance. Students in the Urban Artworks and Painting Special Topics courses and CMES students, faculty, and staff joined in dialogue to develop imagery for the new 160 square foot mural.

Our art-making process is multi-faceted with shared goals of the medium of murals and working together to form the message. 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, we began creating the mural imagery, going over objectives through evaluation to realize multiple focuses of themes. As a team, we select ideas that stimulate community dialogue. Together we codified our ideas, translating our research into seven to-scale maquettes. We are now presenting the maquettes to the university community to select the image that best typifies the community.

Due to the Coronavirus, we altered our traditional mural making process with technology. The final mural will be printed from the winning design on aluminum to reflect the artist's hands.

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Photo Open Call: Hyper/Focal Wed, 28 Oct 2020 21:09:51 +0000 “HYPER / FOCAL” is an annual publication curated by the Photography Club at the University of Utah and is going on its third edition. “HYPER / FOCAL” is the first ever open call for the annual zine. This year, we are excited to showcase the artistic talents of all photographers at the University of Utah. The deadline for the open call is Friday, 11/20 at 11:59PM. 2020 has been a turbulent year with the global pandemic, school cancellations, civil unrest, the earthquake, windstorm, and wildfire smoke, and the polarized political climate. During these very unsettled and anxious times, we need to look towards our community and create outlets to cope with the uncertainties of our experiences. For this open call, the Photo Club is asking student’s to submit work that engages with this current moment. The theme for our first ever open call is: “20 / 20”. Students may submit up to 5 images to be considered for the zine. The submission committee will select the work that it feels relates to the open call theme. As an open submission with limited space available, not all work will be accepted. You will be notified by email if your work has been selected. We are looking forward to reviewing your submission and encourage you to consider joining the Photo Club!

Submit Your Work Here

You will be prompted to login to your Gmail account, due to the image upload requirement. However, if you don’t have a Gmail account, and still want to apply, please email the Photo Club at for alternative instructions.

Submission Fee: $5

Questions? Email

Deadline: 11/20 at 11:59 pm

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Meekyung MacMurdie PhD to join Art History Faculty for Fall 2021 Mon, 26 Oct 2020 21:28:53 +0000 The Department of Art & Art History is delighted to announce that Meekyung MacMurdie, PhD, will join our faculty in Fall 2021 as Assistant Professor in Art History. During the fall of 2021 she will be teaching ARTH 2500: Introduction to the History of Art and Visual Culture, and ARTH 3150 Medieval Art: Europe and the Islamic world.

Meekyung MacMurdie is a historian of Islamic art and architecture, with a focus on manuscripts. Her interests include aesthetics and artistic practice, the creation and transmission of knowledge, cultural encounters and exchanges in the medieval world, and historiography.

She is currently at work on her first book, which investigates the ontological status and evidentiary stakes of pictures, diagrams, and tables in Arabic scientific and medical works produced in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. Positioning geometry as a meeting ground between the philosophical and applied arts, the book theorizes the historical significance of facture, while also exploring the mutability of viewers’ reception of visual forms. The project reframes questions about ornament, abstraction, and style in terms of cognition and reasoning in a pivotal period: following the Islamicate reception of late antique forms and preceding early modern articulations of motifs.

In addition to research on premodern topics, MacMurdie is collaborating with Jesse Lockard, a historian of post-war architecture, on a project that examines the formative years of the discipline, when—they argue— art history methods were entwined with artisanal tools. The study positions pattern books as a bridge between critical historiography and material object studies, as well as (problematic) early articulations of global art history.

MacMurdie received her PhD in art history from the University of Chicago (2020). Before joining the University of Utah for the fall semester in 2021, she is completing the current academic year at the University of Bern as a post-doctoral fellow in the European Research Council-funded “Global Horizons in Pre-Modern Art” research group.

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Reed Magazine Call for Art Fri, 09 Oct 2020 21:13:40 +0000 For over 150 years, Reed Magazine has published the work of artists whose narrative voices persist beyond the page, whose imagery lingers in our minds, and whose language challenges us to think, to do, and to be part of the creative legacy of our time.

Last year, Reed Magazine received a record number of submissions. 2020 sees our continued efforts to publish the newest and most striking visual & digital art, and photography from around the world.

We do encourage artists to submit to our Mary Blair Award Contest, which gives the opportunity to win a $1,000 prize, as well as have their work featured in Issue 154. We encourage you, as well as your friends, family, students, and colleagues to submit their work.

The deadline for this contest is November 1st, 2020. For further information about how to submit, please be sure to visit our website

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Visiting Artist Brad Taylor with Ceramics Students at UMoCA Thu, 08 Oct 2020 21:29:29 +0000

Over the circuit breaker, ceramics students met with visiting artist and alum Brad Taylor to tour his exhibition that just opened at the Utah Museum of Contmeporary Art. Taylor talked with students at length about his artwork and career as a ceramics artist and professor at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. In speaking to his work Brad says, “I challenge my strength with the resistance of my materials – pushing us both to our physical limits. I explore the potentials of clay; and I choreograph the movement of mass – fire collaborates; but I control and limit its input. These works speak to phenomenology, experience, and context”. Brad’s work has been exhibited in many exhibitions around the world such as: Taipei, Taiwan, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Ankara, Turkey, Dublin, Ireland, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Icheon, Korea, Jingdezhen, as well as numerous exhibition across the United States. Brad has also received many prestigious awards including the 2020 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Silver Award, and the World Ceramic Biennale International Competition, Silver Award. He received his MFA from Alfred University, New York and his BFA from the University of Utah.

Brad will be giving an Artist Talk via Zoom next week - Wednesday, October 14th at 4:30pm. All students and faculty in the Department of Art & Art History will receive info via email prior to the talk. Others may contact:

While at UMoCA, students had the opportunity to check out the other exhibitions currently on view, including Prima Materia, by Colour Maisch amd Gary Vlasic, also both alumni from the University of Utah. 

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The Remains of the Dream Mon, 05 Oct 2020 22:06:47 +0000

The Remains of a Dream

The American dream of “self-evident truths” and “unalienable rights,” is no longer a new concept that inspires pride in those living in a fledgling nation. Instead, it is a bedrock of the United States’ identity, an appealing idea, and facade that never existed in truth. The collapse of this dreamscape offers a harsh reality, leaving behind only the remains of a dream.

The Remains of a Dream extends the length of a corridor, stretching a vast 151 feet. The painting, a work existing in a state of ever-changing progress, displays panels with abstract undulations of dark green and turquoise paint covering the walls. Only by walking along its whole length can one possibly see the subject: the Statue of Liberty, prostrated, much like the ideals the “Liberty Enlightening the World'' once held skywards, her torch still firmly grasped in her hand, the only roof of the former light.

The dreamscape held many captive, leading them to believe that justice and equality for all was the law of the land. Through crushed realities, many of us are seeing the bitter truth; some are staying enraptured by the dream, while others are ripped away and kicked out of the fantasy. Now, however, after a global pandemic, and intolerable injustice becoming undeniable, the enchanting bubble has burst, and many cannot quietly go back to sleep. We can no longer listen to a not-so-soothing lullaby that hides injustices done. Fellow human beings are persecuted, abused, and exploited for the select few because of race, class, orientation, and creed. Only by waking up from the illusion can we start to make this dream a reality.

In the poem of Emma Lazarus, the New Colossus cried out with silent lips, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”! Where, then, is the blame for the loss of an Icon? Why did she fall? Upon reflection, I can see my own lips, not in a glorious cry to teeming shores, but lips that ignorantly disparaged others, and through my own privilege accepted a system of injustice, then remained silent when others’ rights were violated. With deep remorse, I know it is my words, my thoughts, and prior beliefs that contributed in part to a voice that no longer protects “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Until I change, Liberty remains a dream.

-Bryce Billings, with special thanks to Kei Ito and Liz Faust

In early May, graduate student Bryce Billings, a team of undergraduate students: Josie Margaret Holbrook, Susannah Mecham, Valeria Johansen, Nicole Melkonian, and various contributing artists, set out to work on a project examining the concept of liberty and the identity of the American Dream. Over the course of the next 4 months, members of this team donated their time to the project every weekend. Through building, painting, and assembling panels in the Art & Art History building a 151’ work was created as a representation of The Statue of Liberty fallen. The work is titled The Remains of a Dream. In this work the artists invite viewers to ask the questions; Do the concepts and values that sustain an identity of freedom and liberty still stand, and if so, do they stand for all people under her light?

This is a work in progress with planned projections installed, available Oct 12, 2020. The work is open to the public with adherence to social distancing guidelines and will be on display through the end of the year.

Main Artists

Bryce Billings
Josie Margaret Holbrook
Valeria Johansen
Susannah Mecham
Nicole Melkonian
1 Artists remaining anonymous

Contributing Artists

Dana Hansen (3d rendering)
Heather Rison (painting)
Kendyl Schofield (painting)
1 Artist remaining anonymous

Text by Bryce Billings; Photos courtesy of Amelia Walchli, Valeria Johansen, Nicole Melkonian, Susannah Mecham, and Dana Hansen; Special thanks to Kei Ito and Liz Faust.

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College of Fine Arts Gala Mon, 28 Sep 2020 18:41:02 +0000 Join the University of Utah College of Fine Arts for a powerful virtual evening show highlighting the creative works and research of our students and faculty, celebrating the achievements of recent alumni, congratulating our scholarship recipients and thanking our generous scholarship donors. This event is free and everyone is welcome (no ticket or reservation required).

Emceed by Robert Scott Smith, who is both an alumnus of and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre’s Actor Training Program, this hour-long program will provide a look at what education and research at the University of Utah College of Fine Arts look like in this unique moment in time. We won’t just see final works from each of our academic units (although some), but the process of making. The process of becoming.

The process of blooming.

We will also get to hear from three recent and already very accomplished alumni Ashley Chin-Mark (Ballet BFA and Strategic Communications BS, 2018), Stéphane Glynn (Film & Media Arts MFA, 2016) and Cece Otto (Actor Training Program BFA, 2018) on their time at the U and what incredible work they’re doing now.

The generous gifts of our benefactors have changed countless lives for the better, and we are honored to have the chance to articulate the impact scholarships can have on our students through the story of one incredible scholarship recipient, Pablo Ayala.

Watch live on September 30 at 7pm

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Intersectional Reading Group Wed, 09 Sep 2020 19:57:22 +0000 How We Get Free

Friday September 25 5-7pm on Zoom

The Intersectional Reading Group is a new student run club that will be meeting once a month throughout the 2020-21’ academic year. The group will be reading and discussing various texts that focus on major systems of oppression that are interlocking such as: race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability. The first reading is an excerpt from How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, which will provide a framework for intersectionality and future discussions. During the first meeting the group will collectively decide on the second reading and we encourage participants to come with ideas. For questions and the zoom link please contact the student organizer Bea Hurd and/or faculty organizer Jaclyn Wright.

You must login with your Unid and campus password to view or download the reading: Introduction to How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

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