THURSDAY AUGUST 15
Utah Artist Hands: Desert Plateaus
If Utah has a regional artistic specialty—demonstrated by a large number of artists who have practiced it over a significant period, with a high degree of excellence—it would be abstracted landscape. The tradition runs from the legendary LeConte Stewart to the contemporary, young and very popular Jeff Pugh.
A local Salt Lake City gallery that specializes in this regional art is Utah Artist Hands. Currently showcased is the work of J. D. Buckley and Ron Russon, two outstanding landscape abstractionists who magnificently carry on a Utah tradition, differentiating their distinctive work by their unique artistic vision and method.
Buckley’s work might be identified by a departure from strict adherence to academic naturalism as he finds license with a broad and liberal color palette. He incorporates, for example, powder pink, mandarin orange, crimson red and blues of many shades. This vibrant color forms composite shapes to create general structures of his landscapes. It’s a dazzling display.
Russon has a method that’s just as stylized%u2028but it’s a completely singular approach. He also employs a broad color palette, yet he uses extremes of natural color by juxtaposing the boldest hues against each other for a dramatic effect. Oranges, reds, purples, blues, greens—all are natural, yet he uses them to an extremity (his “Yellow Cottonwood” is pictured). Accentuating their contrasts, he uses vertical angular lines stylistically, creating jagged edges and fractures wherever possible. The effect is brilliant. (Ehren Clark)
Utah Artist Hands: Desert Plateaus @ Utah Artist Hands Gallery, 61 W. 100 South, 801-355-0206, through Sept. 15, free. UtaHands.com
Heather Teran, Elise Wehle & Annie Henrie: Visions/60 Days
Is it a coincidence that one of the most striking pieces to currently be seen at Evolutionary Healthcare is titled “Vision”? This show might be viewed as the artistic vision of its three participating artists, Elise Wehle, Heather Teran and the creator of “Vision,” Annie Henrie. “Vision” is perhaps her finest piece (pictured), with a face appropriated from another printed source appearing like a specter through a carefully rendered white line drawing. A decorative halo and a lush burst of abstracted color create a mixture of moods, emotion and imagination.
Henrie’s works might also be described as iconic. “Desert Angel” is a small canvas of bold, abstracted color and shape, the iconic figure painted with little detail other than her purple shroud and a bright-white halo against the reds and oranges of the desert. Without human form, “Cloudburst” creates its own iconic expression in a burst of light behind a dark cloud above green ground beneath clear sky. (Ehren Clark)
Heather Teran, Elise Wehle & Annie Henrie: 90 Visions/60 Days @ Evolutionary Healthcare, 461 E. 200 South, 801-519-2461, through Sept. 30, free. EvolutionaryHealthcare.com/gallery/
Egyptian Theatre: Lost in Yonkers
While this year’s edition of the Neil Simon Festival in Cedar City has come to a conclusion, Park City’s Egyptian Theatre continues to serve as a sort of satellite venue for those unable to make it down south. After a June production of The Sunshine Boys, the venue hosts a Neil Simon Festival production of Lost in Yonkers, Simon’s 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
The story follows two brothers, left with their grandmother and Aunt Bella in Yonkers, N.Y., after the death of their mother and their father’s ongoing job requirements as a traveling salesman. Comedy and drama both circle around the family, as Bella and her siblings all deal with the repercussions of growing up under the iron fist of their immigrant mother. It’s “dysfunctional family” dramedy that may initially seem like a familiar setup, but gets a special spark from that uniquely Neil Simon way with words and eccentric characters. (Scott Renshaw)
Lost in Yonkers @ Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main, Park City, 435-649-9371, Aug. 15-18, see website for times, $23-$40. ParkCityShows.com
FRIDAY AUGUST 16
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Kinetic Spaces
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company turns an astonishing 50 years old this season. As part of its golden celebrations, RWDC has planned a number of collaborations with local art institutions. The first of these is Kinetic Spaces, a site-specific art/dance piece designed by RWDC’s new artistic director, Daniel Charon, to be performed in the unique space of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.
“This work is inspired by the idea of dimensional art that is typically found in a gallery setting, and how it is taken in at the viewer’s own pace and time,” Charon says. “The architecture can define spaces, direction, time, texture, lines, curves and distance amongst many other things, so part of this site-inspired work will examine these motivations and influence our own space, use of time, direction, movement quality and shapes.
“I’m also inspired by the way art typically found in a gallery, like paintings or sculptures, has all the time in the world to exist in stillness, where dance relies on the passage and use of time to express its meaning,” he continues.
Also part of the exhibition will be a film by video artist Ellen Bromberg, as well as an installation by Charon himself that features a series of video portraits of the RWDC dancers. “The six portraits will be projected side by side so that the interaction between the videos will create ever-changing and unique dialogues,” Charon says. “The looping videos will never line up the same, as the length of each portrait is different. I was interested in the juxtaposition of filmed time and how to create spontaneous interactions within this limitation.” (Jacob Stringer)
Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company: Kinetic Spaces @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, Aug. 16, 6:30-9 p.m., free. UtahMOCA.org
Second & Second/Edison Quarter Art Walk Block Party
Gallery Stroll evenings are more lively in certain months than others, depending on the number of galleries participating, the creative energy behind the art and even the weather. Nothing beats walking around downtown Salt Lake City on a clear, cool summer evening, and the season lends itself to a celebratory atmosphere.
For this “block party,” four venues will combine forces to create one of the most eagerly awaited Gallery Strolls in recent memory. Guthrie Studios, the oldest building in town still utilized as artists studios, will show off its tenants’ work, always some of the most captivating and progressive works in town. Copper Palate Press will display Claire Taylor’s Thoughts on Existence As Told By Coyote (“You Were Born” is pictured), making use of animal archetypes.
Street-smart clothing store FICE will show the paintings of Hilary Wilkinson, a U of U graduate influenced by Mexican folk art. And CUAC (formerly the Central Utah Art Center) will open its exhibition The Second Lore (through Oct 5), a group show based around the research of guest curators Margherita Belaief and Marta Fontolan, two Berlin-based artists known for their work within a narrative framework.
Adding to the festivities, there will be live music outside Copper Palate and on Edison Street (145 East), and food from Creminelli Fine Meats and Beehive Cheese at the CUAC opening. This group of galleries are celebrating more than just art; they are celebrating a sense of artistic community. (Brian Staker)
Second & Second/Edison Quarter Art Walk Block Party @ 200 East & 200 South, Aug. 16, 7 p.m.-midnight, free. CUArtCenter.org
Cat Palmer: “i have a secret” Part Deux
In October 2012, the Utah Arts Alliance Gray Wall Gallery hosted a collaborative exhibition curated by artist Cat Palmer, featuring original work inspired by secrets sent in by hundreds of anonymous women over the course of several years. The undertaking has proven too large to be contained by that one exhibit, however, so Palmer is bringing a second, similarly themed show to the Urban Arts Gallery.
Like last fall’s first installment, “i have a secret” Part Deux brings together works by some of the best-known and most talented women in the Utah arts community, including Cassandra Barney, Kat Martin, Stefanie Dykes, Desarae Lee, Zuzanna Audette and Amy Tadeo, in addition to Palmer’s own contributions. The pieces shed a light on the societal stigmas women keep hidden; in Palmer’s words, she hopes they’ll inspire viewers to “reflect on the social armor they wear, and the secrets they might be too afraid to admit, even to themselves.” (Scott Renshaw)
Cat Palmer: “i have a secret” Part Deux @ Urban Arts Gallery, 137 S. Rio Grande St. (450 West), 801-651-3937, Aug. 16-Sept. 15; artist reception Aug. 16, 6-10 p.m., free. UtahArts.org, CatPalmer.com
SATURDAY AUGUST 17
It’s an oft-told comedy legend at this point: After 20 years of slogging through America’s comedy clubs, trying desperately to make people crack a smile at the odd intricacies of our crazy world, Marc Maron found himself at the end of his rope. His career had long since flatlined, his second divorce had ravaged him emotionally, and he was barely afloat financially, without much of a future in sight.
That was when the hilariously angry man decided to get on a microphone and talk it all out. Thus was born WTF!, one of the most successful podcasts in the short history of the Internet. That podcast—in which the comic intimately discusses all things industry, art, intellect and the perils of existence with everyone from Iggy Pop and Fiona Apple to Louis C.K. and Judd Apatow—has now passed 400 episodes. Maron has since spun its unexpected success into several other endeavors, including regularly sold-out live WTF! shows, a best-selling book of personal essays called Attempting Normal and a critically acclaimed, self-titled IFC sitcom.
The best part is that Maron hasn’t let all the newfound notoriety keep him from doing what he does best: getting on a stage and working out his demons. Now, however, those anxieties and accompanying rants are more along the lines of how to rationally deal with his runaway career without self-sabotaging, how to emotionally plan for an impending marriage to a girlfriend hell-bent on procreating, and what possible glorious surprises his future still has in store. (Jacob Stringer)
Marc Maron @ Wiseguys Comedy Café, 2194 W. 3500 South, West Valley City, 801-463-2909, Aug. 17, 7 & 9:30 p.m., $22.50. WiseguysComedy.com
Kimberley Griffiths Little: When the Butterflies Came
Author Kimberley Griffiths Little—who stopped over in Utah to study at BYU between her youth in Northern California and current residence in New Mexico—has committed herself through co-founding the Spellbinders support program for librarians and teachers to creating lifelong readers. But her charming, engaging books for middle-grade readers—including award-winning novels like The Healing Spell—are doing a great job of that on their own.
Little’s latest novel, When the Butterflies Came, follows a girl named Tara dealing with family struggles, including the recent death of her beloved grandmother. But that death is accompanied by the sudden appearance of a group of butterflies following Tara around, soon followed by the discovery that her grandmother has left a mysterious collection of keys and letters, their purpose not always easy to understand. Join Tara on her journey of discovery, and join the author for a reading and signing this week. (Scott Renshaw)
Kimberley Griffiths Little: When the Butterflies Came @ The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 801-484-9100, Aug. 17, 11 a.m., free. KingsEnglish.com
MONDAY AUGUST 19
Mentalist Andrew Nadon
The television series The Mentalist follows a former psychic as he aids California police in solving heinous crimes. The key to the show is the main character, a former psychic who readily admits his abilities were fraudulent. Instead, he uses his trained heightened observational skills to make keen intuitive leaps that can be misunderstood as mystically reading people’s minds.
It’s likely much the same with mentalist Andrew Nadon: The “magic” is in his amazing ability to read someone’s situational “tells” in a way that provides him with that same mystical air of being able to read someone’s thoughts. Or, if you believe his story, the gift came to him after a physically traumatic event involving one or both of his parent’s heavy hands. The next day, he claims, he woke up being able to see names, numbers and dates that others had weighing on their minds.
Either way, instead of helping to solve seemingly unsolvable crimes across the world, Nadon uses his mental capabilities to entertain the masses. (Jacob Stringer)
Mentalist Andrew Nadon @ Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, Aug. 19, 8 p.m., free. SamWellers.com
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