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Home / Articles / Guides / Artys /  Artys 2008 | Staff Picks Page 4
Artys

Artys 2008 | Staff Picks Page 4

By City Weekly Staff
Posted // September 10,2008 - /BEST PLACE TO HANG ART AND/OR HANG OUT
Ken Sanders Books
We say it every year, but for lovers of literature by Ed Abbey and Wallace Stegner, lovers of Western history and rare Mormon books, lovers of wilderness, national parks and the Colorado River, Ken Sanders’s got your number. Here, you can check out Sanders’ personal collection of vintage rock posters as well as work by exceptional and often unsung artists and photographers. He hosts frequent music and poetry performances to round out a Gallery Stroll or book signing. If you want to gauge Salt Lake City’s cultural vital signs, this jam-packed indie bookstore must be on your radar. 268 S. 200 East, 521-3819, KenSandersBooks.com

/BEST “SECRET” ART SHOW
Camilla Taylor at Kayo Gallery
It wasn’t really a “secret” secret; Salt Lake expat Camilla Taylor just made another in a long string of returns to the Beehive from her new home in Phoenix, another “print exchange” in which she challenges local artists to come up with a small series of works good enough that other artists want to exchange with them, but also that the public wants to look at and buy. This time, artists express their own innermost secrets, and it’s a fascinating look at psychological as well as aesthetic varieties of experience. It’s her last visit at the relocated Kayo Gallery before continuing her studies in Long Beach. 177 E. Broadway, 532-0080. KayoGallery.com

BEST SIGHT FOR SORE EYES
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Let’s face it: Utahns have had been treated to exceptional art exhibits in 2007-08. At the Springville Museum of Art, for example, the relaxed, playful work of Wayne Thiebaud was on display this summer in his 70 Years of Painting exhibition. The Salt Lake Art Center gave us a remarkable 30-year retrospective of Gaylen Hansen’s gigantic colorful animals and topped that off with this summer’s Present Tense: A Post 337 Project. But the Utah Museum of Fine Arts has gone the extra mile with last fall’s Andy Warhol’s Dream America and with the current Monet to Picasso from the Cleveland Museum of Art offering that includes masterworks by Renoir, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, Dalí, Picasso and Matisse. Utahns may be terminally spoiled by such visual largesse. Gather ye eye candy while ye may, people. 410 Campus Center Drive, 581-7332, UMFA.Utah.edu

BEST PLACE TO SHOP YOUR NOVEL
Writers at Work
Every June since 1985, this nonprofit has hosted an annual conference consisting of workshops, panels, readings and one-on-one meetings with agents and publishers. If you’ve started your book of fiction, nonfiction, poetry or memoir, this conference will introduce you to local writers and challenge you to move forward. It also sponsors a popular annual writers competition in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry genres of which Rick Bass and Pamela Houston were once winners. In 2009, the conference, which has long been associated with Westminster College, will return to its early roots and offer attendees a true retreat experience in Park City. WritersAtWork.org

BEST EXPLOITATION CINEMA SHOWCASE
Red Light Books
Nestled along Broadway, a crimson beacon of counterculture has been luring the denizens of the night out most Mondays to the Red Light. Down in the store’s basement, free classic exploitation films delight patrons who come to savor the classic grindhouse-style cinema of the 1970s. The modest space has infrequent concessions such as popcorn and vegan cupcakes as patrons take their seats on D.I. couches and plastic chairs. The real draw is the fantastic lineups from Shaw Brothers kung fu classics like The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and The Five Venoms to vintage “blaxploitation” flicks like Coffey (where a vengeful, shotgun-wielding Pam Grier drops the bodies of drug pushers and junkies almost as fast as she drops her top). 179 E. Broadway, 355-1755

/BEST CONTROLLED CHAOS
Cein Watson
On paper—or wall, cloth, canvas, etc—Cein Watson’s works appear quite abstract, with graceful lines swooping up and around, in and out, over and under, in a stark, stately fashion. The concepts behind each creation, however, reflect mind-bending theories based on an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Watson’s 2005 exhibit Emergent Properties, for example, explored the interplay between innate ideas and their resulting valued objects. Since then, he’s mapped out metaphysical problems through a variety of mediums in galleries, boutiques and coffee shops. You can track down Watson on The-Rookery.com, a collaborative effort with Jen Sorensen, with services ranging from design to needlepoint. The-Rookery.com

BEST LIBERATING ART
A.C.E (Art and Creative Expression), Salt Lake Art Center and the Salt Lake County Metro Jail
In the Salt Lake Art Center, a display features small crayon sketches. Hands lashed together reach out to help free a turtle caught in a net; a stark three-headed figure breathes flames. The works are liberating to the artists, even if they themselves are not liberated. That’s because they’re Salt Lake Metro County Jail inmates, selected to take part in special six-week art programs. Since 2007, the program—founded by curator Jay Heuman and co-taught by Annie Kennedy and Rick Nast—has offered basic instruction in color theory, self-portraits, dimension, shading and famous art subjects, all leading up to inmates’ final projects being displayed at the art center. 20 S. West Temple, 328-4201

BEST GLIMPSE OF BIG BROTHER
Operation Salt: Surveillance, Gallery at Library Square
Just call it art imitating life at a time when it seems somebody is always watching you. In the era of wiretap immunities and the Patriot Act, when Big Brother has never been quite so big, the Surveillance installation used different media to look at the way we monitor ourselves, through video pieces, paintings and sculptures. “Surveillance” by Laina Thomas provided a split-screen display of security-camera footage of an office building where we see a janitor singing and dancing with her broom, a businessman asleep at his desk, empty hallways and store rooms. The piece is transposed with the soft sound of a bubbling fish tank, as if the viewer were peering in on a human fish bowl. Another piece paid homage to a Smith’s Fresh Values card as the way a grocer keeps tabs on loyal customers. 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200

BEST CHILDHOOD DREAM
Edie Roberson
Every July, Pilar Pobil hosts a three-day art soiree in her gorgeous Avenues mansion. Her neighbors gorge on catered food while contemplating paintings by Pobil and other local stars. This summer, one such artist was Edie Roberson. Her delightful celebrations of childhood, whether borrowing characters from Alice in Wonderland or reproducing old-fashioned kids’ toys socializing with purely adult expressions on their faces, evoke all the wonder of childhood innocence shot through with a knowing, if at times melancholic, adult humor. EdieRoberson.com

BEST EARLY-IMMERSION ART PROGRAM
The Visual Art Institute
Pottery, print, painting and studio facilities are not often readily available to the K-12 age group. And private lessons just aren’t the same as being in classes focused completely on art. The Visual Art Institute reels kids into an arts academy that aims to supplement their public school experience—and the best part is, it does. It gets them hooked on art while they are young, and keeps them thinking outside the box. 1838 S. 1500 East, 474-3796 VisualArtInstitute.org

BEST NEW BIG/SMALL ART SPOT
Sego Art Center
Provo art scene: fairly small. Roster of artists at the New Sego Art Center? Pretty big. And even though the space itself is also pretty small, it’s making a big splash in Happy Valley. With international, national, and local artists booked into 2010, and its programming and commitment to bringing contemporary art to Utah, Sego Art Center has brought an exciting new challenge to the region. Here’s to making that window to the outside just a little bigger! 169 N. University Ave., Provo, 801-599-0680. SegoArts.org

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