Essentials: Entertainment Picks Aug. 21-27 


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Julie Stutznegger
Sometimes, the most beautiful, intriguing and mystifying two-dimensional art objects are not painted. Just months ago at Finch Lane, we saw artist Nancy Vorm creating astonishing things from rust and wax. Now, also at Finch Lane, Julie Stutznegger stimulates the senses and challenges the mind with remarkably fine glass art. Her works cannot be compared to the art of any other artist or any other medium; each is a singular, distinctive piece, with a distinctive vitality as a work of art. "I marvel at the beautiful behavior of glass," Stutznegger says. She developed the process of making her art "by closing myself up in my studio for months and experimenting with firing glass powder." She mixed it into a paste and incorporated other materials such as copper or silver, used a sandblaster, added and removed layers, dissolved it. The incredibly involved process resulted in 30 works, each with a unique elemental core. "The Competition" (pictured) is a unique abstract beauty, a magnificent culmination of Stutznegger's painstaking process. There is a carefully delineated line, a web of sleek black that forms its way through the piece structurally, allowing a rippled plane of smoky white glass at the top left of the plane. At the bottom left is a cold and steely blue zone of glass, and to the right, a frosty white textured area with a central segment of vermilion red, allowing the whole composite structure to pop. (Ehren Clark) Julie Stutznegger @ Finch Lane Gallery, 1320 E. 100 South, 801-596-5000, through Sept. 26, free.


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Intimate Italy
Photographers Drake Busath and Joel Addams spend much of the year giving week-long photography workshops in the most idyllic areas of Italy and the south of France—what some might call a charmed life. They also work on their own photography while abroad, and Intimate Italy, currently showing at Alpine Art, provides a glimpse of countless photographs they take each year. The rustic images are a change from grand vistas of coastline or wide shots of pristine valleys. This intimate show reveals the photographers' more candid eye and sensitive feel, conveying the personal side of the artists' journeys to Tuscany, Venice, the Italian Riviera, the Loire Valley, Lake Como, Lugamo and the Amalfi Coast. (Ehren Clark) Intimate Italy @ Alpine Art, 430 E. South Temple, 801-355-1155, through Sept. 30, free.



Greg Gorsuch & Mark Lee
Concept Smart Artful Living opened less than a year and a half ago, providing furniture, artworks and other accoutrements to accessorize intelligently stylish and artistic residences. To this end, it's fallen in step with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll, and has offered some of the most eclectic varieties of artwork on display during the monthly event, from earthy portraits to "visceral abstraktion." This month's gallery opening at Concept was all about color. The common thread among the works of Greg Gorsuch is that his paintings all include various types of eyes—often looking out from heads formed from geometric shapes, like late Picassos, sometimes embedded in fish striving to avoid being caught in a net that might have been made by Matisse, occasionally on the visage of Italian futurism that recalls Marinetti. All of these influences have been absorbed in an intelligent manner; it will be interesting to see how this emerging artist develops a visual vocabulary that is intrinsically his own. Mark Lee's rice bowls and chopsticks, fashioned out of blown glass (pictured) are also on display, complementing the canvases with their own colors. Delicate creations used for delicacies, these works are enough to make the mouth water and stimulate the eye. (Brian Staker) Greg Gorsuch & Mark Lee @ Concept Smart Artful Living, 368 W. 900 South, 801-541-6900, ongoing, free.


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Artists' Home and Studio Crawl
It's not difficult to see artists at work in their natural environment. Local galleries show off their walls at openings, and studios like Poor Yorick, the Guthrie Building and the studios in Sugar House have regular open houses. A group of several local artists are inviting viewers even closer to the process, opening their homes and studios for self-guided tours, providing an opportunity for dialogue about their works. Ben Behunin began creating ceramics in high school. More than two decades' worth of pots later, his work (one of which is pictured) brings a Southwestern influence up to date. The paintings of Brian Blackham survey the ways light interacts with objects, and his wife, Sonja, designs vintage-style clothing. Painter Nathan Florence fuses traditional portraiture subjects with floral and other print motifs, and his film Art & Belief looks at the Mormon artists' group of the same name in Alpine, Utah, in 1966. Taking place in the walkable 9th & 9th neighborhood, this literal open house is a chance to see the artists' influences and personal tastes, and offers a glimpse of the ways their lives and art intersect. Admission charges and 10 percent of art sales benefit Art Access Gallery programs. (Brian Staker) Artists' Home and Studio Crawl @ residences of Ben Behunin (1150 E. 800 South), Brian & Sonja Blackham (729 S. Elizabeth St.) and Nathan Florence (817 S. 800 East), Aug. 22, 5-9 p.m., 801-328-0703, $10.


Organ Fest VII
Watching an organist work his or her magic on the massive instrument is like watching a mad genius at work. The opportunity to watch the five organists for the Salt Lake Tabernacle join the newly appointed organist for the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Gabriele Terrone, on his home turf, could only happen at Organ Fest VII. The mad genius title seems fitting for Terrone, who not only served as the titular organist at the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome after studying at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, but also has a Ph.D. in Mathematics. The program will honor the late, great organist Douglas E. Bush, a key member of the BYU School of Music for more than 35 years and an integral part of the local organ scene. The evening will consist of some of Bush’s favorite pieces to play and listen to, including Brahms and Bach classics, as well as a selection of his own compositions. (Jacob Stringer) Organ Fest VII @ Cathedral of the Madeleine, 331 E. South Temple, Aug. 22, 8 p.m., free.


Discovery Gateway Superhero Party
The anticipation for Salt Lake Comic Con, just a couple of weeks away, is building. For the younger comic-book enthusiasts who might not be attending the big event, or for those who are planning to attend and want to get in the right mood, Salt Lake Comic Con is joining forces with Discovery Gateway for an afternoon of special themed events. At a series of stations tailored for kids ages 3 and up, attendees can design their own superhero costume and make a mask, participate in superhero training activities (including web shooting) and get a superhero photo taken. For the more creative older kids, there’s even a chance to digitally design their own skyscrapers, or learn some basic cartooning skills. Add special “character” appearances by the nonprofit costumers organization H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc., and you’ve got one super day. (Scott Renshaw) Superhero Party @ Discovery Gateway, 444 W. 100 South, 801-456-5437, Aug. 22, 5-8 p.m., $15 for Discovery Gateway members, $20 non-members.,


Weller Book Works 85th Birthday
In 1925, young Mormon converts Gustav and Margaret Weller decided to leave Germany for the center of their new religion, the high deserts of Utah. Shortly thereafter, they converted their furniture, bedding and radio shop in downtown Salt Lake City into the LDS-oriented Zion’s Bookstore. Eighty-five years and three generations later, that small, locally owned bookstore is still going strong. After the post-World War II economic boom, Zion’s Bookstore moved to new digs on Main Street, and became popular as Sam Weller’s Zion Bookstore, named after one of Gustav’s sons who took over with his wife, Lila. Now, after yet another move from Main Street to Trolley Square, Sam Weller’s has become Weller Book Works under the guidance of Sam’s son and Gustav’s grandson Tony and his wife, Catherine. Join them for a day of anniversary events, including John Keahey reading from his new book, Hidden Tuscany, plus treats, music and prizes. (Jacob Stringer) Weller Book Works 85th Birthday @ Weller Book Works, 607 Trolley Square, 801-328-2586, August 23, 2-9 p.m., free.



The Rose Exposed
The six resident companies that call the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center home are joining forces, as they have annually since 2012, for The Rose Exposed, a collaborative show created over the course of one day and performed that evening. This year's unifying theme is "home." Opened in 1997 to house Salt Lake City-based performance companies in need of rehearsal space, and housing three performance spaces (the Black Box Theatre, the Studio Theatre and the Jeanne Wagner Theatre), the Rose Wagner Center has since become a cornerstone of the local performing-arts community. Ranging from music to theater to dance, the participating companies—the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Plan-B Theatre Company, Pygmalion Theatre Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and SB Dance—come together each year in support of their home space and of charity, as all of the proceeds from ticket sales to go to The Road Home. The participating companies are opening their rehearsals to the public free of charge all day long Aug. 23, so anyone interested can observe the creative process. And, prior to Aug. 19, the general public was invited by the participating companies to post to the event's Facebook wall any image, piece of text, song or anything at all relating to the idea of "home." The best suggestions will be incorporated into the performance that evening. (Danny Bowes) The Rose Exposed @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, Aug. 23, rehearsals 1-7 p.m., free; performance 8 p.m., $25.

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