Essentials: Entertainment Picks June 12-18 

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THURSDAY JUNE 12

Dave Malone: Poured

Abstract painter and multimedia artist Dave Malone first exhibited at Phillips Gallery in 2009, and it’s fascinating to contemplate the ways his adventurous use of color, line and shape has evolved since then, becoming more industrial but no less organic. Malone, a native of Hailey, Idaho, who studied art at the University of Utah, has always drawn a fine line between harmony and dischord. Rather than abstraction as a violent impulse or delicate gesture, his works seem informed by composition as an impromptu, improvisational action. The watercolors in Poured—with titles like “Barnacle”, “Part Unknown” and “Trailer”—sometimes appear to relate to the objectified world as visual metaphor rather than direct representation or pure abstract figure. This exhibit as a whole seems to equate the natural world with the industrial; the title Poured could refer as much to the washes of color he sometimes quite adeptly uses as to the way forms are poured in a foundry. This is Malone’s third show at Phillips, and finds him pouring himself into his work in adventurous new ways. He was also part of the recent group show Abstract at the Rio Gallery, and along with others, he points a way forward for local abstract art. (Brian Staker)
Dave Malone: Poured @ Phillips Gallery, 444 E. 200 South, 801-364-8284, through June 13, free. Phillips-Gallery.com

Creation & Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine
In the creation of one thing, something else is inevitably destroyed. On a small scale, this phenomenon can be practically undetectable, but in the case of the Bingham Canyon Mine—known as the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine—it can be seen from outer space. The current Utah Museum of Fine Arts exhibition Creation & Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine, curated by Donna Poulton, presents this idea through more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs created since mining began in 1906. Today it is the largest man-made excavation on Earth, and the UMFA show demonstrates how this process of creation and destruction can be beautiful—not only serving humanity, but generating fascinating works of art. Jonas Lie uses the mine as a subject for early 20th-century canvases capturing the modernity of the industrialized West. In 1917’s “Bingham Mine,” we gaze into the pit and see a symphony of small puffs of black & white smoke, minuscule steam engines and steam shovels in comparison to the magnitude of the mine. A photographic land scan from 2013 shows the damage to the mine from a devastating slide that shut down operations. In the scan, we can only comprehend the scale of destruction by the 18-wheelers half covered with debris at the very base. An iconic mid-century photographic portrait by Andreas Feininger, “Brakeman”, is homage to industry, monumentality and, ultimately, the human spirit of the mine. At the end of the day, it’s about more than just carbon, calcium, iron, copper and gold; it’s human lives that have made it possible. (Ehren Clark)
Creation & Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, University of Utah, 801-581-7332, through Sept. 28, $7-$9. UMFA.Utah.edu


FRIDAY JUNE 13

2014 Chalk Art Festival

Chalk is one of the widest-ranging mediums in artistic expression, used by masters to form pastel images on canvas or scraped across heated cement for an afternoon of summer play. This is the 12th year of the Chalk Art Festival, which creates new meaning for sidewalk chalk art, bringing together all varieties of chalk artists for a great cause: Utah Foster Care. The goal of the Chalk Art Festival is to help place Utah foster children in loving homes and to assist the families willing to offer those homes. This year, for the first time, 146 talented artists will be designing their pieces to fit a specific theme: illustrating a message or a quote focusing on Utah Foster Care. The theme was added to bring attention to the cause behind the art, and Chalk Art Festival organizers are hoping the event will attract 25,000 spectators and 50 willing foster families. “More than money, awareness is what we really want to raise,” says Deborah Lindner of Utah Foster Care. The artists will begin chalking Friday at 2 p.m., working through the day and beginning again at 10 a.m. Saturday morning to produce striking works of art on The Gateway’s sidewalk. Spectators are encouraged to tour the sidewalk gallery, interact with the artists and to ask any questions they might have about the colorful art or the cause it supports. (Camri Mecham)
2014 Chalk Art Festival @ The Gateway, 400 W. 100 South, 877-505-5437, June 13-14, free. ChalkArtFestival.org

Grand Theatre: Rings
The spacious Grand Theatre took on a unique intimacy with its Backstage at the Grand setup: Risers of audience seating placed directly on the stage, with sightlines into the wings. It was an ideal way to explore a play as immersed in the idea of theatricality as Aden Ross’s 1993 work Rings. Set in New Mexico, Rings examines the fallout after two wealthy white women—Ruby (Deena Marie Manzanares) and her next-door neighbor Karen (April Fossen)—hold hostage Ruby’s housekeeper Vera (Iris Salazar) and Vera’s sister, Concepción (Yoah Guerrero) while accusing Vera of having stolen a valuable ring. Overseeing Ruby and Karen’s preliminary hearing is Judge Mady Crowder (Tracie Merrill), whose own tragic history may play a role in how well she can remain objective. Ross gets pretty ambitious in her thematic material here, diving into more than loaded issues of racial presumptions in the legal system. The relationships in the story—including Mady’s friendship with neighbor K.C. (Toni Byrd)—pivot around the lengths we can go to for those closest to us, or to excuse their behavior. And there’s a strong undercurrent dealing with hidden, deeply wounding insecurities. Yet it’s aimed most clearly at connections between the law and theater, and the idea of finding truths buried beneath layers of interpretation. This piece of theater is funny and thoughtful about those ideas, with Merrill anchoring the strongest performances. While it’s sometimes frustrating that the two Mexican women serve more as plot elements than characters in their own right, Rings effectively and empathetically conveys how the truths of our lives affect the way we see “the truth.” (Scott Renshaw)
Rings @ The Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State, 801-957-3322, June 5-21, Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., $10-$24. The-Grand.org

Rob Schneider
Rob Schneider is best known for his turn on Saturday Night Live back in the 1990s. But since then, he has written, starred in, produced and directed so many movies—quite a few in conjunction with Adam Sandler and his production company Happy Madison—that they are as hard to list as they are to remember. Last time Schneider was in town, during a 2012 comedy tour, he had just unleashed the sitcom ¡Rob! upon the world—which was quickly canceled. Undaunted, “The Robinnator” decided to double down and self-finance a similar sitcom idea, starring him and his wife, writer/producer Patricia Azarcoya Schneider, but with an aesthetic more in the vein of a FX’s Louie. In his words, he’s hoping Real Rob is far more … well, real, and that he can shake up the conventional way that sitcoms get produced. Until the day when his television deals finally take off, Schneider is content to tour, dishing out heaping portions of his unique comic sensibilities and perhaps dreaming of another Deuce Bigalow installment. (Jacob Stringer)
Rob Schneider @ Wiseguys West Valley, 2194 W. 3500 South, 801-463-2909, June 13, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., $25.  WiseguysComedy.com

loveDANCEmore: Daughters of Mudson
Perhaps the most interesting of dancer/choreographer Ashley Anderson’s loveDANCEmore projects is the Mudson series. Designed as a work-in-process showcase, Mudson allows choreographers to work out ideas in front of a small audience filled with colleagues and aficianodos. The annual Daughters of Mudson performance gathers pieces culled from the informal evenings that occurred during the previous year. This year’s performance was curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, an accomplished New York-based dance improviser, and includes work by Ching I Chang, Brooklyn Draper, Efren Corado Garcia, Michael Watkiss and Erica Womack. Just on the basis of the selected choreographers—from professional dancers and improvisers to both teachers and students—the Mudson to Daughters trajectory provides a unique opportunity for artists in the industry to develop ideas in a stress-free environment before getting to stage them. Such a structure allows for unprecedented creative freedom, and results in a wide variety of choreographic styles, helping to push dance forward. (Jacob Stringer)
loveDANCEmore: Daughters of Mudson @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, June 13, 8 p.m., June 14, 2 & 8 p.m., $5-$12. LoveDanceMore.org

Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Ethnic festivals in Utah all have their own unique sensibility as people share their cultural heritage with visitors. The 40th-annual Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games continues a tradition of creating an environment that feels like a chunk of Scotland in the middle of our state. Friday events begin with more than 40 clans gathering for the Clan Circle; bagpipe and country-dance competitions; and musical performances including Men of Worth and Wicked Tinkers. Saturday continues with food and other vendor booths, plus children’s activities and plenty more music—including 2013 World Champion Scottish fiddler Rebecca Lominsky—and dancing. And you haven’t really experienced the festival until you’ve seen strength competitions like the caber toss, or participated in a free clinic to learn the sheaf toss—launching a bag of hay with a pitchfork. (Scott Renshaw)
Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games @ Thanksgiving Point Electric Park, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, 801-888-672-6040, June 13 & 14, $8-$15, children under 11 free with adult. UtahScots.org


SATURDAY JUNE 14

Utah Asian Festival

This year marks the 37th celebration of Utah’s Asian Festival, which was the first multicultural festival of its kind in the state. The event sprang from Utah’s Chinese, Japanese and Korean communities, who were eager to share their culture—traditions, food, song, crafts and dress—with Utah’s predominantly European-heritage population. Today, the festival has expanded to represent cultures from Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Bosnia and Somalia. A labor of love, the festival is run mostly by 500 dedicated volunteers, and with much appreciated funding from the Salt Lake County Zoo Arts & Parks program and the Utah Arts Council. This year’s events will include music and dance performances from more than 15 Asian and Pacific Islander groups, the annual Miss Asia of Utah pageant and a children’s geography bee. (Katherine Pioli)
Utah Asian Festival @ South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State, Sandy, 801-565-4400 June 14, free. UtahAsianFestival.com

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