THURSDAY SEPT. 3
Pablo Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." A child sees the world through a simple lens, before the child learns the what and how and why, which interrupts this purity of vision. That clarity of vision might be the best way to approach—not read, comprehend, or analyze—the paintings of Hyunmee Lee. Like children's books that reduce images to simple, gestural shapes with a reliance on color, Lee's various shapes, substances and amorphous forms are engaged in playful relationships that, like a children's book, tell stories, or convey the kind of play the audience can get involved with. "Inland Passage No. 1" (pictured), massive at 72 square-inches, is quintessential of Lee's work, where purity of form freely engages in as many relationships as her audience responds to. The upper right is a canary yellow, with crisp lines, bright and radiant—a large gesture. Toward the base is what looks like a frenzied watermark, with smudges of black. The two forms are hard to perceive without considering their relationship to each other, as well as their placement on an otherwise empty canvas. The intensity of the yellow form may dry up the vestiges of the semi-transparent, watery mark, while the heavy black remains. A smudge in space to the left and center echoes the transparency, mingled with black. There need not be a what or how or why, but simply an interconnectivity of elements. (Ehren Clark) Hyunmee Lee @ Phillips Gallery, 444 E. 200 South, 801-364-8284, Aug. 21-Sept. 11, free. Phillips-Gallery.com
THURSDAY SEPT. 3
College football opening weekend
The 2015 college football season kicks off this weekend with a national focus on two Utah teams. The University of Utah hosts Michigan on Thursday night in a nationally televised game that features the return to college football of Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh. Brigham Young University takes center stage on Saturday afternoon on an ABC telecast when the Cougars play at Nebraska. Michigan's trip to Utah marks the first time the Wolverines have ever played on a Thursday night in their long and successful history, as well as the first time Michigan has started the season on the road since 1998, when an unknown kid named Tom Brady got his start in a loss at Notre Dame. The Utes follow the Michigan matchup by hosting Utah State on Sept. 11. Utah's PAC-12 home schedule will feature Cal, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA and Colorado. BYU's trip to Nebraska marks the first time the two storied programs have played each other. The Cougars will host their home opener Sept. 12 against Boise State. Other games in Provo will include Connecticut, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Wagner and Fresno State. Utah State opens in Logan on Thursday against Southern Utah. The Aggies' home schedule includes Colorado State, Boise State, Wyoming, Nevada and a season-ending contest with BYU on Thanksgiving weekend. Weber State opens at Oregon State on Friday. The Wildcats play their home opener against Sacramento State on Sept. 19. Other Ogden games include Southern Utah, North Dakota, UC Davis and Idaho State. (Geoff Griffin) Michigan vs. Utah @ U of U Rice-Eccles Stadium, Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., FOXS1; Southern Utah vs. Utah State @ USU Maverik Stadium, 7 p.m.; Weber State at Oregon State, 6 p.m., PAC12; BYU at Nebraska, 1:30 p.m., ABC
THURSDAY SEPT. 3
Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler: Grandma's Cupboard
The collaboration between Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler resulted in some of the most significant conceptual art installations of a decade-long period, until Ericson's death from brain cancer in 1995. They used familiar formats and contexts to subtly alter the believers' perceptions, with the optimum result that, after seeing their work, the experience of your own everyday world would shift slightly, be rendered less opaque. Grandma's Cupboard at UMOCA charts a multiplicity of channels through which their work traveled: aesthetic as well as political and social. The artwork speak to viewers through common touchstones, as seemingly recognizable and comforting as items in your grandmother's cupboard—like the balloons in "Hold Your Breath" (pictured), filled with air from sites historically associated with death. What isn't immediately evident is the sheer poetry in these objects, in the power of their presence. Along with the project, the exhibit includes Ziegler's solo works and an extension of their works together, which embarks on a slightly different pathway in terms of craft and wit, and a slightly different sensibility. Utilizing objects from domestic environments, his work seeks to induce new insights into the ways we represent ourselves and the ways those representations play—how we perceive ourselves and are perceived by others. (Brian Staker) Kate Ericson & Mel Ziegler: Grandma's Cupboard @ Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, Aug. 28-Dec. 19, UtahMOCA.org.
FRIDAY SEPT. 4
Classical Greek Theatre Festival: Electra
Long before Shakespeare ever bothered to write plays drenched in Greek tragedy, the ancient Greeks were writing some of the finest dramatic works in history as they lived it. Oedipus the King, Medea, Hippolytus and Antigone—just to name a few—were some of the earliest depictions of betrayal, war, family squabbles and love. These plays are the foundation of what modern theater looks like today, and what every playwright has attempted to duplicate ever since. So it is with great joy that we get to see Westminster College host the 45th annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival, featuring the tragedy Electra by Sophocles. The play tells the tale of the title princess of Argos, who saved her brother Orestes from being slain by their mother, Clytemnestra. Years later, Orestes returns home plotting revenge on the family who stole his right to the throne. Reported to be dead, Orestes' ashes were brought to their home as part of the plot. Electra herself, still mourning the passing of her father at the hands of Clytemnestra, vows revenge in her own right and holds Clytemnestra responsible. Her grief is doubled when she learns of Orestes' "demise" and gives a moving lament over her fallen brother. The play itself takes a turn from sorrow to hateful revenge, but the real joy from this play is watching Electra take center stage, risking her own joys to prevent an injustice. The production will tour throughout Utah in September, including the traditional Red Butte Garden daybreak performances Sept. 26-27. (Gavin Sheehan) Classical Greek Theatre Festival: Electra @ Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East, Sept. 4-5, 11-12, 7:30 p.m.; Red Butte Garden, 300 Wakara Way, Sept. 26-27, 9 a.m., $7-$15. Additional performances in West Valley City, Provo and Ogden. Visit WestminsterCollege.edu.
FRIDAY SEPT. 4
Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championship & Festival
Utah residents looking for something unique to do this Labor Day weekend might consider the 13th annual Sheepdog Championship & Festival. Perfect for any animal lover, this event highlights the amazing bond between man and dog. Each year, 64 of the world's smartest dogs and their trainers come from all over the world—this year including the United Kingdom, South America, Africa, Canada and the United States—to compete. The competition course is designed to test what the dogs do in a normal work situation. They'll retrieve a group of sheep, herd them through a marked course and separate them into different pens. The top dogs from the weekend compete on Monday in a more technical course for a bronze, silver or gold medal. The winning dog and trainer will also receive $10,000. Other events and demonstrations are planned throughout the weekend, and a wide variety of food will be available. (Shawna Meyer) Sheepdog Championship & Festival @ Soldier Hollow, 2002 Soldier Hollow Drive, Midway, 801-668-8016, Sept. 4-7, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (approximately). Single-day tickets $8.50-$13.50; multi-day passes $27.50-$49. SoldierHollowClassic.com