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Salt Lake Art Center: Fallen Fruit of Utah

Walk through your house and count the fruit-themed items—maybe a family photo around the apricot tree, a trash can with cherries painted on it, or a citrus-shaped salt shaker. That’s just a sampling of the items submitted by the public in an open call to Fallen Fruit of Utah. Each piece has a story to tell.

Comprised of three Los Angeles-based artists—David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young—the collective’s focus is where art meets cultural anthropology. What began in Los Angeles as a proactive, noncritical project dealing with social, political or urban issues has become a seven-year journey creating fruit-related installations worldwide.

At each stop, they display open submissions side-by-side with fine art. For this exhibit, they’ve borrowed from the permanent collections of the LDS Church History Museum, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Fairview Museum of History & Art and more. They also create maps locating several neighborhoods’ public fruit—hoping to create communal hot spots—and collect “Fruit Stories” from gallery-goers.

“Everyone has an emotional story about fruit—and, typically, it is charming,” Burns says. “Fruit is also non-polarizing. Both a child and an adult can be an expert on how a strawberry tastes, and they are both correct. It’s a nice way to explore our similarities and differences.”

Beyond farmers-market fruit or familiar household goods, fruit has powerful religious and historical implications—for Christians, the apple in the Garden of Eden or the Mormon pioneers’ fruit-tree seedlings carried west for self-reliance. The dialogue created thereafter is at the core of Fallen Fruit of Utah. (Austen Diamond)

Fallen Fruit of Utah @ Salt Lake Art Center, 20 S. West Temple, 801-328-4201, June 11-Sept. 17; public family-night opening June 13, 6 p.m., free.,

Date: Jun 17, 2011
Phone: 801-328-4201
Address: 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Utah Museum of Contemporary Art