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Nolan Baumgartner/Kent Fairbanks 

When: Aug. 7-8, 6 p.m. 2014
Price: Free
The designs of Nolan Baumgartner's ceramics (pictured) embody an unconventional aesthetic. Instead of colorful glazes common to Southwestern-style vessels, he uses a Middle Eastern influence—stripes and dark polka dots, arranged with a compositional precision—which is then subjected to the physical changes of being fired in the soda kiln. Their sameness affords them a solemnity, a ritual quality and also a quiet beauty. This associate professor of ceramics at the University of Utah has shown his work around the country, as well as Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and was featured in Artists of Utah's 2013 35x35 show at Finch Lane Gallery. His pieces exhibit a thorough control of the ceramic form, process and medium. Kent Fairbanks' work in also very physical, but in a different way. The photographs in his exhibit, The Living Machine, depict the ways in which the forms of objects made by humans relate to and parallel the forms of natural objects—and the two aren't as separate as you might think. Railroad cars, buildings and machinery­­—as solid and formidable as they may appear—still bear the impressions of weathering by natural forces: wind, dust, sand and rain. With all that, his images still impart a sense of vibrant life through their use of light and color. Visit the Art Access II gallery space to see the third-annual Kindred Spirits exhibit, displaying work from the nonprofit organization's children workshops. (Brian Staker, City Weekly)

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