Artys 2011: Staff Choice | Artys | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Artys 2011: Staff Choice 

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Fallen Fruit of Utah

From the sacred to the mundane, the extravagant to the humble and the high-brow to the low-brow, the Fallen Fruit of Utah exhibit at the Salt Lake Art Center examined the ideas of community, place, family, history and abundance, all through the idea of fruit. Compiled and displayed by the Fallen Fruit artist collective, Fallen Fruit of Utah included art from several museums and permanent collections around the state, as well as everyday objects and family treasures that were lent to the exhibit. Here, fruit is a unifying symbol for community and Utah’s agricultural heritage, as well as a link to our collective past.

Kat Martin

Have you ever owned a piece of art you wished you could do something else with? Well, rather than take that ugly painting of a random countryside to the DI like everyone else, take it to Kat Martin and give it a proper makeover. Martin’s interjection of geek and pop culture into boring paintings have earned her a huge following in both the local art and craft scenes, as she gives new life to works that would be discarded for kindling. And best yet, she takes requests.


Berg Propaganda

The name Berg Propaganda might not ring a bell, but the beret-wearing woman holding a rifle who appears all over downtown SLC certainly will. Whether it be a pair of paint rollers, a Hungarian woman soldiered up or simply the first name of his pseudonym, Berg has taken the city by storm with his overnight artistic statements. Nearly every street corner in the city has become a canvas to the mysterious rogue artist, forcing many to gaze upon his work and question the meanings and messages behind them.


Edward Burtynsky Exhibit at Weber State

Edward Burtynsky’s photographs document the marks humans have made upon the natural world in the name of comfort, safety and industry. The Industrial Sublime, an exhibit of 31 of Burtynsky’s large-format color photographs at Shaw Gallery at Weber State University, explores the relationship between humans and nature, the organic and the mechanical. Burtynsky calls these images “reflecting pools of our times,” a seductive, repulsive and, sometimes nauseatingly stark look at the consequences of the human race’s appetite for natural resources.

Utah Symphony’s Summer Season

During the summer off season, Utah Symphony has very little actual down time. This year, they played a series of free public performances around the valley in local amphitheaters, including the relaunch of downtown’s newly renovated Gallivan Center. The Deer Valley Music Festival featured big-name shows staged on the mountain resort’s cool hillside, like the music of the Eagles and Queen or the bombastic Broadway Rocks! And, in far more intimate settings provided by local churches, a smaller, more experimental chamber series included performances like The Jewish American Songbook and Eastern European Dances.

Samba Fogo

Samba Fogo is a mainstay in the Salt Lake City performing-arts scene, an intoxicating fusion of Brazilian dance, fire dance, pounding drums and the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira. Their performances are electrifying blurs of colorful sequined and feathered costumes, lit torches and acrobatics, all choreographed to live music. Samba Fogo’s concert at the 2011 Utah Arts Festival turned into a dance party when the main drummer said, “You’ve all been very well-mannered, but this is a party!” Audience members and costumed dancers alike took to the stage, in celebration of summer itself and the rich traditions of Brazil.

Otis Nebula Literary Syndicate

This semiannual e-zine boasts a who’s who of underground Utah writers and poets, giving them an outlet to feature their obscure and creatively structured works without censorship or strict guidelines on content that would come with any other submission-based publication. But rather than restrict itself to written material, Otis Nebula also allows film, music and artistic submissions to grace its digital pages—giving each issue not just its own look and sound, but a unique experience to the readers who visit each link.

Kelsie Jepsen as “Carl Dwimmer” in
Saturday’s Voyeur
Every summer, Saturday’s Voyeur comes along and reminds us to laugh at our local politics and remember that we have a bunch of fine song-and-dance men and women in the local theater community. Among the hyperactive and hilarious cast in the 2011 production, Kelsie Jepsen’s take on Utah GOP blowhard Carl Wimmer, er, “Carl Dwimmer,” stood out from the crowd. Not only did she capture his body-builder-meets-a case-of-Krispy-Kremes physical presence, she also displayed a great voice when belting out a tune.



Founded by choreographer Ashley Anderson in 2010, loveDANCEmore started out as a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating dance productions in nontraditional locations and venues. But rather than being just “another dance company,” LDM opened its Website to promoters and writers as a centralized zine/blog for all things dance-related in Utah, featuring previews and reviews of various performances along with the company’s own works. Adding to the events, LDM’s production of Mudson debuted earlier this year at the Masonic Temple to near sell-out crowds, making its first season a success and giving hope to future productions in 2012.

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School

Founded in New York as an excuse to get drunk while drawing human still-life works, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School has become a worldwide sensation, spawning classes in major cities and becoming its own artistic movement. This year, local artist Maggie Zuko founded the SLC branch and debuted it on Bar Deluxe’s dimly lit stage with burlesque dancers posing for dozens of local artists. Since its inception, the event has featured transgender models, musician Allison Martin and belly dancers as the various living muses, helping bring in some of Utah’s most talented for an evening of risqué creations.

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