Artys 2012 | Artys | Salt Lake City Weekly

Artys 2012 

City Weekly's 7th Annual Arts Awards

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Monica Bell, To Kill a Mockingbird (Utah Shakespeare Festival)
As one of the centerpieces of this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, To Kill a Mockingbird was a powerful adaptation of Harper Lee’s much-loved classic. At the heart of the show, Monica Bell’s performance of the adult Jean Louise Finch was a marvel of passion, energy and focus that knitted the piece together. She channeled the spirit of Lee’s book in a way that was both somber and invigorating.

The Hive Gallery
Those behind The Hive Gallery believe that “art isn’t limited to a two-dimensional blank canvas. … the world is our canvas.” And that includes even Layton, in outer suburbia. The Hive Gallery, headquartered in Trolley Square, is dedicated to showing (and selling) the works of local artists—painters, photographers, poster-makers and jewelry-makers—and spreading the LAM (Local Artist Movement) philosophy. This year, a second location opened in the Layton Hills Mall. Why should Salt Lake City have all the fun? 605 E. 500 South, Trolley Square; 1201 N. Hill Field Road, Layton


Best Provo-cation
The mere fact that you could be detained and ticketed by Provo police for holding a skateboard on city sidewalks makes some wary of even standing outside to chat after 10 p.m. But not the elusive underground artist known as Leuven, who has taken back the clean streets with his own brand of pop art, most notably the “Provo bike” logo that’s become a staple of the cycling community and earned the mysterious artist support from entertainment leaders. In the spirit of Banksy, Leuven continues to evade graffiti tickets while sprucing up Provo with a little more flavor.

Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George
Not much could be better than living in a castle—unless that castle were an enchanted castle that could add rooms and staircases at will. Reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones, Tuesdays at the Castle, by prolific Utah children’s/young adult author Jessica Day George, mixes charming, lightly humorous fantasy with full-scale adventure and intrigue, as youngest child Celie schemes to save the castle and the kingdom when her parents, King and Queen Glower, go missing mysteriously. Glower Castle is the perfect place to escape for an afternoon—or longer, with sequel Wednesdays in the Tower forthcoming.

Art Meets Fashion
This national event, produced locally by Anne Cummings and Heidi Gress, is an annual, one-night-only event that brings together some of Utah’s brightest minds in the world of art and showcases them next to some of Utah’s greatest fashion designers in an extravaganza of creativity. The event itself has turned into a who’s-who of local culture and entertainment, growing in popularity and attendance every year as the biggest names in the scene gather to converse while checking out the latest works to hit boutiques, clothing shops and galleries.

This Light of Ours @ The Leonardo
The Leonardo’s This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement used 156 black & white photos to depict the ’60s-era Civil Rights struggle led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The nine photographers who shot the images were activists within the movement, and their involvement gave them access and acute awareness of the struggle. The traveling exhibit showed how American youth were drawn to the movement and became agents of change. An evocative testament to the idealism and dedication of an earlier generation, the photos asked viewers how much they would sacrifice for social justice. 209 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-531-9800,

Lance Larsen
When Gov. Gary Herbert called BYU professor Lance Larsen this spring, asking him to serve as the state’s poet laureate, Larsen may have quoted Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55: “Not marble, nor the gilded monuments/ Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rime.” In other words, “yes.” As the state’s previous poet laureate, Katharine Coles, came to the end of her term, Larsen agreed to champion the literary arts in Utah over the next five years. The author of three collections of poetry, Larsen has been awarded the Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. His fourth poetry collection, Genius Loci, is scheduled to be published in late 2012.

Westminster College Great Salt Lake Institute, Utah Museum of Fine Art & Dia Foundation
The challenge of all great works of art is how best to preserve them for future generations. The stakes are even higher when said work of art is a massive earthwork sculpture that is frequently underwater in the Great Salt Lake. Sculptor Robert Smithson constructed a 1,500-foot counterclockwise coil on the lake’s northeastern shore in 1970. After his death in 1973, Smithson’s estate donated the “Spiral Jetty” to New York-based Dia Foundation in 1999. Dia recently, however, almost lost the work due to missing a lease payment on the state land that lies beneath the work. It’s obvious that a local presence could be of some help to Dia. To that end, Westminster College and the Utah Museum of Fine Art this year teamed up with Dia to protect this iconic Utah jewel.

Kent Keller
Kent Keller is a volunteer for the Division of Wildlife Resources who documents eagles. He recalled placing a band on a young eagle in an area west of Utah Lake. Three weeks later, the Dump Fire consumed more than 5,000 acres there. When Keller went looking for the bird’s nest in late June, expecting to find a dead eagle, he discovered a badly burned eagle, still alive, crouched in junipers below the nest. He made arrangements to have the eagle taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Ogden. In looking at his website, this life-saving photographer has not only taken close-up shots of any number of wild birds but also foxes, horses, mountain goats and even rattlesnakes. His wildlife photos are rare and one-of-a-kind, allowing viewers to fathom the unique personalities of wild animals.

Spy Hop Productions
As a nonprofit youth media-arts center, Spy Hop’s role is to encourage the youth of today to say something big and bold. That impulse is channeled into Spy Hop’s diverse offerings such as film, music, animation, sound recording, radio production, graphic design and game design. Community support is needed, and Spy Hop’s fundraising mechanism is simple and inspired. A live auction allows student directors to “pitch” their ideas onstage. For each individual project, the audience can bid as little as $10 all the way up to $5,000 or $10,000 (giving the high-rollers “producer” credits). Think Kickstarter, only in a big room with lots of supporters enjoying food and drink, sharing their excitement for the creativity that lies ahead. 511 W. 200 South, No. 100, Salt Lake City, 801-532-7500,


Unicorn City
“Made-in-Utah comedy” has historically been an oxymoron where movies are concerned, but the sibling filmmaking team of Adrian and Bryan Lefler scored a charming success with their story of a would-be game designer who tries to build his résumé by creating an idealized community for his friends and fellow role-playing enthusiasts. The affection for their subject matter permeates the characters and the gags, including a staged battle against a makeshift dragon. With low-key humor and a true understanding of what makes this particular brand of geek tick, the Leflers laughed at live-action role play and laughed with it.

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