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THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR APRIL 8 - 14 

Wasatch Mountain Film Festival, Fidalis Buehler: Secret Camp— Are we there yet? @ Modern West Fine Art, Lachlan Patterson, and more.

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SPRUCETONE FILMS
  • SpruceTone Films

Wasatch Mountain Film Festival
Over the past year, folks have been taking every chance possible to get outside and enjoy the unique opportunities afforded to us by the Utah landscape. Perhaps that's given us all a deeper appreciation for outdoors life in Utah. And we've also developed a deeper appreciation for the ability of streaming technology to let us enjoy movies at a time when theaters weren't the safest places to be.

Just like the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and many other film festivals nationwide, the 2021 Wasatch Mountain Film Festival will be offering a virtual presentation. But while we all watch the films in our homes, the stories they share will give us even more incentive to get out and enjoy the mountains around us. This year's program showcases 69 films from around the world, representing both features and shorts, celebrating the mission of "bringing mountain culture and arts together." The programming covers topics ranging from environmental advocacy to simple character studies of interesting people. While the films offer a chance to see amazing sights—ranging from our own canyons of the American Southwest (Water Flows Together is pictured) to the peaks of Norway—they're also stories of people, whether those people are trying to change the world, or simply trying to have experiences that change themselves.

In addition to the slate of films, you can also enjoy panel discussions like "Storytelling and Adventure Film Through a Global Pandemic," presented Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m. The online festival continues through April 10, with tickets available at wasatchfilmfestival.org. (Scott Renshaw)

MODERN WEST FINE ART
  • Modern West Fine Art

Fidalis Buehler: Secret Camp— Are we there yet? @ Modern West Fine Art
The figures in the works by Utah artist Fidalis Buehler always seem to be reaching—elongated arms extended, searching, trying to grasp something or someone. There's also a primitivism in those figures, the features of their faces often obscured or minimized compared to their limb-emphasized bodies.

Buehler applies those figures to his cultural background—a mix of Euro-American and Pacific Islander, as well as to the unique circumstances of the past year, in his solo show Secret Camp—Are we there yet?, currently showing through May 7 at Modern West Fine Art (412 S. 700 West, modernwestfineart.com). A faculty member in the Department of Art at Brigham Young University, Buehler says of his work ("Conjuring—Team Assembly" is pictured), "Image making becomes an act of playful conjuring—reassembling personal histories that embody fear, anxiety, mythology, dreams, revelations, magic, mysticism, and ritual. The images are essentially a self-portrait seen through various forms of expanded and contracted narratives, giving place for the viewer to exam the stirrings of my mind."

According to the gallery's press release for the show, Buehler uses some of his most recent work to explore the impact of the past year on personal connections and familial interactions: "Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Buehler's awareness of the familial pod extrapolates to the variety of social groupings, intensified from the pandemic and into his artistic practice. Neatly divided human clusters all sheltering from an ongoing storm, the ensuing frenetic reactions multiply." Experience the work in person, or via the gallery website, which you can visit for hours and safety information. (SR)

COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo

Lachlan Patterson
A lot of guys might get into comedy because that's the only way they can get attention—the goofy-looking, awkward fellas who turn self-deprecation into laughs. But how do you account for an outlier like Lachlan Patterson, the Canadian native currently based in Southern California whose chiseled features evoke someone you'd typically see brooding in a fashion magazine?

Then again, if you can't really make jokes out of being an oddball, you can still have the talent to make jokes out of being a physical specimen with all the advantages. That's the angle Patterson takes on his self-distributed 2020 comedy release Dark White, where he talks about the challenges white people face: "Black people have to worry about getting shot by the police for doing nothing wrong. But white people, we have to worry about getting promoted before we're really ready for it." Even the idea of being privileged makes for its own sly twist: "You look at me and you think, 'This guy doesn't have any obstacles.' And you're right, I don't. That's my biggest obstacle. Not having anything to overcome has made it very hard to accomplish anything. My parents have always encouraged me, told me I could accomplish anything I wanted to. Well, what's the point then, if I already know I can do it?"

Patterson visits Wiseguys Jordan Landing (3763 W. Center Park Dr., West Jordan, wiseguyscomedy.com) for shows April 9-10 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 available via the website; please visit the website for information about COVID health and safety protocols. (SR)

RED BUTTE GARDEN
  • Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden Spring Bonsai Show
The art of bonsai boasts a history that dates back more than 2,000 years, to a practice of miniaturized landscapes that began in China, which then was subsequently adopted and adapted by the Japanese during the Kamakura period 700 years ago. Under the influence of Zen Buddhism, the practice of blending horticulture and art has evolved into myriad classifications for the ways the creations could represent nature in miniature form.

This week, the Bonsai Club of Utah—celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021—presents the annual Spring Bonsai Show April 10-11 at Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way, redbuttegarden.org). Members of the group will present their own creations, representing a variety of different styles and arrangements. Experts will be on hand to provide information about the art form and to provide tools and plant materials for those who might be interested in getting started on their own.

The Bonsai Show is included with Red Butte Garden admission, which is free to members. As we head into spring—and we're all likely feeling the need, even more so than usual, to enjoy the outdoors whenever we can—it's a great time to visit the wide range of themed garden environments at Red Butte. And while we're all feeling better about emerging from the pandemic, the gardens still encourage social distancing and other safety measures in their outdoor spaces. Visit the website for information about safety protocols, hours of operation and how to become a member to support this wonderful community resource. (SR)

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