THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR MAY 19 - 25 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly


Modern West Fine Art: You May Find Yourself, Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids, Denali, and more.

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  • Wren Ross

Modern West Fine Art: You May Find Yourself
The idea of a gallery "group show" suggests that a curator has found connection between the work created by the artists, with the exhibition serving as a kind of conversation between the works. For Modern West Fine Art's latest group show, You May Find Yourself, that conversation is one that actually involved conversation between the artists themselves.

In 2019, Modern West director Shalee Cooper curated a show involving three of the gallery's represented artists—Fidalis Buehler, Mitch Mantle and Wren Ross—that proved so creatively successful that talks began immediately about another collaboration. Over the course of the intervening two years, four participants in Modern West's artist-in-residency program—Andrew Alba, Matthew Sketch, Jiyoun Lee-Lodge and Aïsha Lehmann—all developed work that, like that of Buehler, Mantle and Ross, spoke to issues of identity specific to the artists' Utah home. According to the gallery's show description, "Modern West's residency program has not only given artists a space to develop work, but has cultivated community between our artists and led to ... the artists conversing about their work with each other." This show evidences that communication, with inventive works (Ross's "Milk Butter Cream" is pictured) that explore identity in vibrant ways.

You May Find Yourself runs at Modern West Fine Art (412 S. 700 West) May 20 – July 9, with regular gallery hours Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. An artist reception will be held Friday, May 20, 6 – 8 p.m. Visit for additional information about the exhibition and the participating artists. (Scott Renshaw)

  • Courtesy Photo

Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids
In Utah, the film festival experience isn't only for grown-ups at Sundance. The Utah Film Center's Tumbleweeds Film Festival for Kids returns to an in-person presentation for a weekend of youth-friendly movies and hands-on workshops.

The program of films is a bit more condensed than it has been in previous years, but still offers features and shorts from multiple countries, and appropriate for a range of ages. The opening night film brings a Sundance pedigree as part of this year's virtual Sundance Film Festival: Maika, a Vietnamese fantasy-drama about an 8-year-old boy who encounters a young alien on a quest to find a missing friend. The fanciful Dutch comedy Jackie & Oopjen (pictured) follows a 12-year-old girl dealing with what happens when a figure from a Rembrandt painting comes to life. Two programs of shorts curated in collaboration with the New York International Children's Film Festival present shorts for ages 3+ and 7+. There's even a Tumbleweeds "classic" in the return of Supa Modo, a Kenyan feature that was part of the 2020 virtual Tumbleweeds festival.

Beyond the movies, attendees can sign up for workshops that cover topics ranging from art and sculpture projects, to movie-specific offerings like special-effects makeup, acting for the camera and writing a screenplay. In-person programming runs May 20-22 at the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center (2525 Taylorsville Blvd., Taylorsville). Workshop spots are $10 per person, while day passes for in-person films are as low as $6. Virtual screenings, through May 29, are also available. Visit for a full schedule and additional information. (SR)

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Those who were under the impression that Elsa of Arendelle was the only true ice queen got quite a surprise during 2021's Season 13 of RuPaul's Drag Race, when Denali made her debut. The contestant showed off skills on skates that dated back to experience with U.S. Figure Skating under the moniker Cordero Zuckerman. And while the University of Utah alum—whose Alaska roots gave rise to her stage name—didn't make it to the highest stage of skating competition, making it to the "Olympics of drag" might have been a way to help make up for it.

While Denali still works professionally in the skating world, as a performer in productions like Cirque du Soleil and a choreographer for Team USA skaters like 2022 national champion Mariah Bell, she's also carved out a place on the drag stage after finishing in 8th place on Drag Race. That stint on the show included memorable moments like an impersonation of Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, and lip-synching to "100% Pure Love." Now she's out on the road, making a stop in Salt Lake City on a program that also features The Whore of '94, Schade the Queen, Coco Freeo, Sophia Azul and more.

Denali hits The Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East) on Saturday, May 21, with doors at 9 p.m., meet-and-greet at 9:30 p.m. and shows at 11 p.m. and midnight. Tickets begin at $18 for general admission, with VIP meet-and-greet options available for $35, and four-person booth reservations for $100. This show is 21+; visit for tickets and more information. (SR)

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