"Giving everyone their fifteen bytes of fame"
March 2004
Page 2
show us your stuff
Derek Dyer in front of what he hopes will become the Utah Arts Center


15 Bytes is brought to you in part by contributions from the following underwriters:


 

On the Spot

kim martinez

Kim Martinez on the spot:

WHAT ARE YOU READING LATELY?


I've been reading a lot of theory right now, like Daniel Bell. I need to for the art classes I teach. I also just read the "Da Vinci Code * I'm a teacher so I have to keep up with the trends too. .

WHAT IS HANGING ABOVE YOUR MANTEL?
I don't have a mantel, but I have a Russian Impressionistic piece above the sofa. It's a historical narrative about the dockworkers strike.

WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PAINT OR SCULPT YOUR PORTRAIT?

Goya, definitely. I love his ten thousand shades of gray.
Public Issues: Salt Lake City
The Proposed Utah Arts Center
by Shawn Rossiter

The Utah Arts Alliance would like to give Salt Lake City a full-blown arts center in the heart of downtown. But they may need your help.

The Utah Arts Alliance, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, was formed in early 2003 by Derek Dyer, Angela Brown and Jason Stewart, all active members of their respective arts communities. Brown, a photographer, dancer, business owner, and community leader has taught photography classes locally and is owner/publisher of SLUG Mag, the oldest alternative paper in SLC. Stewart currently works for Ken Sanders Rare Books in the production and publicity of all his shows by local, regional and national artists. He is also on the board of Slam Utah. Dyer is well-known to the local visual arts scene both as an artist and as an arts organizer. The three formed the Utah Arts Alliance with the principal goal of creating an art center in downtown Salt Lake. And now they say they’ve found the perfect place for it -- the building formerly known as the Hansen planetarium.

But, Dyer says, they will need your help to make it work.

Renovation of the building will costs millions of dollars, but what Dyer and his group are looking to the arts community for are a few letters. The historic building located at 15 South State is owned by the City, which has indicated that they want to see the building put to public use rather than sold into private hands.

In proposing their Utah Arts Center for the space, the Alliance feel they will create a much-needed cultural outlet that will help revitalize the downtown area while remaining true to the historic purpose of the building. What has most recently been the Hansen Planetarium was originally built in 1905 as the city’s first public library, a position it filled until the 1960s. When the library became too large for the building, George Hansen underwrote the cost of transforming the facility into a planetarium. It remained as such until 2003 when the Clark Planetarium was opened in the Gateway project. The Utah Arts Alliance wants to continue the building’s role as an educational facility by creating an arts center devoted to classroom education, exhibition spaces and a performing arts theater.

Dyer says that the Alliance wants to use the building to create a “cultural classroom that has the spirit of an arts festival everyday.” Their plan uses every square inch of the building for a variety of visual arts and performing arts activities. They plan to use the unique quality of the building -- its planetarium -- to create a performing arts space that would be available for theatre, concerts, poetry readings, and a unique use of the dome -- multi-media projection shows. In addition, classrooms, workspaces and a darkroom will be built to allow for instruction both for children and adults. Credit and non-credit classes will be available from professional instructors, including professors from some of the area’s top educational facilities. The classes will run for fourteen week sessions, one day a week for three hours. Classes offered will include computer design, photography, foundation art classes, and advanced art classes. In addition they will also provide performance classes.

Of particular interest to the visual arts community, The Alliance’s plan would also provide three exhibition areas on three different floors of the building. The building’s ground floor lobby area would be transformed into a 4000 sq. foot exhibition space for shows by local artists. The Alliance wants to use the other two floors of the planetarium to “expand [the public’s] horizons beyond Salt Lake and Utah.” The second floor would hold exhibitions by regional artists in its 1700 sq foot area. Exhibitions by national and international artists are planned for the third level, which will have 2400 sq feet. Member’s of the Alliance’s Advisory Board often travel to various international art centers such as New York, Paris and London, and will take the opportunity to bring the international art scene to Salt Lake City.

   The Alliance plans not only to use every available square inch but also every available minute of the day. In keeping with the City’s plans to revitalize night life in downtown Salt Lake City, the Alliance wants to keep the center open late and provide programming well into the night. “During the day it’s a busy educational center,” Dyer says, “and at night it becomes a hotspot.” They will keep the gallery spaces open until 9pm Monday through Saturday (which is hours after most galleries and museums have closed)and twelve to five on Sundays. In addition they will have a wide variety of performances in the theater for extremely reasonable prices.

The Alliance’s proposed art center will provide a number of positions for members of the art community, including gallery staff, theater staff, educational staff and facilities managements. If all goes well, the Alliance hopes to open the Utah Arts Center in the fall of 2005, the 100th anniversary of the building‘s construction. They will be presenting the City with a plan for the use of the space and are encouraging all members of the community who would like to see this project become a reality to write letters of recommendation to the City to help it determine community support for the plan. To learn more about the proposed Utah Arts Center and to find out how you can help, visit the organization’s website at: www.utaharts.org.

Special Feature
Inside the Vault:
Truths & Myths from the Utah State Fine Art Collection


The State Fine Art Collection, begun in 1899 as the Alice Merrill Horne Collection, now consists of over 1,200 works by Utah artists in all media.  The pieces are on display in various state and office buildings throughout Utah and many travel with the Utah Arts Council Traveling Exhibition Program.

The continued acquisition of artwork comes from purchases made through the visual arts program and donations from patrons and artists of the state of Utah.

This series is an effort to preserve and share the stories and experiences surrounding the artwork and artists of Utah as seen through the eyes of the Utah Arts Council staff.

Compiled by Laura Durham
Assistant Visual Arts Coordinator, Utah Arts Council

stevens
That Doesn't Mean It's Yours!
"Cherry & Snowball Blossoms"
watercolor on paper
LaVerne Stevens

Because the Arts Council is a state agency, we are often asked to provide paintings to adorn the offices of politicians and other big names in government.  We are slowly trying to phase out the practice for several reasons, including the one surrounding this painting by LaVerne Stevens.

The Visual Arts Program makes an effort to inventory loaned artwork on a regular basis.  We visit the capitol, the governor’s mansion and other state buildings to make sure everything is in its proper location.  We check the backs of the paintings to make sure our contact information is correct and we secure the “DO NOT REMOVE” stickers, ensuring their legibility.  One day the Stevens painting was missing from its designated wall.  The visual arts coordinator and registrar searched high and low, but couldn’t seem to zero in on its location. They added the painting to the “missing artwork” list, but still, no word on its whereabouts.

Many years later, a state employee walked into the visual arts offices with the missing painting.  He said he was retiring that day and wanted to thank us for letting him hang this painting in his office throughout the years.  He had changed offices several times, but he loved the painting so much, he packed it up and took it wherever his work sent him.

It is pretty.