State of the Art: Utah
From Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park to the many charming neighborhoods flanked by massive snow-capped mountains, Utah is a delineation of much of what makes the western United States so stunning. Rooted in the history of pioneer exploration, Utah became the 45th state in January of 1896 and has grown to become one of the most vibrant Southwestern states on both natural and urban grounds. The state capital of Salt Lake City has a thriving local music scene, numerous amateur and professional theatre venues and a variety of art and historical museums.
Southeast of downtown Salt Lake City is the historic mining town of Park City, which is home to one of the top skiing destinations in the country, Park City Mountain Resort, nestled high in the Wasatch Mountains. There’s also the famous Sundance Film Festival, a mark of independent creators and innovators. This precedent of creative culture is enhanced by the numerus Western galleries, artists, museums and arts events across the state. The Maynard Dixon Living History Museum in southern Utah immortalizes the home of the esteemed Western artist and his wife Edith Hamlin, where guests can walk the trails Dixon himself used to wander and experience the majesty of “Maynard Dixon Country.” In Springdale, the David J. West Gallery showcases the landscape photography of David J. West. A collection of desert and mountain landscapes—including Zion National Park—west’s photography captures the enchanting beauty of the Southwest from canyons layered with red and russet rocks, to yellow forests of aspens, to salmon-pink skies with billows of oranges, purples and blues.
The Utah Arts Festival, held in downtown Salt Lake, is an annual summer highlight celebrating the arts for more than 40 years running. Visitors can browse and purchase works from more than 165 visual artists, most of who are locals, as well as enjoy performances from ballet and modern dancers, jazz ensembles, symphonies, slam poets, street theatre and much more. Held in Logan, Utah, the Summerfest Arts Faire is a juried art festival that takes place each year during Father’s Day weekend.
Other notable artists, galleries, organizations and events in the Beehive State include Elizabeth Robbins, Shanna Kunz,
Bella Muse Gallery, Roland Lee Gallery, Red Rock Arts Festival, Gibby Bronze, Sean Wallis and Gallery Moab, among many others.
A daytime view of the Salt Lake City skyline. Photo by D. Pulsipher.