Painting: Karen Horne
If you want to see what someone is really made of, look into their heart. At the heart of Utah is The City Library, The Salt Lake City and County Building and The Leonardo, sitting in historic Washington Square, adjacent to Library Square. It’s used for everything from the Pride Festival to the Salt Lake City Marathon, from local open-mic performances to international traveling exhibits like Body Worlds at The Leonardo. I often find myself in this neighborhood, attending events, enjoying the library, or—yikes—paying a parking ticket, but for those of you who are not familiar with the Squares, let’s take a stroll.
The Leonardo focuses on the space where art, science, technology and creativity all live together, influencing and inspiring one another. Upon entering the “Leo,” you are welcomed by Brian Brush’s “Dynamic Performance of Nature,” a distorted view of the earth laid out with LED lights reflecting seismic activity. This interactive piece loves social media and will respond with an array of colorful lights if you mention it in your tweet. From the Earth to the heavens, as you glance upward, Canadian architect Philip Beesley’s “Hylozoic Veil” guides you up the escalator as its membrane reacts and moves based on your movements. Both installations are part of The Leo’s permanent collection, but many of the exhibit halls change throughout the year. The Lab @ Leo is a constant bustle of creative activity. Open for Gallery Stroll, visitors can stroll through the labs, free of charge. During the month of June, the labs will feature an ongoing project called ColLaborArt. Local artists and art lab staff have developed hands-on, progressive projects that guests can construct as teams or build upon, using previous attendees’ work. Open during the Utah Arts Festival, June 26–29, stop by to see a selected group of artists working in teams from initial concept drawing to finished project.
A pillar of modern architecture in Utah, the City Library is truly a building for the people. The library welcomes visitors to explore not only its massive inventory of books, but also, its art collections and community collaborations. Currently on display in the fourth-floor gallery is Night and Day: Karen Horne paints the changing light of Salt Lake City. The Horne family has deep roots in Utah’s arts community—Horne’s great-grandmother led the charge for early arts funding and education in Utah. It seems very fitting that Karen would choose to highlight Salt Lake City, its historical landmarks, and community activities like the Utah Arts Festival. Her paintings take Utah’s community and show it in a new light. Karen’s work will be on display from June 21 through Aug. 1, with an artist’s reception on Thursday, June 26 from 6–7:30 p.m.
Approximately 80,000 people will converge on the Washington Square and Library Square lawns on the fourth weekend of June for the Utah Arts Festival. There is so much to see and do that I suggest visiting multiple days. On my hit list this year are the March Fourth Marching Band—an edgy funk, rock and jazz band who high steps, dances and stilt-walks—and Australia’s Strange Fruit, sway pole artists who are part performance art, part dance and part circus. Make sure you check out the Urban Arts Program, featuring all your favorite local urban artists, plus great performances and interactive activities. For more information, visit UAF.org
Enjoy your city—go out for a stroll.