Wasatch Back students celebrate their creativity in the exhibit at the Kimball Art Center

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The Wasatch Back Student Art Show, which runs at the Kimball Art Center through July 25, is an annual celebration of young artists from the Summit and Wasatch counties.
Tanzi Propst / Park Record

Textiles, groceries and everyday objects inspired more than 150 students from the Summit and Wasatch districts who submitted art for the Wasatch Back Student Art Show 2021, which opens June 26 at the Kimball Art Center.

“You worked on these pieces for the last year,” said Nancy Stoaks, curator at Kimball Art Center. “Most of them were created in school projects, some of them by students at home.”

Among the objects, visitors will find pieces depicting turntables, suitcases and reused snowboards, and all of the works have been influenced by the material cultural and textile artists Marie Watt, Adrian Esparza and Elodie Blanchard, who are currently showing their works in the KAC exhibition. “The stories woven in it.”



Opening both shows on the same weekend accomplishes part of the art center’s mission to inspire, said Aldy Milliken, executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

“What I love about this type of show is that community members come to the Kimball Art Center to see the work of these students in context with the work of other professional artists,” said Milliken. “We know our young artist community wants to see their work, but they will also see the work of Adrian, Elodie and Marie. And that will give them a better understanding of the professional art world. “



Showing both exhibits at the same time for a few weeks reminds Milliken of an experience he had as managing director of the KMAC Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

“In 2013, I curated an exhibition with an artist who won the Kentucky Scholastic Art Award in high school, and after 10 years, he ended up showing his work in the best New York galleries and around the world,” said Milliken . “He came back to Kentucky and was doing a young artist show at the same time so the young artists could see someone who was once they were and they could imagine getting where he was when they wanted to commit To become an artist. “

Sculptures of a computer keyboard, worn suitcase, and other everyday objects created by students in the Summit and Wasatch districts are some of the centerpieces of the Kimball Art Center’s annual Wasatch Back Student Art Show, which runs through July 25th.
Tanzi Propst / Park Record

The Wasatch Back Student Art Show will remain open until July 25th when their showroom is being remodeled to accommodate the Kimball Art Center’s Artist-in-Resident exhibit by Salt Lake-based artist Jorge Rojas.

Jorge Rojas’ interactive art installation “People of the Corn” at the Kimball Art Center requires public help in making corn figures for the finished project. Rojas, a renowned curator and educator, is the center’s artist-in-residence.
Tanzi Propst / Park Record

“Through corn, Jorge is creating artistic opportunities for connecting communities and the way that corn has been such a spiritual and cultural hub for people across America,” said Stoaks. “He’s going to be doing some amazing things all summer and we want the community to be engaging, participating and excited.”

Rojas chose corn as the centerpiece of his projects because, according to Millken, it has been used in a variety of ways.

“Jorge uses corn to look at ritual, history, community, and food as entry points to getting people into a contemporary, civic art practice, which he’s been doing for years,” he said. “We are in the process of setting the dates for the programs he will run.”

One of the programs on the list will be a joint arts event with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Milliken said.

“He’s our artist-in-residence so he’ll be here on certain days to engage our visitors, and he’s also doing a project with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art,” he said. “So we’re planning a joint event sometime in July. We’re in discussions about when that will happen. “

In the meantime, the public can now start another Rojas project, Stoaks said.

“He’s creating a mandala at the Kimball Art Center that will be surrounded by corn figures created by members of the community,” she said. “We are preparing supplies so that Kimball visitors can make art that will be part of the collaborative projects exhibition that opens on August 12th.”

The artist-in-residence is a new program at the Kimball Art Center, Milliken said.

“It’s another way for us to connect with the community,” he said. “We have incredible resources in nature and outdoors. So if we can enable more artistic research, we will help artists with their careers, and they help us by teaching, training and contacting us here. “



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