The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) celebrated its last days with a flurry of dancing, museum tours and some of the best waffles in the state.

Now the UMFA is closed until 2017 for building upgrades. If you missed the two-day celebration or if you will miss the calm and quiet space, you might be sad at the thought of waiting for a year to engage with the museum. Don’t fear, though — staff and curators will be providing numerous opportunities for everyone to remain in touch with artwork and to get out and explore the more creative side of the Salt Lake area.


While most of us may automatically relegate art to museums, there is a growing movement toward land art — typically, large installations and sculptures set in out-of-the-way locations. Utah is home to some of the greatest examples of this artistic movement, such as Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty,” located in the Salt Lake. The UMFA is hosting a series of talks, films and meet-ups to explore these pieces more deeply.

spiral jetty 3

The first of these events is a talk by artist Mark Brest van Kempen on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. about the influence of land art in his work, where he uses the landscape as his material and his stage. On Feb. 25, the museum staff is showing a documentary highlighting some of the great landscape works in the world, many of which are inaccessible to the public.

These events are free and open to the public, primarily taking place in the Gould Auditorium in the Marriott Library, with the exception of a community meet-up at the Sun Tunnels, Nancy Holt’s installation in Utah’s West Desert.

Third Saturdays for Families

Kids and their parents crowded around tables, carving their names using hieroglyphics into clay scarabs and jewelry on Saturday. This was the final installment of the Third Saturdays for Families the UMFA held in their building this year. A mish-mash of crafts and education, these days allow kids to express themselves while teaching them about the history of certain art movements and their histories. During the closure these programs will continue to be held but will move to the auditorium of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts & Education Complex.

Next month’s Saturday is “Drawing with Art Dice,” which will teach kids to use games to make practicing drawing more fun. Attendees can make their own dice, then roll them to get random suggestions for creating their own pieces of art.

These events are held on a first-come, first-served basis.


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