Utah Museum of Fine Arts Celebrates Faculty Creativity With Site Lines


Photo courtesy Mindy Wilson

By Marshall Falkner

I went to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts for their public unveiling of the new “Site Lines” exhibit on Sept. 27. This mixed media exhibit from the University of Utah Art Department Faculty has been a year in the making, complete with video, paint on wood and molded acrylic pieces. The crowd of the unveiling was sociable and different from an average museum-going experience, but it was enjoyable. Mainly comprised of art students, alumni and teachers from the U, the crowded museum was abuzz with questions and comments about the presented art.

I was lucky enough to talk to Felicia Baca, the curator of the exhibit, as well as the woman who came up with the theme of “Site Lines.” We talked briefly about the exhibit as a whole, and how she came up with the theme. She noted that she came up with “Site Lines” after seeing all of the art pieces together and how much the motifs of lines and perception came up frequently. On the wall, a series of paragraphs help to explain what the exhibit is about.

“In urban planning and theater, sight lines are areas that protect a particular line of sight for a space that is seen as precious or important. Faculty plays a crucial role in facilitating unobstructed views of social and cultural issues for students.”

This certain statement opens the exhibit explanation, and Baca and I touched on this idea in our own conversation as well. Baca has presented several art curations at other institutions, but she says that this is the first exhibit that has featured art created by faculty members only.

One point that she emphasized, which I found very poignant, was the importance of faculty having the chance to show their opinion through their art. With how politically charged some of the art is, it was a new and interesting view of the world that I was able to experience, thanks to Baca, the UMFA staff and all of the incredible artists who teach here at this university.

Even though all of the art was exquisite, some of my favorites were the three pieces by Andrew Rice, especially “Stuck in a Corner.” I also loved “Your Memory is Already Fading” from Wendy Wischer, a clear, molded acrylic statue of several endangered and extinct flowers, with such attention to detail and fantastic preservation that I thought that the piece was glass at first glance.

“Your Memory is Already Fading” photo courtesy Mindy Wilson

If you would like to learn more about the exhibit and the museum, you can go to UMFA’s website.

The “Site Lines” exhibit will be open until Jan. 8, so you have plenty of time to see all of the fantastic art from the U’s faculty. I can’t wait to see what UMFA has next.

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