Fall and Winter Arts at the U Flourish Amid Pandemic



(Photo by Adam Fondren | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Hannah Keating, Arts Editor


Even as the days grow colder and the University of Utah campus barrels into a semester wrap-up featuring online instruction, the arts here at the U continue to flourish. A plethora of events planned for the remainder of the fall semester and into the winter are engaging students, faculty, and audiences alike in creative action. These events will be available to audiences through the university’s Arts Pass program. 


Art and Art History

Currently, the Department of Art and Art History has been celebrating retired painting and drawing professor Tom Hoffman with an exhibition in their Gittens Gallery. For students who have been impacted by his work or are newly discovering him, it is a safe and immersive event taking place on campus.

Virtually, for the past several weeks, the department has also been hosting a series of discussions with “Visiting Artists.” Previously, visual artist and author John F. Simon Jr. and multimedia creator Jeannette Ehlers spoke to both faculty and students about their work professionally and academically. On Nov. 11, designer Michelle Bowers will join the line-up, focusing on her work in typography and printmaking. In the new year, on Jan. 27, sculptor Ilana Harris-Babou is expected to share her work in this engaging series. Information on access to these events is available through the Department of Art and Art History website



At the close of every semester comes a swath of talented performers in the School of Music who present the culmination of semester-long hard work and creative prowess with end-of-semester recitals and concerts.

The recitals of master’s students, graduating seniors, DMA candidates and more student-artists on a variety of instruments will be available to stream online through the College of Fine Arts website. Though some ensemble performances have been postponed, many, including guitar and jazz ensembles, will present their work in end-of-semester concerts — also digitally available to patrons.



The Theatre Department, hot on the heels of its live-streamed production of Rachel Bublitz’s “The Night Witches,” presents “Henry V,” to be shown in the coming semester. Set to run Jan. 29 through Feb. 6, the virtual show features guest director Stephanie Weeks. 

Though that wraps up the university-hosted productions of the fall and winter seasons, student group Open Door Productions is hosting auditions and performances for their season of productions, featuring both newly devised and unknown favorites. Currently, members of the Department of Theatre have written and produced a new comedy web series available on YouTube called “Theatrics Online,” exploring what virtual musicals might look like. 



The School of Dance is also coming off of a successful October with their presentation of the Performing Dance Company, which features guest artists and upper-level class members. Coming up soon, the graduate students in the Modern Dance Program are hosting a three-part culmination of their work through November and December, available digitally to the public.

The Ballet Program is also continuing with its annual showcase, held this year on the weekend of Nov. 12–14. Beyond that, student dancers are immersed in creating their own work on various platforms, often showcased on social media, experimenting with the integration of Screendance and collaborating with the Film Department.


Film and Media Arts

Film here at the U is also thriving with this year’s F&MAD Film Festival, which took place on Oct. 19 as a drive-in movie event. At the festival, both undergraduate and graduate students were able to showcase all of their hard work on the big screen.

Though the Department of Film and Media Arts isn’t hosting any official events for the remainder of the semester, it’s a reminder that art goes beyond the performances available to the public. Students are making it happen every day in the classrooms and workspaces of the university, even virtually.

As difficult as this time has been for the arts, there are still events to pay attention to, even if they’ve taken on a new form than what we are used to. If you are looking to be involved in the arts on campus, use the technology at your fingertips to engage with the students who are making it happen all around us — through social media, on smaller screens, using technology in revolutionary ways.

Further information on all campus arts events can be found on the College of Fine Arts website and event calendar


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