Zoo, Arts & Parks Blog
Don't be a Scrooge, enter to win ZAP Ticket Tuesday tickets
2 winners have been chosen to see the theatrical production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Hale Centre Theatre (December 9-24). Stay tuned for future giveaways!
The Power of Poison | Ticket Tuesday Giveaway from NHMU
Winners have been chosen for this ZAP Ticket Tuesday giveaway to see the POWER OF POISON exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah (October 15 - April 16).
Stay tuned for future giveaways!
How Red Butte Garden keeps a tradition fresh
Missing Tradition in this Modern World
How many times have you said, “we used to…”? It might be “we used to bike to school,” “go on picnics,” or “collect leaves in the fall.” Halloween is especially ripe for tradition with rich stories of how we used to be outside and how the holiday used to be about costumes and evening fun and less about shopping mall candy grabs or terrifying thrill experiences. Red Butte Garden has hosted a Halloween tradition since 1998 called Garden After Dark. Every year a new theme related to the Garden and the Halloween season is
selected, resulting in craft and activity stations that sneak a little education into the event and provide a fresh experience for returning guests. The event takes place throughout the Garden, with themed craft and entertainment stations both indoors and outdoors.
Each night 60 staff and volunteers in costumes help guests have an amazing experience over the weekends leading up to Halloween. Perhaps you’ll find family traditions among the fire barrels, craft stations, performers, or Garden light and décor displays. We’ve found the things
people enjoy the most are traditional and include: having a place to celebrate Halloween where their children are safe, all ages wearing costumers, no candy, nothing scary and experiences that are sneakily educational.
Who organizes the event each year?
Since 2010 it’s been LaraLee Smith. Smith is the Family & Community Programs Manager at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has worked with various nonprofits coordinating summer camps, children’s classes, a middle school science outreach
program, and classroom based environmental education programming. Smith holds an M.P.A. with a concentration in nonprofit management as well as a B.A. in Environmental Studies, both from The University of Utah.
Her ideas have improved the event while highlighting plant and environmental themes in traditional Halloween motifs. Past themes include Light
Up The Night, which highlighted plants and animals that are active or glow in the evening. Guests had the opportunity to create their own owl masks while discussing how owls see at night and learn about bioluminescent mushroom while creating their own glowing mushroom to take home.
The theme of Once Upon a Fairytale focused on the plants in fairytales, and guests left with a set of magic beans after visiting Jack and the Beanstalk as well as a glowing magic wand after visiting Cinderella’s fairy godmother. Plants often play a role in our traditions. Pumpkins are an
obvious one for Halloween. Many traditions revolve around the season and seasonal foods, such as watermelon and fresh herbs in summer and squash at Thanksgiving. How about cranberries, bay leaves, and pine boughs as plants used in winter? But, we are talking about Halloween.
After Dark is celebrating Haunted Holidays Around The World.
Visit the Garden to travel the globe! In the United States we celebrate ghosts and spirits at Halloween, but similar traditions exist in other cultures throughout the year. Discover nature’s ties to holidays and celebrations such as Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos and the Hungry Ghost Festival of China and visit the Garden’s pond aglow with lanterns in celebration of Japan’s Obon Festival. 2016 Garden After Dark dates for 2016 are October 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29.
Bryn is the Communications Director for Red Butte Garden and has a long history of nonprofit advertising, PR, marketing and planning
facilitation. Much of her career was with AT&T Wireless managing regional
advertising and national brand and sports marketing. She has been with Red
Butte Garden for seven years where good weather has been responsible for
exceptional camp, class, and concert attendance
Experimental composer performs border project at UMFA
[My] music is an
imaginary story that each object carries within itself.
One of the best parts of my job at UMFA is helping to identify which artists, lecturers, and art world figures we bring to Salt Lake City. Next month, through our new ARTLandish: Land Art, Landscape, and the
Environment series, we're hosting two exciting contemporary artists—
Guillermo Galindo and
Trevor Paglen—whose work embodies the ARTLandish mission to "investigate our complex relationship with the world around us."
I’m especially excited about bringing Galindo, a Mexican-born, Berkeley, California-based experimental composer to our community. Galindo’s Thursday, October 6, presentation at the UMFA, Sonic Border, is based on his collaboration and traveling exhibition with photographer Richard Misrach, Border Cantos, which involves fabricating musical
instruments and graphic musical scores from items recovered at the Mexico-U.S. border. Misrach has been photographing the border between the U.S. and Mexico since 2004, capturing the often-invisible landscapes and wall that separates the U.S. from our neighbors to the south. Misrach and Galindo have worked
together to create pieces that both document and transform the artifacts of migration: water bottles, clothing, spent shotgun shells, and even sections of the border wall itself, which Galindo then turns into instruments to be performed as unique sound-generating devices. In his Sonic Border presentation, Galindo will perform an original
composition on one of the instruments he's created and then discuss his work with the audience.
I experienced Border Cantos earlier this year at the San Jose Museum of Art in California. Walking through the exhibition, I encountered Galindo’s wonderfully imaginative and brilliantly constructed sculptural instruments. One such creation, Zapatello,
is based on Martello a Camme, Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanized hammering machine—which utilizes an old boot, glove, and border patrol drag tire, all found near the border wall. Shooting-target-shaped cranks, a donkey jaw, and a ram’s horn are used as stops. A rawhide is strung across the tire. The whole
piece is activated to create a drum.
Other works included Galindo’s musical scores printed on flags used by humanitarian groups as beacons for stranded migrants. One of the most moving pieces in the show was Fuente de lagrimas (Fountain of tears), in which Galindo transformed a water barrel once used as a migrant watering
station into a “fountain of tears.” This work is based on vandalized stations shot up with bullets—it drips water from small holes onto a metal plate, creating a sound that resembles light rain falling onto a metal roof.
An impressive multi-channel installation of sounds composed, performed, and recorded by Galindo filled one of the galleries. The installation was set up so that the sound of each instrument emanated from a concealed speaker. As I approached each instrument,
the pre-recorded sound from that particular instrument dominated.
At one point Galindo gave an impromptu performance on Efigie
(Effigy), a plucked string instrument based on mysterious scarecrow-like figures that Misrach discovered near the California-Mexico border.
Susan Krane, executive director at San Jose Museum of Art, eloquently points out the timeliness of this project in the Border Cantos exhibition brochure:
“Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo bring a
humanitarian perspective to the heated political debates that surround the subject
of immigration today. . . . This exhibition underscores the necessity—indeed
the human urgency—of civil dialogue about the tough issues that can divide us
most drastically as a community and as a nation, particularly this election
Galindo’s performance will begin at 7 pm in the UMFA's Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Auditorium, followed by a presentation and Q&A with the audience. The artist will be available to sign copies of Border
Cantos immediately following his presentation—copies of the book will be available for purchase. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Guillermo Galindo perform and discuss his work!
The ARTLandish series is sponsored by the S. J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation. Community partners are the University of Utah J. Willard Marriot Library, the College of Fine Arts, and the Salt Lake City Public Library.
oversees education, community engagement, and adult programming for the UMFA.
Respected as a dynamic and innovative artist and community leader, Rojas joined
the UMFA in January 2015. Before that, he was site director for the Venture
Humanities Course at Westminster College, where he promoted continuing
education among immigrant, refugee, and under-represented populations.
Additionally, he taught art history to low-income minority students at East
High through the Clemente Humanities Course and was Teaching Artist-in-Residence
at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.
The history and heritage of our buildings
When you drive through your city, you will likely see a mix
of buildings that are old and buildings that are new. Which buildings stand out
to you? Do you have favorites? No matter what buildings you like the most, you’ve
probably sensed that there is a formula to mixing old and new architecture that
makes our communities attractive and vibrant.
For fifty years, Utah Heritage Foundation has been working
closely with municipalities, business owners, developers, and property owners
to preserve and reuse historic structures in our communities. Labeling people
as “preservationists” is not for people who are only interested in saving old
buildings, but refers to the effort of people and organizations like Utah
Heritage Foundation that strive to make communities better places through
sustainable community initiatives, building local economy, and teaching
craftsmanship through preserving their inventory of old buildings.
Lake City with the historic Salt Lake Tribune Building in the foreground.
The preservation efforts in many of Utah’s commercial business
districts suggest that people like old buildings. Whether the feeling is
nostalgic or reassuring, older architecture tends to reflect where people want to spend their time. Historic structures are
often the centerpieces of our communities and create a lasting cultural value. By
preserving them we are not just preserving our community’s culture, but we are also
creating sustainability for our local economies.
help to rehabilitate a home for new residents.
Older buildings are visually distinctive which gives them intrinsic
value. They often display fine craftsmanship of a bygone era and tend to be
built with higher-quality materials. With preservation of historic
architecture, we continue to tell the story or our cultures while creating an
ever-evolving inventory of architecture.
Over the past fifty years, Utah Heritage Foundation has had
great successes as well as losses in its mission to preserve historic
architecture. The wins and losses also help to tell the story of our ever-
evolving built landscape and why we all should be involved in the discussion
about how our communities change in order to save the places that matter.
Penney Store in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy of the Utah Historical Society.
One of the many successful preservation stories is South
High School in Salt Lake City. The Art Deco style building opened its doors in
1931. After having over 30,000 students
graduate, the school closed due to dwindling enrollment. After a renovation and new addition, the
school reopened as Salt Lake Community College in 1992. The historic school continues
to be a thriving part of Salt Lake County, serving the community as a gathering
place and the flagship campus for SLCC.
and historic photos of South High School, now Salt Lake Community College.
Historic photo courtesy of Utah Historical society.
Another success of preservation is Downtown Murray where several
historic buildings create a vibrant presence on State Street. At its heart is the Desert Star Theatre,
which was originally built as the Iris Theater.
The theater, along with its attached apartments and commercial building,
is significant for its role in the original development and later
revitalization of Murray City. With its combination of entertainment, retail,
and residential space, the building represents a multi-use commercial block
that was common during the early twentieth-century and is popular again as a key
part of urban revitalization.
Street in Murray.
A community’s Main Street is usually the commercial core,
although over time some of the commercial nodes have moved to different parts
of the city. Salt Lake City’s Main
Street is still the commercial hub of the city, but in other communities like
Magna and Midvale, their historic Main Streets are no longer the commercial
core, but are in a state of adaptive use and revitalization. Getting kids of
all ages interested in preserving architecture can help teach them about the
history of their community and the importance of art and culture. Utah Heritage Foundation produced an
illustrated book titled, “It Happened on Main Street,” that walks school-aged
children through the importance of having a thriving commercial and
entertainment district in our communities.
Magna, and Salt Lake City Main Streets all feature great historic buildings
with new uses.
Some preservation successes are tied to the public’s support,
while others are done by individuals fighting for a specific cause. One of Utah Heritage Foundation’s successes
where the public was integral in the outcome was for what some people
considered the most important building in Salt Lake County, the Salt Lake City
and County Building. The building was
originally constructed by free masons between 1891 and 1894 to house offices
for the city and county of Salt Lake. It also served as Utah's Capitol from when
statehood was granted in 1896 until the present Utah State Capitol was
completed in 1916.
of livestock to be sold at auction. Photo courtesy of Utah Historical Society.
In the mid-1980’s there was talk of demolishing the Salt
Lake City and County Building to build a new structure. Utah Heritage Foundation was very involved,
along with political leaders and community members, to advocate for
rehabilitation of this prominent building.
With the community now invested in preserving this building there have
been several preservation projects, including a recent seismic retrofit and
stone restoration, which will help preserve this building for future
Lake City and County Building.
Recently, Salt Lake County and Utah Heritage Foundation have
supported the nomination of mid-century modern homes to the National Register
of Historic Places (NRHP). The NRHP is a list of architecturally significant
structures across the United States and provides honorary designation. The
homes were all built by renowned architect Cliff May, who was a prominent
mid-century designer from Southern California that is credited with the
popularity of the Ranch house style. While it may not be commonly considered
that Ranch houses are historically significant, they reflect a culturally
significant transition in Utah from a more urban culture to a suburban
lifestyle. Architecture is after all, a form of visual art, and art is subject
to personal taste.
Three homes designed by Cliff May with a floor
While the successes are to be celebrated, the losses are
important as tools for learning toward the next preservation issue. One of the
recent unsuccessful efforts occurred when the West Jordan Sugar Factory was
demolished in 2010. The West Jordan Sugar Factory Committee met for several
years to discuss what reuse options might exist for the complex. The project
had the support of the elected leaders of the community and several volunteer
organizations. The conclusion of a feasibility study determined that there was
a high demand for arts and cultural space in West Jordan and on the west side
of the Salt Lake Valley for small organizations, and that the Sugar Factory was
a unique location for these uses. A
change in elected leadership at the city changed direction for the
project and lead to the buildings being demolished within a year of the
Jordan Sugar Factory (demolished). Historic
photo courtesy of Utah Historical Society.
As the Salt Lake Valley continues to grow and become more
densely populated, the idea of reusing our existing built landscape will
become ever more important in order to conserve ever-scarcer resources and save
money. It will also become increasingly important to recognize the differences
in styles and what they represented culturally in the development of the county.
Creating the new cityscape, blending historic architecture with great new
design, is one of the most visible forms of expression of community values, and
all over Salt Lake County there are opportunities to preserve those structures
that will continue to represent our evolving cultures and those values.
Foundation creating awareness for Modern architecture.
Flanders is the Public Outreach Director for Utah Heritage Foundation.
This year, Utah Heritage Foundation celebrates its 50th Anniversary continuing
our mission to keep the past alive, not only for preservation, but to inspire
and provoke a more creative present and sustainable future.