Her story is one of survival, strength, courage, horror and guilt. As one of the few survivors of the notorious Ted Bundy, Rhonda Stapley is speaking out about her horrific experience in her new book, I Survived Ted Bundy: The Attack, Escape & PTSD that Changed My Life at the Viridian Event Center, hosted by the Kings English Bookshop.
Known for his good looks and charm, Bundy lured Stapley, a young Mormon virgin and University of Utah student, into his Volkswagen Beetle by offering her a ride as she waited for a bus that was running late. Soon after she got into the car, he said he was going to kill her. Bundy viciously attacked her in a Utah canyon in October 1974, and her astonishing escape leaves her one of the few to tell the tale of an encounter with one of America's most infamous serial killers.
Stapley hopes that her story will help save lives. She stayed silent for more than 40 years in fear that she would be judged and ridiculed as the girl that was raped. It was after another Utah girl was almost abducted by Bundy that she saw his photo on the news and realized it was the same man who had attacked her. She speaks to the guilt she felt over not having reported the assault sooner.
Though she is still filled with regret of having accepted the ride from a stranger in the first place, she has worked hard to ensure her story has a happy ending. She has been able to move on, and is a wife, mother and a pharmacist. (Aimee L. Cook)
Rhonda Stapley @ Viridian Events Center, 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan, 801-948-7858, 7 p.m., free, books available for purchase. ViridianCenter.org
It's a given that visual artists all utilize their own idiosyncratic modes of expression combining the lexicon of paint and brush, as well as other materials. Each of the seven artists featured in the Rio Gallery's DemoGraphics exhibit has developed their own visual idiom to create works that communicate to the viewer in their own discrete dialect, producing a community of local artists in microcosm.
Liberty Blake's collages are very much in the manner of early 20th century Dadaist works, combining a somewhat restrained, austere compositional sense with materials like industrial wrapping and newsprint. These works converse on the level of historical reference, and they evoke not only a unique period in the history of art but also geopolitical events at the time, like World War I.
Rebecca Klundt's paintings use reclaimed wood and other found materials that enforce their own compositional restrictions, sometimes resembling blocks of farmland as seen from an airplane, or walls of buildings, formed from pieces of irregular-size wood. A statement about environment and ecology is the result.
Justin Wheatley's oils use the rhetoric of architectural drawings, real estate photographs and landscape art to generate a discussion of the house as metaphor for its resident: Groups of houses seem to confer with each other. Other artists in the exhibit are Paige Anderson, Jenna von Benedikt, Linnie Brown and Joseph Ostraff.
The works in DemoGraphics attempt to create a dialogue with the viewer and with each other as well, and demonstrate ways in which various visual languages don't generate a cacophony, but can invite a deeper sense of engagement. (Brian Staker)
DemoGraphics @ Rio Gallery, 300 South Rio Grande St. (455 West), 801-238-7555, through Sept. 2. Heritage.Utah.gov
Love Letters: A Gallery of Type
Fonts surround us on a daily basis. Some styles are more common than others, some are more pleasing than others (don't even get me started on the atrocity that is Comic Sans), but though we rarely think about it, they all came from somewhere.
The vast selection of fonts we take for granted, after a process in which handwriting developed into script, were preceded by typefaces, Luise Poulton, rare books managing curator at the University of Utah's Marriott Library, says. It is here, on Levels 1, 4 and 5 that an entire exhibition, titled Love Letters: A Gallery of Type, is on display.
"This exhibition is a celebration of type, typographers and printers, from Johann Gutenberg, who developed printing with movable type, to Bruce Rogers, an American typographer and book designer," Poulton says.
The exhibit is also meant to remind viewers that writing itself, whatever it may describe, can be art by showing how font fits that characterization. "Type has personality, flair and style that often matches the time and place. It can often age quickly, or it can become classic," Poulton says. "Good type grabs our attention. Great type keeps our attention."
Wondering how the title fits in here? "Love Letters is a play on words," Poulton says, where the "letters" in the title refers to the individual letterings of type, and "love" refers to the celebratory aspect of the exhibition.
Love Letters: A Gallery of Type @ Marriott Library, 295 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-585-6168, through Sept. 30, free. Lib.Utah.edu
The internet age has birthed many unlikely online celebrities, who have turned DIY videos into a fan base. But few of those celebrities are as unlikely as Miranda, a nasal-voiced, loudly belching, lipstick-smeared woman whose videos find her doing atonal, blissfully un-self-aware covers of pop hits like "Shake It Off," reacting to pop-culture phenomenon like Pokémon Go ("Did I just unlock a portal to making monsters live inside my freaking house?"), obsessing over fellow YouTube star Joey Graceffa or providing tutorials on how to be a model.
Except that Miranda isn't real. In 2008, actress/comedian Colleen Ballinger created Miranda as a scary-accurate parody of YouTube stars with no apparent sense of their lack of talent, screen presence or qualifications to comment on absolutely anything. More than one billion views of the "Miranda Sings" YouTube channel later—that's "billion" with a B—the Andy Kaufman-esque long-con that is Miranda has taken on a life of her own, including a best-selling 2015 book titled Selp-Helf, in-character appearances on The Tonight Show and Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, an upcoming Netflix original series with the title of her catch-phrase Haters Back Off and live performances around the world.
She'll be bringing the latter to Salt Lake City this week, as the Miranda Sings theatrical experience comes to the Capitol Theatre. The shows have typically included "musical" numbers, audience participation, magic tricks, readings from her hate mail and never-before-seen video material, all with that singular malapropping obliviousness that is Miranda. (Scott Renshaw)
Miranda Sings @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 801-355-2787, July 30, 8 p.m., $37.50. ArtSaltLake.ArtTix.org