Linnie Brown: Maps of Insufficient Clarity
Lehi-based artist Linnie Brown isn't a fashion designer by trade, but the concept behind her solo show Maps of Insufficient Clarity began with a unique clothing project when she was a graduate student at the University of Utah. Visiting artist J. Morgan Puett had created an assignment where, rather than using traditional pattern shapes for a piece of clothing, the students used templates derived from specific physical sites. While the resulting articles of clothing were, as Brown notes in her artist statement, "barely functional," the idea inspired her own exploration of how people are shaped by the key physical locations of their lives, and their experiences in those places.
The collages represented in this show dive into the idea that, as Brown describes in a phone interview, "We're an accumulation of all the experiences we've had in different places." Among the shapes represented in these works are the floorplan of her childhood home, her elementary and junior high schools and the boundary maps of cities where she's lived. Using mostly paper, because of how relatively easy it is to manipulate, she put those pieces together in evocative ways.
"I was thinking about this time when I was in graduate school and got this idea started; that was super stressful," Brown says of the origin of one piece. "So I picked three places—the university, my home and my kids' school. In that particular artwork, I was trying to work with the interaction between those three places." Those interactions provide more clarity than the show's title might modestly suggest. (Scott Renshaw)
Linnie Brown: Maps of Insufficient Clarity @ Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, 801-596-5000, through Aug. 4, free, saltlakearts.org
Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration
It's a lucky thing that America marks its birthday in the summer, even though, of course, that means ol' Uncle Sam never got to have a party during the school year. That July 4 birthday means that we get to mark the occasion outdoors, enjoying all the glory of the country's natural beauty—including our own purple mountains' majesty.
The Utah Symphony brings its annual Independence Day-themed Patriotic Celebration to Deer Valley's Snow Park Amphitheater, offering an opportunity to feel the spirit move you under the wide mountain skies. Conductor Jerry Steichen leads a program that includes both familiar, make-you-wanna-stand-and-salute standards ("Battle Hymn of the Republic," the U.S. Marines hymn, "Yankee Doodle") and stirring compositions by the likes of Aaron Copland and John Williams. Plus, it's hard to imagine anything more American than a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Accompanying several songs is vocalist Lisa Vroman (pictured), whose Broadway and touring credits include The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. Vroman is performing a medley of old-timey classics like "Simple Gifts," while also sharing tunes like "When Did I Fall in Love" from the musical Fiorello! And while your first association with America's birthday might not be the two Swedish guys from ABBA, the lyrics of "Anthem"—from the Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Chess—offer a lovely idea to remember: "No man, no madness/ Though their sad power may prevail/ Can possess, conquer, my country's heart." (SR)
Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration @ Deer Valley Resort Snow Park Amphitheater, 2250 Deer Valley Drive, Park City, 801-355-2787, July 1, 7:30 p.m., $15-$93, utahsymphony.org
Independence Day events
One of the best parts of Fourth of July in Utah is how easy it is to find a party suitable for all ages. Everyone seems to know of some local barbecue, or someone with a small stash of fireworks to set off. But if you're looking for something with a little more flair than a local cookout or personal fireworks show, there are many bigger parties for the public to enjoy.
The state's largest patriotic bash, America's Freedom Festival in Provo, kicks off June 30 and rolls right on through July 4. Guests can see country stars Little Big Town, comedian Brian Regan, a fireworks show, the Grand Parade, 25 hot air balloons take off and much more.
If you're feeling up for a more traditional picnic-and-a-show event, Salt Lake City's Independence Day Celebration in Jordan Park is free to all. The park is open all day, but the real fun starts at 6 p.m., when the food trucks arrive, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. Tara Olson, events manager for the Gallivan Center, which helped organize the show, says the feeling of togetherness is what sets big, communal events like theirs apart. "The positive energy and unity felt in the audience in this show is incredible," she says. "The cheers and applause that are heard throughout a communal Fourth of July fireworks show make all the difference."
For a boatload of additional Independence Day entertainment options—like the popular arts fest and fireworks in Sugar House Park—check out City Weekly's article "Baby You're a Firework," included in our 2017 Summer Guide. (Kylee Ehmann)
America's Freedom Festival @ Center Street, Provo, 801-818-1776, June 30-July 4, times and prices vary, freedomfestival.org
Independence Day Celebration @ Jordan Park, 1060 S. 900 West, food trucks, 6 p.m.; fireworks, 10 p.m., free, slcgov.com
Comedian Doug Benson has a lot to say, and when he says it, he might not remember having said it. Benson has become as much a part of marijuana culture as rattails, tie-dye and Taco Bell promotional menus. He's always willing, too, to lace his cannabis with humor—or vice versa—wherever he can manage.
After a 30-year career in stand-up, acting and podcasting, Benson is trying his own special brand of courtroom drama: The High Court with Doug Benson premiered in February on Comedy Central. It features comedian guest bailiffs alongside guest litigants. Benson presides over the small-claims suits with a balance in one hand and a bong in the other. His bubbly disinterest in the cases provides entertaining relief from the complainants and defendants who exhibit apprehension instilled by courtroom decorum; "I'm a little fuzzy on what the word 'affidavit' means," he says in one episode.
Although many of us were introduced to Benson through his TV appearances over the past few decades, there is a growing minority who know Benson as the popular podcaster behind Getting Doug with High and Doug Loves Movies—the title of the latter being unquestionable. His guests have included the real Leonard Maltin, but also such greats as Werner Herzog (played by Paul F. Tompkins) and Mark Wahlberg (Daniel Van Kirk). You have to appreciate Benson's love for both movies and weed. In terms of sheer tonnage, he's probably emptied more marijuana fields than the South American spider mite, and watched more movies than a locked-in-syndrome patient with a work-shy nurse. (Rex Magana)
Doug Benson @ Wiseguys SLC, 194 S. 400 West, 801-532-5233, July 5, 7:30 p.m., $20, wiseguyscomedy.com