- Farris Gerard
Dark: If anything describes the way 2020 has felt, it's "dark." We're desperate for joyous light, and as the days get shorter, it's only more necessary. That makes this year's addition to Utah Arts Alliance's fourth annual Illuminate Light Art & Creative Tech Festival such a blessing. Welcome to Lumen Land.
Located at the Arts Hub (663 W. 100 South), Lumen Land employs 17,000 feet of outdoor space for a COVID-safe installation of art pieces focused around light. The walk-through labyrinth unites three-dimensional art and technology in large-scale and small-scale formats, including multiple photo opportunities. Participating creators include Michael Willden (The Laserium), Brody Froelich (Dichroic Skull), Ted Crenshaw (The Spectral Zephyr), Katia Dion Racine and Cami Chatterton (Re-Build Fairy House), Mark Hammond (Pollen Power), Sophista Pirates (The Barbarann), Steven Wynn Bride (Earth Window), Alex Gennett and Paige Collett (Salt Mind) and even UAA executive director Derek Dyer himself (The Illuminator & Jelly Roll Art Car). It's a whimsical, fascinating experience that provides a glow for the whole family, with plenty of engaging photo opportunities.
Reserved tickets are available online at showclix.com/event/dreamscapes-presents-lumen-land- for $10 per person. Select a specific time 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. to ensure a socially-distanced experience for all guest parties, Nov. 19-22 and Nov. 26-29. In the event of inclement weather, advance-purchased tickets can be exchanged for another date. Visit illuminatesaltlake.org for more information about Lumen Land, as well as the other wonderful events of the Illuminate festival experience. (Scott Renshaw)
- Levi Jackson
Ogden Contemporary Arts: Constructed
At a time when it feels like opportunities to experience the arts are diminished, it's encouraging to look forward to a new chapter in the Utah arts community. This month, Ogden Contemporary Arts celebrates the opening of its new Ogden Contemporary Arts Center (455 25th St., Ogden, ogdencontemporaryarts.org) with a joint exhibition of regional artists, and a virtual tour of facility.
Constructed, guest curated by Modern West Fine Art and running now through Dec. 27, showcases the work of three gifted artists. Self-taught Salt Lake City resident and Modern West Fine Art artist-in-residence Andrew Alba presents mixed-media paintings and sculpture addressing America's history of oppression, often employing materials rescued from construction sites to emphasize the work of manual laborers. Utah native photographer Levi Jackson (his work is pictured) revisits the mythical understanding of the American West through a contemporary lens. And University of Utah graduate Shalee Cooper contributes compositions emphasizing the collision of positive and negative space. The entire exhibition is available online via the OCA website and YouTube, including artist conversations about their work and their creative process.
Also available at ogdencontemporaryarts.org is a virtual tour of the new space itself. The OCA Center includes the Arts Garage main gallery space; a Digital Art Room providing a location for interactive and virtual reality/augmented reality experiences for visitors; an additional gallery space on the 2nd floor; and loft workspaces for OCA's artists-in-residence. Celebrate this new addition, and a collaboration between art organizations to help support the entire local scene, by visiting virtually this week. (SR)
- Pam Taylor
Between Underground & Skyworld Cyberspace
The performance Between Underground & Skyworld by indigenous dance troupe Dancing Earth was originally conceived as an in-person theatrical experience. But adapting on the fly is the name of the game for arts organizations in 2020, and thus the work—exploring themes of survival from apocalypse—was re-conceived as a mini-series of recorded episodes including complex visual imagery.
Contributing greatly to this new Between Underground & Skyworld Cyberspace was University of Texas dance student Azteca Sirias, who in addition to their extensive dance background is an autodidact in video game and web design. That combination of skills made Sirias a perfect choice when they were approached to contribute. "By the time I was brought on, COVID was very real," they say. "I was contacted in June and told, 'This is going to be a virtual show, we want to amp it up. We don't want just videos of dancers; we want an interactive experience."
The result is what Sirias refers to as "immersive augmented reality with movement," expanding the idea of dance beyond a proscenium stage. "It's not just dancers dancing [but] a whole alternative reality where some of it has happened and some of it is hyper-real. ... It's not a flat narrative. It's not just a dance show."
The live, virtual performance takes place Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., followed by an interactive "Reflection Pool" with the dancers. Tickets are available via utahpresents.org for $20 for an individual plus special prices for students and groups, which allows access to both the live performance and five pre-recorded episodes. (SR)
- A.J. Mellor
Christmas in Color
In a year when many holiday traditions might feel more difficult or more risky to enjoy—assuming they're happening at all—families might be looking for anything that ticks off certain boxes: Is it appropriate for the whole family? Can everyone enjoy it safely as COVID transmission numbers continue to climb? And does it deliver that boost of Christmas spirit that we all probably need right about now?
Check, check and check again for Christmas in Color, the annual spectacle that returns this year to the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center (11161 S. 2200 West, South Jordan, animatedcolor.com). Vehicles get a chance to drive through a dazzling display of more than one and a half million lights in vibrant, animated displays of trees, characters, archways and more. The lights dance to the beat of classic holiday songs broadcast over your car radio, while you take a leisurely drive through the mile-long course, making it a multimedia sensory experience that folks of all ages can enjoy secure with your domestic "bubble."
Tickets are available for reserved slots 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. on operating evenings beginning Nov. 20, at a flat rate of $30 per vehicle, unlimited but street-legal occupancy; during the first hour on midweek days, you can even bring a friend's car along to get in for free. As attraction CEO Todd Glover shared with City Weekly in 2019, Our goal is to give families a way to create unforgettable Christmas memories together without ever having to leave the warmth and comfort of your car." (SR)