The unhealthy haze that infiltrates the Salt Lake Valley during the winter months is usually a topic for news reports. At times, it is the worst in the nation, so local filmmaker Alex Haworth found more than enough inspiration for molding an artistic statement out of the murk. His three-minute, 40- second film Smog Lake City: Main Street—posted in January on YouTube—was an impressionistic, moody take on the mist. The film, which at times seems to dance in the diffused light, traces the paths of people making their way through the pollution.
Adrian Anderton found a similar impulse to curate The Smog Show, inviting artists to respond to the muck that sometimes seems like a visible veil between this world and another, just outside our reach—like, say, Park City. The sheer amount of discussion his idea generated proved that the subject would be a fertile field for creating art.
Work by painters Laura Decker and Jen Sorensen and screen printers Brian Taylor and Cameron Bently reveal distinct responses to the indistinct, what is lost or obscured from view in the gloom. The glass works by Sarinda Jones (pictured above) portray perhaps the most penetrating impression made by the inversion: portrait-size glass panels lit up by LEDs, intended to resemble an X-ray.
Hopefully, all this might even somehow convince government officials to take their heads out of the sand and see that something should be done.
The Smog Show @ Bayleaf Cafe, 159 S. Main, 801-637-6181, through March 31.