Utah has a pretty rich history when it comes to spawning and/or influencing radical and eclectic thinkers. Uconoclasts is an art project meant to both highlight and celebrate all those mavericks and their contributions that make our collective century-and-a-half of history a unique and intriguing story.
The umbrella project consists of three separate suites that together will spotlight 36 of Utah’s past intellectuals. The first, Literary Utah, opens this weekend during the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and runs in conjunction with Plan-B Theatre Company’s upcoming premiere, Wallace—a play about authors Wallace Stegner and Wallace Thurman. The second and third installments of the series will arrive sometime later this year and focus respectively on visual and performing artists of Utah.
For this inaugural suite, antiquarian book dealer Ken Sanders and visual artist Trent Call pair up to present word and visual portraits of a dozen literary figures, including Stegner (pictured), Edward Abbey, Juanita Brooks, May Swenson, Bernard DeVoto and Fawn Brodie. Although several of these people did actually call Utah home, it’s the back story of how others are connected to Utah that gives the project some interesting depth—like the fact that Beat luminary Neal Cassady and Harlem Renaissance author Wallace Thurman were born here. The show will feature both original broadsides and paintings of the artists combined with new portraiture by Call of these select Utah literary elite.
Uconoclasts: Suite One—Literary Utah @ Rose Wagner Art Gallery, 138 W. Broadway, Feb. 19-March 14, reception Feb. 19, 5-9 p.m.; Shadow Show @ Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, Feb. 19-March 14, KenSandersBooks.com