No matter your feelings about 2016—bad year or the worst year?—you're still probably looking toward 2017 with trepidation. But art, as much as anything else, can offer hope and inspiration. City Weekly A&E writers pondered their resolutions for the next year regarding how best to take advantage of the gifts provided by Utah artists.
Kylee Ehmann: I have vivid memories of the first time I stepped into one of Ogden's many art displays. I remember it so clearly because my first visit was earlier this year, in June, when I stumbled into White Space Gallery. It was full of beautifully abstracted paintings and cubist sculpture, all created by local artists' hands, and I wanted more. But despite living in Ogden for more than two decades, I had no idea where to begin. I knew all the small galleries of Salt Lake City, but I couldn't have listed two places to view art in my own hometown if I tried. I've been slowly working on expanding my knowledge of Ogden's art scene, exploring the galleries in the historic Union Station I had never noticed before, and strolling through the Victorian mansion-turned-Eccles Community Art Center (Ogden4Arts.org). But six months in, I feel like I've barely even scuffed the surface. So my 2017 resolution is to delve deeper into a community I've been blind to for years, and to meet the creators within.
Katherine Pioli: This year's dance resolution is to treat myself to more dance classes. Trust me, it's a good idea for people who grew up dancing, as well as for those who've never tried a single plié. Why? Just like sports, dance is a workout for our minds and our bodies, improving coordination, mental agility, flexibility and balance. It also raises appreciation for the art. After a class, you'll realize the talent and hard work behind all of our amazing professional dancers and companies. Here are a few classes for adults of all skill levels to check out this year: Samba Fogo Afro-Brazilian classes every Thursday night (SambaFogo.com/Classes); Repertory Dance Theatre adult classes for ballet, modern and hip-hop Monday-Friday evenings (RDTUtah.org/DanceClasses); BBoy Federation classes Tuesday and Thursday nights (BBoyFed.com/BBoy-Classes).
Gavin Sheehan: My resolution is to go to more solo art shows. Solo exhibitions are in short supply, and while a group show might give an artist safe exposure, a solo show can enlighten and enrich the artist—and a viewer, as part of the audience—in greater ways. I have a better sense of the artist's style, message, concept and even as a person when I'm surrounded by their work. Group exhibitions offer a small window into an artist, and I need more from art than the visual equivalent of a greatest-hits collection. No modern artist who has ever become a success or stood the test of time creatively did so by hiding among dozens. They rose up, took chances, showed off everything—including the works they hated—and let the masses decide.
Brian Staker: In the age of DIY, artisanal everything and craft-making attaining hipster status on par with indie rock, maybe you hit a few art openings on Gallery Stroll night and think to yourself, "Why can't I do something like that?" I certainly have. Local classes and workshops provide something for almost anyone to nurture their inner Picasso, and these are just a few: Saltgrass Printmakers (SaltgrassPrintmakers.org) offers classes in a plethora of printmaking methods, with visiting artists. Art Access (AccessArt.org) holds workshops often aimed at underserved segments of the community and has youth programs, too. The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UtahMOCA.org) presents "Out Loud" for LGBTQ students grades 9-12 to learn to express their feelings through art. The Leonardo (TheLeonardo.org) offers programs that combine art and science, like their namesake did. In Park City, Kimball Art Center (KimballArtCenter.org) has classes for all ages, in all media. The Paint Mixer (ThePaintMixer.com) explores a different sort of pairing with "paint and sip" evenings combining pigment and pinot.
Scott Renshaw: The challenge for me is always too many options, with too little time. While my "beat" here at City Weekly has tended to be film and theater, I want to make time for the things I've experienced too infrequently in my 20 years as a Utah resident. It feels like the best way might be to pick a random Friday night, throw a dozen options into a hat, and let fate decide what I'll check out: A dance performance? A local stand-up comedian? A book signing? A poetry slam? A gallery opening? In short, my resolution is to give myself more opportunities for discovery, to experience first-hand even more of the amazing work that I know is out there.