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2013 Design Arts Utah: Exhibition Review

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 Like art and craft, art and design are easily confused. One person considers art a subset of design, while a second considers design just one component of an artwork. A third sees no fixed relation between them: the same object can be art or design depending on how it’s used. According to Rio Gallery Director Laura Durham, the challenge in staging an exhibit like 2013 DesignArts Utah lies in convincing firms and individuals who consider themselves designers to apply for entry to a gallery, rather than a more traditional trade show or industry award. The self-segregation that results is unfortunate for both designers and the public. Designers miss the chance to encounter consumers directly, and to learn their responses earlier and more candidly. As for the public, a show like this offers an avenue to a level of sophistication most consumers can only pretend to possess. Design presented as an end in itself, isolated from both practical or aesthetic concerns, can be encountered without obfuscation and appreciated directly through the judgment of the senses. Indeed, the palpable mood of liberated delight on display among the Rio’s guests during the opening is rarely seen in a more arduous and deliberately challenging artistic environment…

 

Read the full review in the July 2013 edition of 15 Bytes

Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.

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