by Laura Hurtado
If the world ends this Friday in apocalypse and devastation, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, we’ll all miss out on the much-anticipated arrival of CUAC Contemporary. Opening Saturday December 22, 2012, from 8-10 PM from 6-10 PM and located on the corner of 2nd and 2nd, CUAC’s inaugural exhibition is rightly titled After the End, marking both the end of the world and the end of its rural location.
CUAC, of course, was known as Ephraim’s Central Utah Art Center until they were evicted earlier this year in a much publicized and fought over civic and art community debate.
But endings mark new beginnings. And the arrival of CUAC Contemporary marks the beginning of a larger contemporary art scene for Salt Lake City. The long-term hope of Adam Bateman, the center’s director, is to build a critical mass for larger contemporary art conversations within Salt Lake City, strengthening it as a cultural urban center.
These hopes for new beginning are manifested in After the End, which features work by artists such as Rebecca Campbell, Daniel Everett, Cara Despain, Lenka Konopasek, Bruce Case, Venessa Gromek, Matthew Choberka, Annie Kennedy, Jason Metcalf, and Richard Burde. Some of the pieces are painterly and some are sculptural, but all of the works conceptually deal with the idea of the apocalypse as mediated through the sublime. What you’ll see, for example, Annie Kennedy’s quilt made up entirely of vacuum sealed bags stuffed full of 72 hour kit supplies, and Jason Metcalf’s earthquake survivalist tent that is stretched to look like a Barnett Newman canvas.
So to some extent, attending is like packing your bags to head off the grid and into a brave new world.
CUAC Contemporary is located at 175 E. 200 S. in Salt Lake City. After the End opens with a private reception from 6 to 8 PM and a public reception 8 to 10 PM. Learn more at http://www.cuartcenter.org.