At the opening of their new space in the Gateway, Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts (MICA) presented the Ruby Chacón Social Justice Arts Award to Fanny Guadalupe Blauer.
Originally from Mexico City, Blauer holds a degree in certified public accounting from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional and a Certificate in Anthropology of Art from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of Social Anthropology (CIESAS). Since 2019 she has been the executive director of Arts de México en Utah, where, among other accomplishments, she has instituted the artist in residency program at The Leonardo. Blauer has previously worked as a community liaison, translator, and interpreter at the Natural History Museum of Utah and is currently active in diversity and inclusion committees for organizations like The Nature Conservancy of Utah.
In 2018, MICA launched the Ruby Chacón Social Justice Arts Award in 2018. The award recognizes “Salt Lake Valley residents who are advancing justice and equity in our communities through the arts.” It is named after MICA co-founder Ruby Chacón, a Xicana artist, educator, activist, and community leader whose murals and other artwork can be seen across the valley.
Salt Lake City was among the eight cities Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced as winners of its third Public Art Challenge, each set to receive grants of up to $1 million for temporary public art projects that tackle urgent civic issues. In addition to the grants, each city will benefit from technical support provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies over the next two years.
According to a press release from The Salt Lake City Arts Council, “Wake: the Great Salt Lake” aims to “address the shrinking of the Great Salt Lake caused by humans and climate change by curating and installing several temporary public artworks by diverse local, regional, and internationally recognized artists that speak to this environmental crisis.”
“Public art holds a unique power of activating change and optimism in our communities,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “The opportunity for local artists and creators to harness their talents to encourage stewardship of the Great Salt Lake — the city’s namesake and one of the most vital ecosystems in our region — is absolutely phenomenal.”
The project aims to bring nationally renowned artists to Salt Lake City with the purpose of educating and inspiring both residents and visitors to explore potential solutions and take action at both local and national levels. Felicia Baca, the Executive Director, remarked, “This marks the largest grant ever received by our Salt Lake City Arts Council. Our project, ‘Wake: the Great Salt Lake,’ encompasses multiple meanings of the word ‘wake.’ It serves as a moment for reflecting on loss, signifies the act of regaining consciousness after rest, and evokes the turbulence experienced when moving through water. Through diverse forms of artistic expression, this initiative will create waves of awareness throughout our community.”
The Arts Council team has initiated partnerships within City departments, local nonprofits, and the artistic community, actively pursuing collaborations with local tribal communities, scientists, and a diverse range of community members. Over the next two years, public and private partners will unite to achieve this substantial and historically significant investment in public art dedicated to the Great Salt Lake.
Since its inception in 2014 by former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, The Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge has generated over $100 million in economic benefits for participating cities and has spurred action across a spectrum of civic issues. The other winning cities in this cycle of awards are: Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, Honolulu, HI, Houston, TX, Orlando, FL, Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ.
FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Read The Great Salt Lake is Dead. Long Live the Great Salt Lake?
Greg Olsen wants to make one thing really clear: Although he recently turned 65, he’s not planning on retiring anytime soon.
Prominent in the Christian art world for oil paintings like “O Jerusalem,” “Worlds Without End” and “The Nativity,” the artist is far from ready to hang up his brush for good. He speaks passionately about a new painting he’s recently completed, a scene between a man and Jesus Christ titled “I See You.”
He speaks passionately, but not definitively. As he describes his own creation, he leaves the story wide open for interpretation.
UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.