Exhibitions | Salt Lake Area Exhibitions

David Rios Ferreira: Transcending Time and Space, featuring work and writing by artist Denae Shanidiin at UMFA ACME Lab

Salt Lake City
Mar. 19 – Dec. 4


How might art reconnect you with those you miss? A new exhibition by David Rios Ferreia at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah looks at community art-making, imagined time travel and spirituality as a vehicle for thinking about love, loss and memory.


David Rios Ferreira: Transcending Time and Space, featuring work and writing by artist Denae Shanidiin, is the newest project in the Museum’s award-winning, exploratory ACME Lab space. The exhibition opens to the public Saturday, March 19, with free admission and art making. A free artist talk and preview will be held on the evening of Friday, March 18, at the UMFA and via livestream. See below for details about all exhibition-related events. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, December 4.


Merging science fiction with cultural and spiritual traditions, Transcending Time and Space asks visitors to contemplate those they might’ve lost, those they miss across distances and those they have yet to meet. The exhibition presents a collection of Ferreira’s abstracted drawings, collages and photographs that function as imagined gateways and portals through which we may connect with those we cannot reach on this plane. These gateways use imagery from history, pop culture, photographs and text to tell stories about the people we miss.

Ferreira was moved to create the work in this exhibition around the ever-growing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous people—something he explores in collaboration with Utah-based artist Denae Shanidiin and Restoring Ancestral Winds, a Tribal coalition responding to the violence perpetrated on Indigenous communities within the Great Basin and strengthening the traditional values of Indigenous relations.

“Exploring colonial history’s impact on our daily lives through a personal and emotional lens was central in making this body of work,” says Ferreira. “I hope visitors will find their own entry into the artworks and in so doing discover different ways to think about love, loss and memory.“


David Rios Ferreira is a visual artist, independent curator and museum professional. Ferreira is interested in how the past informs the present and their existence on the same plane. Issues around power, colonial history, deculturalization practices and missing or murdered Indigenous and LGBTQ people are at the root of his work. Borrowing images from historical etchings, old political cartoons, coloring books and films, Ferreira reprocesses this imagery through layering, tracing and collage, to create new forms, new bodies and new futures.


In this unique moment in time, with old sociopolitical wounds resurfacing, and new ones opening, Ferreira asks us to question ourselves and the systems of power that we inhabit.


Denae Shanidiin, Diné and Korean artist, is born to the Diné (Navajo) Nation. She is Honágháahnii, One-Walks-Around Clan, born to the Korean race on her Father’s side. Kinłichíi’nii, the Red House People, is her Maternal Grandfather’s Clan, and the Bilagáana, White People, is her Paternal Grandfather’s Clan. 


Shanidiin’s projects reveal the importance of Indigenous spirituality and sovereignty. Her work brings awareness to many contemporary First Nation’s issues including Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.


About the ACME Lab

Located in the UMFA Emma Eccles Jones Education Center, ACME Lab is an exhibition space for art experimentation and exploration. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to ask questions, make connections across disciplines and engage with art in new ways. The Lab promotes collaboration between museum and community through active participation—providing an avenue for mutual learning, discovery and understanding.


Events & Programs


David Rios Ferreira | Artist Talk 
and conversation with Denae Shanidiin 
Friday, March 18 | FREE  
ACME Lab Exhibition Preview: 5–6 pm 
Artist Talk: 6–7:30 pm 
Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Auditorium

Also available online via livestream

How can we connect across time and space? Join in a conversation with artists David Rios Ferreira and Denae Shanidiin, led by Salt Lake City-based artist and curator Jorge Rojas, as they attempt to hold light up to the portals Ferreira creates in his artwork in the new ACME Lab David Rios Ferreira: Transcending Time and Space, featuring work and writing by artist Denae Shanidiin.


Exhibition Opening Day

and Third Saturday for Families: Collage Gateways 

Saturday, March 19 | FREE

Museum hours | 10 am–5 pm

Third Saturday art making | 1–4 pm

Imagine creating a work of art that allows you to travel across time and space to reach a person you miss. David Rios Ferreira’s exhibition on view at the UMFA features collages he created with this idea in mind. Using images from popular culture, history and science fiction, just like Ferreria, you can create your own collage portal that imagines reaching out to people who are distant. 


Planning a Visit


Advance reservations are encouraged for all gallery visits and events.

The UMFA continues to follow all University of Utah policy around COVID safety, which encourages mask wearing on campus and in campus buildings.

Visitors are urged to check the UMFA website before arriving, in case plans change in response to COVID safety concerns.

For more details on hours of operation, admission, directions and tickets, please visit umfa.utah.edu/visit.


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