Visual Arts

Legal Help and Cultural Development

Utah Lawyers for the Arts
Since 1983 Utah Lawyers for the Arts has quietly been providing free legal services on art-related matters to low income Utah artists and art organizations.
 It is modeled after numerous Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations throughout the country. It also seeks to educate artists and arts organizations on legal matters and to encourage lawyers to support the arts. Over the years it has provided seminars and workshops on art law for artists and has sponsored art events for lawyers.

Earlier this year, former ULA president Susan Vogel became involved in exhibits of Mexican art at the University of Utah’s Museum of Fine Arts and noticed ULA’s role in the community could be a little louder. “The Utah arts community has become so vibrant and exciting and new technologies are creating interesting issues in art law,” she says. “I suggested that ULA run seminars for artists, and the ULA board generously offered me back my position on the board! We are hoping to increase ULA’s involvement in the community and expand our advisory board based on what we learn are the needs of Utah artists and arts organizations.”

Artists seeking legal assistance can visit the organization’s website, read their policies, and download an application. “When we verify that the artist qualifies based on income and an art-related legal matter, we email our volunteer attorneys and offer the case,” Vogel explains. Cases range from book and film contracts to First Amendment issues, applications for non-profit status, to licensing.

The group has also begun monthly gatherings on Salt Lake City’s Gallery Stroll. Interested lawyers and artists are welcome to check the Utah Lawyers for the Arts Facebook page where you can see which place the group will be visiting and provide feedback on how the organization can help the community.

GARFO’S Future?
At a November 8 meeting Westminster College reviewed its Master Plan, including the use of the Garfield School, which was purchased from Salt Lake City last year. Currently the school houses the headquarters and primary teaching facilities for the Visual Art Institute, as well as their contemporary art space, GARFO. The College’s revised master plan has designated the former Elementary School as the future home of the school’s art program. This may be a positive step for VAI (and GARFO), if it is able to work out a symbiotic relationship with the incoming art program and retain their space in the building. Nothing is certain, though. Westminster has repeatedly changed its stated plans for the space since they first began the purchasing process. And the City has not yet officially deeded the property to the college.

Salt Lake City Arts
Speaking of Salt Lake City, Mayor Ralph Becker has been busy the past six months with a series of meetings involving members of the cultural community in the City’s hopes to develop a “Cultural Core” in downtown Salt Lake. The Mayor’s office recently announced that they are developing “a new funding mechanism that will produce nearly $10 million to enhance marketing efforts to support activities that add value to arts organizations and activities in the Salt Lake City cultural core over the next 20 years.” This is being achieved in partnership with Salt Lake County, made official at a signing on December 1.

County Art
Despite having their acquisition budget slashed by 75% the Salt Lake County Art Committee was able to make substantial additions to the County’s cultural patrimony this year. With their $10,000 purchasing budget they acquired works by local artists John Bell (below), Joey Behrens, John Pugh and Virginia Palyka. In addition 13 works, worth over $35,000, were donated to the collection from Wells Fargo Bank, John Neels and Loa Black Clawson, and the estate of Bevan M. Chipman. Among the donated works were pieces by historical artists H.L.A. Culmer, Frank Zimbeaux and J.H. Stansfield, the recently deceased Gaell Lindstrom, and living artists Brian Kershisnik, Steve Larsen and Denis Phillips. These works will be on display at a special reception, open to the public, at the Salt Lake County Government Center (2001 So. State Street, No. Building Atrium) on December 7, 5-7pm. County Mayor Peter Corroon will speak, followed by the presentation of short video interviews with Behrens, Pugh and Bell.

Categories: Visual Arts

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