Donnelly is one of Utah’s more promising young artists. While still working on her BFA in Sculpture from the University of Utah, she earned a juror’s award at the Utah Statewide Annual. She followed that up with Holding Wrong, a 2018 exhibition that took place in a disused storefront on the second floor of Trolley Square. Geoff Wichert wrote about the exhibit for 15 Bytes: “Donnelly focuses on what she calls ‘feminine domestic space, by which she means not so much three-dimensional space as discursive space: space to perceive, think of, and speak about. That said, she does use physical space most effectively as a metaphor, as befits all art, and in particular sculpture.” Donnelly recontextualizes domestic and architectural objects, prompting viewers to examine the discomfort that arises when a familiar object fails to perform in its expected way. As part of a year-long residency at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in 2018 – 2019, she created “Bath House,” a multi-faceted work that both longs for communal spaces and suggests the dangers associated with them.
Donnelly has kept busy in her unexpected “gap year.” To stay afloat through times after losing her job at a bar, she’s been working in a warehouse. Professionally, she’ll be showing continuously this year g at a new Salt Lake City gallery called Office Space, located in Kiln Co. at the Gateway; and she has been working on a collaboration with a furniture designer in Provo for a chair(s) they plan to put into production later this year. In her spare time, she says, “I am reading about Gothic architecture, learning to stone carve, reupholstering thrifted furniture in obnoxious color schemes and designing a 3D printed furniture collection.”
And she’s looking forward to earning her MFA in Sculpture from Yale University beginning in fall 2021.
Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.