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UMFA Gift, Gilgal Gardens, Beth Krensky, Ralphael Plescia

2/5 UMFA Receives $5 Million Gift

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) has announced that it has received a $5 million gift from longtime benefactors, the Price Family, establishing an endowment to support the UMFA executive director position. The Marcia and John Price Executive Director Endowment for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts will provide funding in perpetuity to support the salary, benefits, professional development, travel and other needs of the Museum’s executive director.

“Marcia and John Price have been major supporters of the UMFA for many decades,” the UMFA’s press release reads. “The Prices’ close involvement in the construction of the UMFA’s current facility—the award-winning Marcia and John Price Museum Building, which opened in 2001—was instrumental and, at the time, the largest gift to a cultural institution in the history of the state of Utah. That donation, along with this current generous gift and Marcia’s longtime service as UMFA board chair, is a true testament to their love of and conviction in the importance of the arts in our state…

… Gretchen Dietrich, who is in her thirteenth year as UMFA executive director, will be the first to hold the title of The Marcia and John Price Executive Director. Under Dietrich’s leadership, the UMFA has flourished, with increased attendance, audience engagement and community outreach; higher revenues and new institutional support; and a heightened national profile.”

2/3 SLMAG: Secret SLC: The Sphinx of Salt Lake

“… It was a legend among Salt Lake teenagers in the ’70s and ’80s: a bizarre sculpture garden located in the middle of Salt Lake with a menagerie of odd Mormon-themed statues and rock art installations. What adventurous teen wouldn’t want to sneak into a strange yard filled with bizarre carvings featuring ominous Biblical verses set in the stones, and (why not?) a sphinx-like creature bearing the visage of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith? …”


Beth Krensky in her Salt Lake City studio, photo by Simon Blundell

1/25 Beth Krensky is one of five Performance Art Finalists for the 16th Arte Laguna Prize

The Salt Lake City artist’s “Dispatch from Solitude #1: Walking the Unknown Path,” (2020) was one of 130 finalists selected from 10,000 artworks submitted from across the globe. Krensky is one of six Americans and one of five performance artists included in the exhibition. Krensky will perform during the Arte Laguna Prize Exhibition at the Arsenale Nord in Venice, Italy (11 March – 16 April 2023). From the press release: “The piece was originally commissioned in 2020 by Ogden Contemporary Arts as part of their Social Distancing and Art series. While in Venice, she will incorporate the original performance footage into a new piece specifically created for the Arte Laguna Prize opening. This new piece will consist of live performance, as well as projected video footage combining Dispatch from Solitude #1 with a solo performance on Lazzaretto Nuovo, a small island in the Venice lagoon that houses a plague hospital built in 1468. Dylan Totaro, the Utah-based videographer who documented the original performance, will accompany Krensky to Venice to record new footage for the Arte Laguna Prize opening.”

1/23 SOUTHWEST CONTEMPORARY: Fate of Utah’s Outsider Art Site The Christian School Remains In Flux

“Along an inconspicuous stretch of Salt Lake City’s State Street exists a most unusual building, artist Ralphael Plescia’s Christian School. The exterior structure, adorned with low-relief sculptures of religious symbols and a painted panel of Christ, manages to stand out in a city that isn’t a stranger to public religious art.

Now, after Plescia’s August 2022 death at age eighty-four, the fate of the Christian School remains unknown. This past November, the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Utah Arts Alliance’s plans to take over the site to ensure preservation and public access. But those plans have since morphed and changed…”


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