Strut is an exhibition of recent work from faculty in the University of Utah's College of Fine Arts and College of Architecture + Planning, representing theatre, studio art, architecture, film, and music. 

The exhibitors were asked to contemplate how their work embraces and reflects the theme, Strut.  Pride, posturing, and impressions run through many of the pieces; their subjects exude a sense of self-confidence and swagger, and they command your attention. Others create forms that withstand naturally destructive phenomena: weather, decay, and entropy. For these artists and designers, Strut also refers to structural elements that come alive and survive in a constant state of tension. 

The exhibit features the works of:

  • Anne Mooney (Architecture)
  • Brenda Van der Wiel  (Theatre)
  • Christopher Lee (Film & Media Arts)
  • Erin Carraher (Architecture)
  • Lisa Chaufty (Music)
  • Maureen O’Hara Ure (Art & Art History: Studio Arts)
  • Miguel Chuaqui (Music) 
  • Prescott Muir (Architecture)

Strut exhibition runs October 21, 2014-January 5, 2015. Exhibits on view on Levels 1 and 2 of the J. Willard Marriott Library.

Bringing together the diverse mediums and perspectives of Department of Art & Art History faculty in one exhibition is a longstanding tradition for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Every two-to-three years, the Museum curates a collection of recent works to showcase the talent and vision of current faculty members. This year’s exhibition titled “New Narratives” features 31 artists and includes installations, ceramics, painting and drawing, intermedia, sculpture, and more.

Department Chair Brian Snapp said, “We get to share with the campus and community the collective creative energy and achievements of our nationally and internationally recognized faculty. What we are celebrating at the core of our creative research both as artists and teachers is our belief in the fundamental importance of the visual arts to humanity.”

The collaboration between the College of Fine Arts and the UMFA is another point of celebration. This exhibition is a strong representation of the supportive artistic community on the University of Utah campus.

Seeing the works of the faculty members in one collective space is a vibrant opportunity. Katie Lee Coven, director at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University and the guest curator of the exhibition said, “Using humor, metaphor, self-distortion, realistic representation, angst and the idea of a journey, these artists explore what it means to be human.” 

“New Narratives” is now open and will run through Janaury 11. Some events of note include the open house on Nov. 12 from 4-8p.m., and gallery talks on Nov. 13 and 19 at 5:30p.m. and another on Nov. 21 as part of the Salt Lake City Gallery Stroll at 6p.m.

Participating artists are Edward Bateman, Nolan Baumgartner, Susan Beck, Simon Blundell, Sandy Brunvand, Laurel Caryn, Van Chu, Lewis J. Crawford, Al Denyer, Justin Diggle, Stefanie Dykes, Dave Eddy, John Erickson, Lauren Gallaspy, Tom Hoffman, Holly K. Johnson, Lenka Konopasek, Beth Krensky, Kristina Lenzi, Naomi Marine, Joseph Marotta, V. Kim Martinez, Raymond Morales, Martin Novak, John O’Connell, Andrew Rice, Brian Snapp, Carol Sogard, Paul Stout, Maureen O’Hara Ure and Wendy Wischer.

U of U students always have free admission to the UMFA with a valid student ID.   

Two curators gathered a list of 10,000 American artists with the help of gallery owners, artists, and educators. That list was then narrowed to about 600 artists and a team of curators hit the road, visiting artists in their home environments to observe and discuss their work. What came from this yearlong curatorial experience is “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.” Department of Art & Art History Assistant Professor Lauren Gallaspy was one of these select artists whose work sparked interest for consideration—and whose ceramic works are now part of the 102 artist exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“The curators wanted to find under-seen and under-exposed art, from artists in places besides New York or Los Angeles,” Professor Gallaspy said.

"one need not be a house to be haunted" (Lauren Gallaspy) featured work in State of the Art exhibition

"one need not be a house to be haunted" (Lauren Gallaspy) featured work in State of the Art exhibition

The exhibition has a sense of mystery because the artists are unsure how their names and work appeared on the original list of 10,000. Gallaspy said she admires the exhibition’s purpose to expose and advance relatively unknown artists.  

“Being in ceramics, I am used to my art being affiliated with craft. But that is part of the work, engaging with those ideas of being overlooked—it has an element of subversiveness to it—to sneak into these worlds and to be in that space,” she said.

Professor Gallaspy was also impressed by the magnitude of interest the curators showed in the details. They asked her not just about her ceramics work, but her poetry work as well. “Their enthusiasm for the whole person who makes up the work was moving,” she said.

"the parts they keep apart" (Lauren Gallaspy) featured work in State of the Art exhibition

"the parts they keep apart" (Lauren Gallaspy) featured work in State of the Art exhibition

Being part of this large exhibition has provided Gallaspy time to reflect. She said seeing the range of works and the power in the pieces felt like an honor and a surprise, to be part of it. Gallaspy attended the opening reception, where more than 1,200 people came together to view the exhibition.


“Seeing artists see art, seeing the process and connecting to the show was powerful,” she said.

“State of the Art” runs through Jan. 19, 2015. Professor Gallaspy has three pieces in the show. We are thrilled to see Professor Gallaspy part of such an incredible exhibition and for the well deserved exposure of her work.  

AuthorThe Finer Points
Brett Runnion, Lena May-Fraser, Kira Jones Photo by: Brent Rowland

Brett Runnion, Lena May-Fraser, Kira Jones
Photo by: Brent Rowland

College of Fine Arts students: have you been wondering how to declare your major or minor? Wondering what classes you have to take? Or how to apply for graduation (Spring 2015 graduation application deadline is November 1)?

We’ve got good news for you.

As a student in the College of Fine Arts, you have many people here to support you. And among them are Academic Advisors, who can help you make the most of your experience at the U.

Here’s the scoop:

Academic advisors are educators and problem solvers who advocate for students as they navigate their personal journeys through higher education and reach their academic goals. Through inclusion and connection, academic advisors open doors to new opportunities for self-awareness and growth, empowering students to define their roles as citizens within local and global communities.

Here in the College of Fine Arts we have a two-tiered advising structure that includes college-wide advisors and departmental advisors. In some majors, your College of Fine Arts advisor is the same as your departmental advisor and in others it may be different. Regardless of how your major organizes academic advising, the Academic Advisors are here to help you be successful.

We are pleased to welcome our newest Academic Advisor, Brett Runnion (MS Applied Psychology, Montana State University – Bozeman, 2009) from Montana. Brett is a Departmental Advisor for Film & Media Arts, Ballet, and Modern Dance, and a College of Fine Arts advisor for students in all academic units.

Meet all of our advisors here.

College of Fine Arts Advisors help you to:

  • Learn about University graduation requirements, including general education and bachelor's degree requirements
  • Connect with University opportunities and resources, including other majors and minors that might interest you
  • Navigate University policies and procedures

Click here to make an appointment!

Departmental Advisors can help you to:

  • Learn about the course requirements for your major
  • Connect with departmental opportunities and resources
  • Navigate departmental polices and procedures

Still want to know more? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions section on the CFA website. 

AuthorThe Finer Points