Margaret Curtis: This, too. opens Friday, June 21 in the Street Gallery

Lenka Konopasek: Drawing The Light In

Apr 8, 2011 – Jun 1, 2011

Many years ago the tall windows on the north end of the Art Center’s Main Gallery were painted black, blocking the public’s view from the outside into the gallery. In 2010, as part of a new vision and significant public outreach, the Salt Lake Art Center has begun to create a more inviting home for contemporary art where all are welcome. In connection with this effort, the artist will reopen the gallery space to the outside by scraping images and viewing portals into the blackened windows, allowing daylight to enter once again.

Working with the newly exposed rays of light, the artist will also create a three-dimensional installation in the gallery space. The work invites the public to peek into the gallery from the outside, metaphorically and literally opening the door to the public. Upon completion of the installation and near the end of the residency, the artist will present an Art Talk about the experience of creating the work, the interaction with the public during the creation, and her experience working with the children in the ARTbytes programs throughout the project.

The project is representative of environmental art – transforming space, creating environment, bringing the outside to the inside, similar to the style employed by Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty Project. Robert Smithson (American Artist 1938-1973) created Spiral Jetty in 1970. The earthwork Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point on Utah’s Great Salt Lake formed a coil 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide and stretched out counterclockwise into the lake’s translucent red water. Composed of black basalt rocks and earth, the sculpture comprised the materials of its location: mud, salt crystals, rocks and water. The work was subject to the cycles of nature and ambiance of the environment in which it existed. As water levels rose and fell with the tides or rain, Smithson’s great spiral also changed. Two years after its completion, Spiral Jetty disappeared under water. After years of only brief, periodic reappearances, a major drought brought Spiral Jetty to the surface again in 2002.