rt lovers, lusty artists, mockingbirds, homemade trinkets, garage sailors,
children of any height and professional coffeehouse regulars may be interested
to know that the Utah Arts Festival is coming.
The festival’s capriciously poppy theme this year is “Check
It Out.” Pink bubblegum chewing tennis players snap, point, sway
and say, “Hey, it’s art! Art sure is fun!” The Utah
Arts Festival, UAF, will run from June 19 to 22 and will attempt to include
as many people as possible. There will be more than 1,000 artists representing
several genres, from post-modern strangeness to safe, tailored arts and
crafts. Even though this festival has that disturbing fun element, there
will certainly be art.
This year the festival will be held at Library Square after being bounced
around from The Triad Center to The Utah State Fairgrounds to last year’s
venue, The Gallivan Center. The UAF board members hope to make this their
There will be 129 artist booths lined up for your perusal. The Artists’
Market Place has great gifts. Late Gemini and Leo reap the benefit of
The UAF is a great festival because of its street theater, performing
artists, outstanding selection of visual artists and music. There is always
Charlie Chaplin and Mary Poppins in some sort of magical orgy, we
think. For the truth, go to the Utah Arts Festival.
Lacking pure rock and obscure art music from deep under the ground, the
festival’s music selection consists of many jazz and blues bands,
as if they were generic filler. There will be no atonal hip-hoppers here.
There will be some outstanding musicians in the mix, however. Eric Ross
will show his mastery of the theremin. The theremin is the eerie “waaa”
sound in ’50s sci-fi films. It is played via interrupting electrodes,
without touching the instrument. Ross is professionally trained and highly
regarded for his playing and composing.
Orchestra Baobab is an 11-piece band from Senegal that plays African-Cuban
traditional music. Representing authentic blues is Grammy award-winning
harp player James Cotton. Also, a figure called The Junkman, Donald Knaack,
will play his raucous music. Knaack, makes use of all of his materials
for sound. Drums are expensive and music wasn’t made for the bourgeois.
New to the UAF is a short film program titled “Fear No Film.”
Among UAF’s sponsors, The Salt Lake Film Society has selected some
good films. These will be viewable in the Library auditorium.
Don’t attempt to comprehend the cinematic arts without filling up
on the culinary arts. “You Americans sure know how to make a perfect
sandwich,” Yas, my Japanese friend, exclaimed to a limp sandwich
I made. Though he was being a sarcastic jerk from the island where food
is gorgeous with perfected taste, the culinary arts at the UAF will include
the artistic antithesis peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk, fried
pickles and perennial favorite Navajo fry bread (the real reason we go
to most Utah festivals) among other local cuisine.
Also new to the UAF is the Festival Idol Competition. So, the name is
based on a shitty TV show; at least its purpose is pure. The competition
aims to recognize deserving arts. There will also be a Composer Competition,
the Jazz Composer Commission and the Mayor’s Artist Awards.
The best part of the festival in past years has been the impromptu street
performers. What UAF has up their sleeve is still a secret.
There will be a choreographed acrobatic team that will perform on 14-foot
high poles. For those of you who prefer the ground activity, a tiny flea
circus is coming to town. Professor Humbug’s Flea Circus is on its
way from Seattle.
Fortunately for our environment, the people from eARTh Friendly Festival
will be there to encourage public transit, bicycle riding and active recycling.
The UAF opens at noon and runs till 11 p.m. Adults are $7.00, Seniors
(60+) $3.50, Kids (12 & under) free. Should they be applauded for
forgetting the student? If you show up from noon-3 p.m., admission is
a mere $3.50 and there is still possibly time to volunteer at the festival
for a free ticket. Regardless, it is one of the best festivals Salt Lake
puts on, so save your beer money and a little extra.