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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Free panel discussion inspired by RED: RELATIONSHIPS IN RED | Sponsored by Utah Humanities Council & SL Acting Company (SLC: Feb 26)

Salt Lake Acting Company                      __________________________ News Release


On February 26 at 4 PM, Salt Lake Acting Company will present a panel discussion called Relationships in RED.

Inspired by RED by John Logan, currently playing in SLAC’s Upstairs Theatre, the discussion will investigate the essential theme of relationships:  artists and their creations, predecessors, dealers, successors, patrons, and materials; the mentor/pupil dynamic; and the established, acknowledged artist versus the rising generation and their new sensibilities.  With five Utah artists, gallerists, educators and art aficionados we’ll explore where the tension and resolution lie in these associations — using RED (an intense and exciting two-person exploration of life and art set in the late 1950s) and Rothko (a man of fierce opinions and deep passion for his work, with which he was in constant dialogue) as our launching pads. 

Relationships in RED includes artist and University of Utah faculty member Maureen O’Hara Ure (whose work will be on display in SLAC’s Green Room Gallery concurrently); gallery owner, artist, and UMFA Young Benefactors Council Chair John Sproul; artist, educator and curator Cara Despain; artist, curator, and gallery owner Kenny Riches; and moderator Pat Shea (also on the U of U faculty).

This program has received funding from the Utah Humanities Council, which promotes understanding of diverse traditions, values, and ideas through informed public discussion.


Pat Shea will serve as our moderator.  He is both a fan of Mark Rothko’s work and one of the nation’s most highly respected attorneys, with extensive experience in the private and public sectors.  He and his firm specialize in solving business problems which involve legal, political, environmental and economic questions.  Shea’s academic background includes a BA from Stanford University (where he was also a Rhodes Scholar and Student Body President), an MA from Oxford University in human sciences (where he was that school’s first graduate of a combined genetics, ethnology and anthropology degree), and a JD from Harvard Law School.

A Utah native, Shea’s public service includes key positions in Washington, DC, including Assistant to the Staff Director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Operations; Counsel on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Director of the Bureau of Land Management and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals under the Clinton Administration.  Shea also represents the University of Utah’s Department of Physics in implementing an international high-energy particle physics experiment.  He was Adjunct Professor of agronomy at Kansas State University and an advisor at Westminster College for faculty grants and student scholarships, and has taught at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, where he is now an Associate Research Professor of Biology.

Panelist Maureen O’Hara Ure, whose paintings will be in SLAC’s Green Room Gallery during the run of RED, is an Assistant Professor/Lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Utah, where she teaches studio courses in Painting and Drawing and an introductory lecture course on contemporary trends. As faculty affiliated with the Honors College, she also conducts a seminar on Creative Process. She has had many one-person exhibitions, has participated in Sundance Institute Playwrights Lab, and has received several significant grants in support of her work. In addition to shows in Los Angeles (SPACE), Chicago (ARC/Raw Space), and Sacramento (Matrix Gallery), O’Hara Ure exhibits regularly in Salt Lake City in assorted non-profit spaces and at Phillips Gallery. Her most recent Phillips show, Sightseeing, featured a series of paintings in response to the Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna, Venice, and Istanbul.  Many of her paintings feature animals in imaginary landscapes, inspired by the historical forms encountered on her travels, in medieval stonework, manuscripts, and other museum artifacts.  In October 2012, she will present an exhibition of image and text at Finch Lane Gallery, a project which will feature poems by her long-time collaborator (and fellow U of U professor) Katharine Coles.  The following summer, their other large work-in-progress, a bestiary, will be published by Marriott Library's Red Butte Press.

Panelist John Sproul will lend his insight as co-founder and owner of Nox Contemporary, a Salt Lake City-based contemporary art gallery that seeks to exhibit all forms of contemporary art without regard to commercial viability.  A native of Los Angeles, Sproul earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Utah in 1993.  He has exhibited widely in Utah and throughout the US, including at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Springville Museum of Fine Arts, and the Salt Lake Art Center.  Competitions include a May 1998 exhibit at the California Center for Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), a purchase award from the Eccles Art Center (Ogden), and a Traveling Exhibit Award from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.  Sproul focuses his gallery’s efforts on exhibiting high-quality, challenging work from emerging and established local and national artists and to increase Salt Lake City’s visibility as a participant in the global contemporary art dialogue.  Chair of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Young Benefactors Council, he advocates on behalf of art and artists as founder of the Utah Foster Art Program, which lends pieces of art to local individuals and businesses — to expose viewers to art they otherwise might not choose to experience in their own environments as well as to expose artists to a larger audience.  Since its inception in 2009, more than 100 local community members and businesses have participated. 
Panelist Cara Despain is a Salt Lake City-based artist and independent art writer and curator. She holds a BFA from the University of Utah (2006), and has shown her work throughout Utah and in Miami, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.  Despain is also a faculty member at the Visual Art Institute (VAI) in Salt Lake City.  In 2009, she co-founded GARFO Art Center — a curatorial and educational institution created as a function of VAI — where she worked as curator.  Since GARFO's closure in 2011, she has continued to pursue independent/guest curatorial projects.  This year, she completed her first short artist bio book the beginning of now: the work of Jim Williams.  She has written for various local, national, and international publications, including ArtWeek and ArtPulse, and has lived brief stints outside of Utah in Boston, Berlin, and Miami.

Panelist Kenny Riches is the former director of Kayo Gallery and a practicing visual artist, curator, and filmmaker.  He started Kayo in downtown Salt Lake City when he was 22; it quickly became an award-winning art gallery and solidified the Broadway district as a hotspot for young, independent business.  Within a three-block span on Broadway, he partnered to help launch four other independent businesses; including a café, an art boutique, and two clothing boutiques.  In 2009 he and co-creator/curator Cara Despain began Garfo Art Center — a nonprofit art institution and exhibition space created to work in conjunction with the Visual Art Institute.  Riches wrote, directed, and co-produced his first feature film, Must Come Down, in 2010.  The film is now currently making its rounds in the festival circuit, premiering at Cinequest San José in 2012.  He is currently writing his second feature film and continues to make and exhibit his artwork.


The Panel Discussion: Relationships in RED discussion topics include artists and their creations; mentors and students; and established artists vs. the rising generation, will be held in the upstairs theatre at the Salt lake Acting Company on Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm, following the 1:00 pm matinee and preceding the 6:00pm performance of RED. The Panel Discussion is free. 160 theatre seats are available to the public.


SLAC PANEL DISCUSSION……………………………….Relationships in RED

MODERATOR………………………………………………Pat Shea

PANELISTS………………………………………………….Cara Despain
                                                                                                   Maureen O’Hara Ure
                                                                                                   Kenny Riches
                                                                                                   John Sproul

DATE…………………………………………………………Sunday, February 26, 2012

TIME………………………………………………………….4:00 PM

RED by John Logan, with Morgan Lund and Ted Powell.
DATES                                                           Opened:          February 8, 2012
                                                                        Closing:           March 4, 2012

TIME                                                              Wed – Sat - 7:30 p.m.
                                                                        Sun- 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.

DOTTIE- THE SISTER LIVES ON! by Charles Lynn Frost and Christopher R. Wixom with Charles Lynn Frost and Kent Frogley.

                                                                        Opened:          February 17, 2012
Closing:           March 11, 2012

                                                                        Wednesday - Saturday- 7:30 p.m.
                                                                        Sun- 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $15-$41 depending on performance.  Student, Under 30, Senior and Group discounts available – call 801-363-7522
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 W. 500 N. SLC, UT

SLAC was founded in 1970 and is dedicated to producing, commissioning and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists.  SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Edgerton Foundation, among others.  SLAC is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres, and the National New Play Network.

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