Dixie State’s ‘Cloud’ mural made of books recognized among nation’s best public art projects

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University’s “Cloud,” a public artwork commissioned by Utah Arts & Museums, has been named as one of the 50 best public art projects by the “2013 Public Art Network Year in Review” by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts.

Installed at DSU’s Holland Centennial Commons Building, Christian Moeller’s “Cloud” is a large mural consisting of bookcases holding 13,000 volumes, with each book spine differing in shade to form the pixels of a stunning image of a desert cloud. Each book contains 214 blank pages that are intended for the public to record their thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences relating to DSU.

Dixie State celebrated its centennial back in 2011, DSU Public Relations Director Steve Johnson said, and the whole point of the “Cloud” is intended to chronicle the next 100 years. It’s a kind of time capsule.

Moeller’s proposal was selected from 223 preliminary applications from artists nationwide and then from four finalists’ presentations. The installation process started in August 2010 and was completed in May 2012.

The annual Year in Review program recognizes the most exemplary and innovative, permanent or temporary public artworks created or debuted in the previous year. The 2013 Year in Review award recipients were chosen from more than 350 submissions from across the country. The selections were announced on June 13 at the Americans for the Arts Public Art Pre-conference in Pittsburgh, Penn. The artists and commissioning organizations involved in creating and supporting these public artworks received letters of congratulations and certificates from Americans for the Arts.

By creating a sense of identity of places we inhabit, public art makes an enduring impact on our lives,” President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, Robert L. Lynch, said. “We congratulate the artists and commissioning groups of the 13th annual Public Art Year in Review and look forward to honoring more great works in the coming years.”

“Our ‘Public Art Program’ has been honored to commission three works in the last nine years that have received this recognition from Americans for the Arts Public Art Network,” said Utah Arts & Museums Director Lynnette Hiskey. “This year’s recognition of ‘Cloud’ follows last year’s recognition of Susan Narduli’s work ‘Land and Time,’ installed at the Utah Museum of Natural History. This series of honors started in 1994 with the recognition of Robert Perless’ work ‘Sun Dagger’ at Utah Valley University Wasatch in Heber City. We’re thrilled to support public art that is garnering this kind of acclaim.”

Submitted by: Dixie State University in conjunction with Utah Department of Heritage and Art

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