Cedar City Library Department spearheads arts in the city

This 2015 photo shows Cedar City Library's display during the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit: Exploring Human Origins in fall of 2015. The art display was titled "What does it mean to be Human?" and submissions were from members of the community. Cedar City, Utah, fall 2015 | Photo by Lee Byers courtesy of Cedar City Library Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City library department has recently become the official department for the city’s art presence including: literary arts, performing arts and recently-added visual arts. The developing program offers many opportunities for community members to participate in art displays, a coloring club, weekly art night and July’s Plein Air event.

Cedar City Library, Cedar City, Utah, circa 2017 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Library Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

The process to coordinate and enhance art within the city began in 2015 when the Heritage Theater was placed under the Cedar City’s Library Department administration. During that period, the library also began bringing in a variety of displays  including traveling exhibits, “Exploring human origins: What does it mean to be human?” and “Parallel Journeys: WWII and the Holocaust through the eyes of teens.” It also began utilizing the art gallery space within the library.

Recently, the gallery in the library has featured local artists such as Mona Woolsey, Timothy Johnson, and Carol Taylor. It has also headed up galleries of community submissions, including an exhibition on quilts, “What does it mean to be human?” and one from the Family Support Center for Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Overall, the exhibits and galleries have been met with great success and enthusiasm from the community.

This 2015 photo shows Cedar City Library’s display during the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit: Exploring Human Origins in fall of 2015. The art display was titled “What does it mean to be Human?” and submissions were from members of the community. Cedar City, Utah, fall 2015 | Photo by Lee Byers courtesy of Cedar City Library Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

Library director Steven Decker proposed the city add a new aspect, visual arts, utilizing various available gallery spaces within the city. This idea received support and enthusiasm from Mayor Maile Wilson, according to the city’s news release, and after many months, the idea is now a reality with Decker heading up the visual arts aspect, assistant librarian Lauren McAfee assisting.

As part of this new endeavor, Decker was charged with updating Cedar City’s display at the Cedar City Airport. Consistent with a city effort to promote local tourism and economy, Decker created a “Stay and Play” display.

This 2015 photo shows Cedar City Library’s display during the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit: Exploring Human Origins in fall of 2015. The art display was titled “What does it mean to be Human?” and submissions were from members of the community. Cedar City, Utah, fall 2015 | Photo by Lee Byers courtesy of Cedar City Library Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

Gallery spaces throughout the city are available at the Cedar City Airport, City Offices, City Council Chambers, the Aquatics Center, the Heritage Theater and Festival Hall and Cedar City Library in the Park.

The library is also adding visual arts to its regular programming. During the summer months, the library offers an adult coloring club for individuals ages 14 and older every Thursday at 7 p.m. – participants may bring their own supplies or use those provided by the library.

The library is also creating a weekly themed art night. Every Thursday there will be an opportunity for local artists to come together at the library and learn or practice their artwork. This weekly event will be headed and mentored each month by different artists or art students from Southern Utah University.

The theme for July will be Plein Air and will be mentored by Woolsey, who has not only been featured in the library gallery but is also a former member of the library board.


Read more: ‘Chasing Light Plein Air Festival’ announces 15 featured artists


Community members interested in mentoring the weekly events may email the library director at dsteve@cedarcity.org.

Cedar City Library, Cedar City, Utah, circa 2017 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Library Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

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