Call for artists: State seeks proposals for DesignArts and Transcontinental Railroad exhibitions

The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869, which marked the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Photo marked restoration | Andrew J. Russell, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah is encouraging artists to become involved with two different upcoming art exhibitions: the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary exhibition and DesignArts Utah ’18.

Transcontinental Railroad anniversary

Artist proposals are being accepted for an exhibition connected to the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

This exhibition will include both invited artists and artists (Utah residents only) accepted through an open call process and will include a side-by-side curatorial mentorship with one invited mentee from the community. It will be hosted at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City with funding provided by the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the Spike 150 Commission.

Artists both curated and selected from the open call will be paid for participation. Proposals for new work, as well as existing works that relate to the topic, will be accepted. Additionally, funding has been set aside for the acquisition of a limited number of works of art from this exhibition into the State of Utah Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection.

The nation will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the first Transcontinental Railroad May 10, 2019. The joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads occurred at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869, with a golden spike rammed into the rail. The history of the First Transcontinental Railroad and its legacy in Utah provides ample topics for exploration and representation that artists can use in their works.

The deadline for applications is July 2. More information, guidelines and the application can be found at the Utah Division of Arts & Museums website.


Utah designers from all fields are encouraged to apply for the annual DesignArts Utah exhibition.

The Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Design Arts Program will host the 2018 exhibition Sept. 10 through Oct. 19 at the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City. Applications can be uploaded at the Utah Arts & Museums Submittable webpage.

Designers in any field are encouraged to submit their work. Realized, conceptual or prototype designs are eligible. The deadline for applications is July 6.

DesignArts Utah celebrates the state’s great designers and provides a valuable platform for viewers to engage with the design community. DesignArts Utah is partnering with Craft Lake City on this free public exhibition.

Christine Gaspar, executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, a New York-based nonprofit whose mission is to use the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement, will curate the exhibition. The designer selected as the Juror’s Award Winner will receive a $3,000 award. Two designers selected in the student category will each receive a $500 award.

In conjunction with Salt Lake Gallery Stroll and Salt Lake Design Week, a reception will take place Sept. 21 from 6-9 p.m. at the Rio Gallery. Admission for the public reception is free.

To learn more about Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ DesignArts program or to view past exhibition catalogs and images, go to the competition website. If you have any questions, contact Lisa Greenhalgh at [email protected] or 801.245.7270, or Jim Glenn at [email protected] or 801.245.7271.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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