Five Great Opportunities for Artists in THE BLOCKS

While THE BLOCKS is a fantastic place to immerse yourself in art, it’s also ripe with possibilities for those who create. And a silver lining of the next few weeks of closures due to coronavirus concerns is the space it will create for artists to further their craft. The following are five great opportunities in
downtown Salt Lake City for artists.

Since it was launched in 2013, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s Artist-in-Residence Program has become one of the state’s most coveted opportunities for visual artists. This six-month residency includes dedicated studio space at UMOCA; access to curators, critics, visiting artists and lecturers and other national-level art professionals; and workshops in professional development. The image at right is Tug of War by Ya’el Pedroza, a 2019 UMOCA Artist-in-Residence.

UMOCA offers two residency periods per year: Applications for residencies beginning February 1, 2021 are due on June 20, 2020, and on December 31, 2020 for residencies beginning August 1, 2021. Applying artists must live in Utah and are selected based on artistic potential, willingness to participate in UMOCA’s robust artist community and readiness to devote the time necessary to advance their professional careers. 

Do you think you have what it takes to write 30 Poems in 30 Days? (Or perhaps are looking for something cerebral to keep your mind off the pandemic?) Then the Community Writing Center’s annual poetry writing challenge is for you. Beginning April 1, 2020, the CWC will post one writing prompt per day on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Writers can register for the challenge anytime in the month of April; all 30 submissions are due May 9, 2020 by 3 p.m. Winners will have a chapbook of their original poems produced by the CWC.

Another exciting opportunity for writers presented by the Community Writing Center that comes around a little later this spring is the Utah Original Writing Competition. Categories in this 62-year Utah tradition range from novels, nonfiction books and short story anthologies to poetry and creative nonfiction essays. Prizes for the best and second-best submissions range from $150 to $1,000 and will become part of Utah Arts and Museums’ permanent collection.

Entries are accepted May 4 through June 30, 2020. Winners will be notified in September and an awards presentation held in October or November 2020.

Ever dream of showing your work in the historic Art Barn’s Finch Lane Gallery? Well, now’s your chance. Applications are now being accepted for the Salt Lake Art Council’s Finch Lane Gallery’s 2021 exhibition schedule. Both established and emerging artists are invited to apply for to this exhibition program, which is designed to give Utah-based artists an opportunity to exhibit a current body of work; explore exhibition themes or media relevant to the community and field of arts at large; and foster the development of curatorial skills through exhibition production and collaboration.

If you’re interested, make haste. The submission deadline is April 3, 2020 by 11:59 p.m.

While mass gatherings are banned for the time being, let’s keep the faith that those restrictions will be lifted in time for the upcoming summer festival season. Speaking of, now is the time to apply to be an exhibitor at Craft Lake City’s DIY Festival (August 7-9, 2020 at the Utah State Fairpark) and the Utah Arts Alliance’s Urban Arts Festival (September 5-6, 2020, location TBD). The submission deadline for the DIY Fest is May 18, and for the Urban Arts Fest, May 10.

Photo: Arch drawing Tug of War by Ya’el Pedroza, a 2019 UMOCA Artist-in Residence
Photo: Finch Lake Gallery
By Melissa Fields