This month the UMFA will play proud host to the Art is 100 Gala (Thursday, May 29th) and we could not be more excited.
At this year’s gala, the UMFA will celebrate Art is 100 and the enormous range of creative voices on this great campus. This event is the centerpiece of the UMFA’s yearlong celebration of a century of collecting great art on the University of Utah campus.
There has been a long history of fabulous parties at the UMFA, from SMAC parties (who could forget this, or this!) to UMFA Galas (like that gorgeous Speed Premiere!) One thing is for sure, the UMFA is an incredible space for a celebration. And it seems many pieces in our collection have already gotten the party started: we are home to many reflections of a great history of human revelry.
Strolling the UMFA galleries you may come upon images such as van der Burch’s “A Musical Party,” which depicts an intimate gathering of friends. This was not the only group of joyous musical friends that van der Burch painted–with such a party trick of being able to paint a celebration so beautifully, might we assume he was a popular guest?
While exploring the UMFA, you may come face to face with the Barong Dance Mask, a Balinese mask portraying the Barong, a lion-like creature who is considered the king of the spirits and host of the good. This mask is featured in the Barong Dance, which portrays the Barong’s struggle against Rangda, the demon queen. The Barong Dance is a story-telling dance, intended to be performed in front of a gathering of people– and some say the dance is so powerful, the performers battling Rangda are at risk of harm or death!
Coming upon this 17th-century drop leaf table, It isn’t hard to imagine a collection of friends pouring wine and sharing a meal, or perhaps a large flower arrangement at the center bearing witness to a bustling and vivacious social space.
And we would be remiss if we did not revisit Brueghel’s “Dance Around the Maypole,” which we profiled here in honor of Art is 100. This piece shows not only a very raucous crowd in full party mode, but also marks an important addition to the UMFA’s collection–and therefore the perfect image to celebrate our Art is 100 gala. Come in and read what some of our community members have said about this piece, and other pieces in our galleries: labels written by friends of the UMFA are currently gracing our walls!
This year’s gala promises to delight. Without saying too much, you can expect live music, delicious food, and a few surprises– in other words, a celebration worthy of a place among such lovely depictions of human gatherings. And this year we get to celebrate such an important anniversary–100 years of collecting art on campus! Says Raymond Tymas-Jones, Associate Vice President for the Arts and Dean of the College of Fine Arts, “100 years ago, in a humble gallery on the top floor of the Park Building in 1914, the spark of the UMFA’s rich and diverse collection of fine art, as well as incredible art across our campus, was ignited.”
What better way to celebrate than to join us on May 29th?
Find more information here: http://umfa.utah.edu/gala