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The MAC Artist Spotlight promotes and supports local artists by sharing their work and how to experience it with the community.

Spotlight Series 1:

Conforming to COVID

This series is dedicated to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creating, producing, experiencing, and distributing of art in Moab. Installments will be added weekly every Wednesday from November 18, 2020-December 30, 2020. If you or someone you know is a local artist who has been creatively adjusting their process due to COVID-19, contact us at moabartscouncil@gmail.com.

30 December 2020

Arts Teachers of Moab

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Being a teacher has always come with challenges. Take low or non-existent program funding, for example, especially in the Arts. On top of daily obstacles, the pandemic has put additional stress on teachers all around the world. Being the superheroes that they are, no challenge ever seems too big. As such, we want to dedicate our final installment of our first ever MAC Artist Spotlight Series to our local Arts teachers, from visual arts to music and everything in between. Local arts teachers have been utilizing creative solutions to keep Grand County kids grades K-12 engaged with the Arts amid the pandemic and deserve a big round of applause!

To adapt, visual art classes are more spread out, and an enormous amount of preparation ensures that students do not share paint supplies, etc. Since singing is difficult while wearing a mask, HMK Elementary music teacher Sheila Strahan has been teaching her students to keep time and follow music using full classroom sets of scarves, plates, and drums. For band, choir, and string classes, chairs are strictly distanced for safety, and concerts have been recorded and posted online rather than presented live and in-person. When annual music assemblies featuring visiting artists were cancelled, Moab Charter School music teacher Tamara Freida stepped in and gave a music assembly featuring the school’s own teacher musicians. These are just a handful of examples of the myriad of ways in which our local Arts teachers are creatively adapting their classrooms and we are so impressed!

We hope you enjoy the following videos and images provided by our local schools showing how our local Arts teachers have kept the Arts thriving in the classroom, despite the pandemic.

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HMK 5th Grade Music Class

GCMS 7th Grade Choir 

GCHS Strings Concert

HMK 2nd Grade Music Class

Thank You Teachers!

23 December 2020

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Many enjoyable aspects of our normal lives have been altered in some way due to COVID-19, live concerts and performances high among them. Amidst the chaos, our very own Moab Music Festival (MMF) was able to reimagine their usual festival into a paired-back, COVID-friendly series of events in all-outdoor venues in early September. Now they are completing the year by launching their Pandemic Video Project. MMF is encouraging musicians of all ages and skill levels to film and submit a short video, 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length, describing and even demonstrating what has inspired you to make music during the pandemic. Is there an instrument you have always wanted to learn and with new found time on your hands, you picked it up? Are you a seasoned musician who has always wanted to learn a particular piece and decided that now is the time? Has your child recently started playing music because of an altered academic schedule? Have you been playing your instrument to distract yourself during this unprecedented year?

The responses will be collected through an online submission form now through Monday, January 18, 2021, then compiled into a video that will be shared nationally in February. Everyone who sends in a video is automatically entered into a drawing to win one of three music-themed prizes. All participants can share in the joy of spreading musical cheer all over the world. Visit their website for more information, as well as the link to the submission form. If you are not a musician, but a music lover, look forward to watching the final compilation in February!

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16 December 2020

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Annie Dalton

We are all familiar with Moab Made, the friendly, locally owned store on Main Street that sells all sorts of goodies made by local artists. From stickers to prints to jewelry to ceramics, this store has it all! What you may not know is that this year, to provide a safe and comfortable environment in the store during the ongoing pandemic, Moab Made is offering a private shopping hour. The pandemic has led many local businesses to imagine new and creative ways to stay connected with their customers. We highlight Moab Made as one of a handful of local stores offering this unique adaptation to in-person shopping. You can book your private shopping hour on their website for free. This private shopping experience is always arranged within the first few hours the store is open to make sure the store is properly sanitized and the experience is staffed by just one employee to reduce exposure. Moab Made has also been updating their website to provide an online shopping experience if that suits you better.

While you peruse the many excellent holiday gifts available for purchase at Moab Made, be sure to check out the ceramics. Moab is home to a variety of fantastic ceramicists, many of whom create their masterpieces at local studio, Desert Sun Ceramics, which has also taken creative and significant steps to remain open to local artists during this time. If you missed Desert Sun’s all-outdoor and socially distanced ceramics sale in November, several of these artists have goods available for purchase at Moab Made. So whether you shop online, during a private shopping hour, or within normal store hours, Moab Made has a holiday shopping experience to fit every comfort level.

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Liz Ford

9 December 2020

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"Uranium the Musical" Photo by Marty Durlin

This week’s MAC Artist Spotlight shines on the KZMU spring radio-theater production. Each year, KZMU gathers a dedicated group of local actors, writers, theatrical technicians, and musicians to produce a magical radio drama that is broadcast live at Star Hall. The live performances are so popular that they sell out. Due to the pandemic, there may be no live in-person performance in 2021, but there will still be a KZMU Radio play! “Choreomania” will be broadcast live on KZMU the last three weekends of March.

This year marks the 6th annual KZMU radio show. “Choreomania” was written by Jenna Whetzel, who has acted in past KZMU productions and even wrote last year’s masterpiece, “Wormhole!”. “Choreomania” is based on the true story of the 1518 ‘dancing plague’ in Strasbourg, Germany in which townsfolk literally danced themselves to death. Whetzel hopes to bring some levity and laughter to us all through this quirky take on a less terrifying pandemic.

Auditions will be held over Zoom on Saturday, December 12th at 11am and Sunday, December 13th at 2pm. Participants are not required to register in advance, but can email Jenna for excerpts from the script to aid their audition. Rehearsals will be once a week starting in January and continuing through March. These will be either virtual or in person (masked and socially distant) depending on state guidelines. Some cast members will even play multiple roles to reduce the size of the cast and increase safety for everyone involved. There are hopes of including an in-person performance at an outdoor venue as well, if guidelines at that time allow. If you’ve been dying for a safe way to exercise some creative expression, start warming up those vocal chords now for this weekend’s auditions. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for “Choreomania” coming to the airwaves near you this March!

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"Wormhole!" Photo by Murice Miller

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"Wormhole!" Photo by Murice Miller

2 December 2020

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MARC Holiday Craft Fair

This year, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) has cancelled their much-anticipated annual Holiday Craft Fair due to COVID-19. They have compiled an online shopping gallery to connect shoppers with their favorite vendors this holiday season. Participating artists sell a variety of all-handcrafted items: woodworking, candles, knitwear, stained glass ornaments, jewelry, tinctures, baked goods, and more.

One of these vendors, Wild Raven Soap Company, made their debut at the 2019 Holiday Craft Fair and has now recently opened a storefront in downtown Moab. Wild Raven Soap Company was started by Kai Malloy and Jen Hancewicz as a creative outlet. They use traditional methods to make their small batch soap by hand. The raw materials used are purchased from reputable vendors, sourced locally whenever possible, even from their own backyard! This small business has adapted to the challenges presented by COVID-19 in a few ways. They have recently opened up a storefront on Center Street, which is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm. People who feel comfortable with shopping in person (masks required) can see and smell all their products in store. If you feel more comfortable shopping online, their newly-enhanced website has all their merchandise as well as a blog where you can dive deep into new and exciting products to try. You can get items shipped to you or they offer curbside pickup at their store. Free in-town delivery is offered for locals, making it even easier to get these products safely. They have a lot of holiday scents, gift sets, and deals right now, and there is no better gift for a pandemic holiday than soap.

To find Wild Raven Soap Company and other great Holiday Craft Fair Vendors, visit the Moab Arts website. If you are having trouble finding an artist, email marcadmin@moabcity.org. To purchase handmade soap and other products from Wild Raven Soap Company, you can visit their store at 37 E Center Street or visit their website to take advantage of pandemic-friendly shopping practices.

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Kai Malloy and Jen Hancewicz

25 November 2020

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Silent Night by Samantha Zim

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Since 2009, the Community Artist Program has run April 1 - October 31 and featured a different local Moab artist each year. Artists apply, agreeing to 24 hours of face to face time with visitors each month and to host one event for the community during their residence. Throughout the season, artists travel to all the parks in the Southeast Utah group, including: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, and Natural Bridges National Monument.The program gives visitors a connection to the local art scene and an opportunity to witness the artistic process in relation to our beautiful Southeastern Utah landscapes.

2020's Community Artist was Samantha Zim. The sketchbook is her canvas of choice. Originally, she planned to interact with visitors by letting them contribute to her sketchbook, adding their own words or images to express their experience in the park. With the onset of COVID-19, she had to adjust. Sam opened up a PO Box and started the Postcard Project.  Every other week, she posted a prompt on her Instagram and online with the NPS in order to engage visitors and lovers of the National Parks, even if they were stuck at home.

Sam received over 200 postcards from around the world, and responded to every single one. She may display or publish the postcards from this year in either a book or a gallery show, pending consent from her many pen pals. Follow her Instagram to stay up to date. If you missed out on the Postcard Project but still want to participate, the PO Box is still open! All the prompts remain online as well as the address. You can see more of Sam's work on her website and you can purchase pieces created during her residency in person or online at Moab Made and CNHA/MIC.  

Read more about the Community Artist Program, view past artists, and follow next year's artist, Julia Buckwalter here.

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Castleton by Samantha Zim

18 November 2020

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Germination III by Nathan Johansen

If you have been searching for a way to mix up your quarantine routine while interacting with, supporting, and experiencing local art, we have the perfect solution. 

Take a walk through town to view the 2019/2020 ArTTrails Exhibition. Enjoy this beautiful November on a sculpture stroll that will last from 30 minutes to one hour.

Every year an ArTTrails Selection Committee, made up of local community members, chooses a sculpture to add to the permanent collection. This year, local artist, Tim McAllister's Ocular Oracle has been permanently added to the growing collection of public art in Moab. More of his work can be viewed here.

Visit moabarttrails.org for pictures of this year's exhibition, a printable map, and more information about the program.

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Farmer's Moon by Reven Swanson

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Ocular Oracle by Tim McAllister