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PARC Collective: Championing Contemporary Art In Utah

Founded by three BYU art alumni, Utah’s newest contemporary art platform aims to create opportunities for working artists within the state

In addition to their status as BYU alumni, the founders of PARC Collective — Utah’s latest contemporary art initiative — all have something in common. After graduating from BYU, they earned MFAs in communities that embrace alternative gallery spaces, including Chicago, IL, Baltimore, MD, and Eugene, OR. Their graduate experiences built on a foundation nurtured during their undergraduate years by then-new professor Daniel Everett, who regularly curated exhibitions for student artists. Upon returning to Utah post-graduate school, Tiana Birrell, Art Morrill, and Ron Linn hoped to perpetuate the same DIY energy they experienced as students. They reconnected in Utah and, after consulting Associate Professor Chris Lynn, launched the curatorial collective that became known as PARC. Since its inception in 2019, PARC’s goal has been to strengthen Utah’s art community and to create opportunities for artists — particularly within contemporary art. While members of PARC commend Utah-based galleries and museums for their work, they view themselves as meeting a crucial need for contemporary art spaces and resources.
“We wanted to create something that will grow and afford artists the opportunity to branch out and build their career here in a viable way,” Morrill said. “They don’t have to go to a bigger art hub in order to have a fulfilling experience as an artist.”
Last December PARC hosted its first exhibition, “dis/place,” at Provo Studio, which featured 17 Utah-based artists and six writers, and was intended to be the first installment in a quarterly series. But Provo Studio shut down shortly after PARC’s inaugural show, motivating the founders to interview artists around the state in the interim. In conducting studio visits, they connected with Sarah Waldron Brinton, another BYU alum who soon joined the team. Read the full article written by Abby Weidmer at art.byu.edu.

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