Skip to main content
Alumni

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.

Recommended Articles

data-content-type="article"

Art Alumni Feature: Pam Bowman

September 17, 2020 12:00 AM
From fine craft to fine art, installation artist Pam Bowman has always been a maker of things
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

BYU Magazine: Playing with Pattern

May 15, 2020 12:00 AM
A solo exhibition in a reputable museum is something that few artists ever achieve, usually only after years of work. But for BYU art student Rachel A. Henriksen (’20), the opportunity found her. The offer came from Jared Steffensen, director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), after he saw one of her drawings in the Bountiful Davis Art Show. “It was a huge honor,” says Henriksen. “That doesn’t happen; you usually have to apply. I was on cloud nine.” Henriksen’s show Knew/New recently closed after several months on display in the UMOCA.Read the full article by Erin Johnston at magazine.byu.edu.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Rachel Henriksen on Exploring through Art, Building Relationships

April 06, 2020 12:00 AM
Henriksen — a native of Provo, Utah — will graduate with a BFA in studio art on April 24, 2020 Rachel Henriksen came to BYU confident that art was her calling. “I’m one of those lucky people that already knew what they were going to do,” she said. Henriksen was drawn to art because it allows her to engage with a wide variety of other interests, including philosophy, psychology and sociology. “Some of the most amazing art I’ve seen is interdisciplinary, where an artist will explore scientific concepts abstractly through art instead of trying to explain them with data, numbers and logic,” said Henriksen. After being accepted into the BFA program, she left to serve a mission — but upon returning home, she began to feel lost. “I felt like I didn’t know how to do art anymore,” said Henriksen. “It felt like a selfish pursuit when I had just been serving so many other people. Art felt like an indulgence.” It wasn’t long, however, before she felt at home in the art program. “The faculty and students in the art program pulled me in,” said Henriksen. “They're really special people, and I think that's what drew me to the major.” Her most memorable experiences in the program include an advanced art summer intensive in 2017, during which she and her peers traveled around Utah and LA, visiting land art installations such as the Spiral Jetty and Sun Tunnels and drawing inspiration from museums and landscapes. Henriksen also interned as an art assistant in Berlin for a summer. Henriksen’s most challenging — and rewarding — experience while at BYU was her solo show “knew/new” at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, inspired by time she spent with her grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She found out about the opportunity in mid-September of 2019, and was tasked with creating a full show of her own work by the end of October. “It was a short turnaround, and really intimidating being invited to do this at a notable museum,” said Henriksen. “But it really pushed me — I knew I could do it if I put my mind to it, and so I did.” Henriksen is currently applying for residency programs and is planning on taking some time post-graduation to experiment with her art. “I eventually want to go to grad school, but I want to take a few years off and see what I make without the influence of academic critique,” she said. An independent person by nature, Henriksen has learned throughout her college career how to reach out and ask for help from professors, friends and the Savior. “I’m a stubborn person when it comes to doing things on my own; I feel like I have to prove to people that I can carry everything by myself even though it’s way too heavy for me,” said Henriksen. “But there have been so many times in this program where I’ve needed to reach out. I recognized it as giving other people an opportunity to serve by asking for help, instead of selfishly denying them that opportunity.” Henriksen’s advice to prospective art students is to get to know their faculty and peers and to take advantage of opportunities to build a network of strong relationships. “You can take those relationships beyond school and have a network of people that you can turn to after college. Being an art major is not necessarily something that leads you to a lucrative job right away,” said Henriksen. “You have to work your way through the world and figure out your own path. Having people to turn to is a good thing.” Q&A WITH RACHEL HENRIKSEN, BFA ‘20 ART | STUDIO ART What did you want to be when you grew up? “My mom said I always used to tell her I wanted to be a street performer who played guitar or danced for money. And then that turned into wanting to be on Broadway, until I realized I really can't dance or sing.” What was your favorite class that you took at BYU? “I think most of my favorite classes were the art theory classes for my major — the ones that were less about technique in art, and more about ideas and concepts and theories.” Is there a specific work or practitioner in your field that has had a particularly strong influence on you? “There’s a contemporary artist named Felix Gonzales Torres who passed away only a few years ago. He’s a conceptual artist who creates really powerful works in really simple ways. He uses a lot of universal themes that we all experience and feel, like love and loss.” Do you have a hidden talent? “I'm unusually good at finding really cool stuff at yard sales and thrift stores — just funky stuff that is hidden in weird places. That comes in handy, especially as an artist.” What is your favorite snack for between classes? “I usually have some sort of dried fruit with me. Right now I really like apricots.”
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText=