Three artists kneel in front of a mural depicting a persons hands holding the Earth surrounded by a geometric mandala in golden hues.

What just happened?! The year 2020 was a flashpoint for humanity and the planet, and artists across the globe are responding. Over the past year, artists have created numerous murals across Salt Lake City in response to the global pandemic and racial injustice. These public works reflect our city’s pain and frustration but also our hopes and demands for a better future.

In participation with this movement, the UMFA invited Roots Art Kollective, comprised of local artists Miguel Galaz, Luis Novoa, and Alan Ochoa, to conceive of a museum-based mural exhibition. The mission of Roots is to expand public art to create a vibrant environment showcasing the cultures that enrich our communities. For this unique project, Roots and the UMFA asked local muralists and community members to consider the year 2020, how we experienced it, and how it will affect our future. Together—but at a distance—we experienced an extreme shift, or rupture, that will forever be understood as transitional. Within this state of flux, we can find opportunities to heal and the power to create new ways forward. 

Stepping outside the authoritative curatorial model, this project utilized a call for artists. Participating artists, selected by a committee of community partners, will design murals to reflect the perspectives and interests of many Utah communities.

Featuring: 

Selection Committee: 

The exhibition is ongoing, with no closing date at this time.

Voices of 2020

Contribute your voice to a collection of audio recordings of Utahns sharing their thoughts about the year 2020 and their hopes for the future. How did your experience of 2020 make you think differently about the future? Call our hotline and record a 3-minute max reflection to be shared with the muralists and potentially more museum visitors.

801-581-8336

By submitting an audio recording, you are agreeing to let the University of Utah publicly share and archive your story.

Listen to some Voices of 2020 here.